Authentication. Attestation. Legalisation. What’s with all the lingo?

The Authentifier cheat sheet

We get it, the language around what we do is super confusing. In Dubai they like the term ‘attestation’. In China it’s ‘authentication’. In other places it’s a bit of both. Authentication. Attestation. Legalisation. What do all these different terms mean? Here’s our cheat sheet for Authentifier terminology.


An official verification of something as true or authentic (Merriam-Webster).

In the Authentifier process, attestation refers to the notarial certification of documents. However, the word attestation is commonly used in the UAE and Qatar interchangeably with the term ‘authentication’. We try to use region-specific language on our site to ensure that users who have been told they need a document attested are getting the information they are looking for, so in some areas of this site, the terms ‘authentication’ and ‘attestation’ are used interchangeably.


An act, process, or method of showing something (such as an identity[…]) to be real, true, or genuine : the act or process of authenticating something (Merriam-Webster).

You may require documents to be authenticated for use overseas. In the Authentifier process, authentication refers to getting documents legally authenticated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Having documents approved by DFAT is compulsory for many documents needed overseas, in particular for coutries like China, the UAE and Qatar.

Authentication is also the preferred terminology in China, so is used in areas of this site in place of ‘attestation’, to ensure it is understood.



This word doesn’t exist in English, which is exactly why we chose it! We liked the French version of ‘authenticate’ and have been using it as our business name for years. It works well for us largely because it can be separated from all the other confusing terminology, so our clients know exactly who we are.


To make legal; to give legal validity or sanction to (Merriam-Webster).

Documents needed for some overseas countries (i.e. for the UAE, Qatar or China) need to be legalised by the relevant foreign embassy in Australia to officially legalise the notorised and authenticated documents.

The Authentifier Cheat Sheet | Authentifier document legalisation


1: The act, process, or an instance of notarizing; 2: the notarial certificate appended to a document (Merriam-Webster).

All documents that come through the Authentifier system require notorisation (sometimes referred to as attestation) as one of the first steps of legal verification. Depending on where in the world documents are required, notorisation may be all that is needed (for use in Australia and for Hague Apostille Convention Countries).

Notary Public

A public officer who attests or certifies writings (such as a deed) to make them authentic (Merriam-Webster).
If you have a document that requires notarisation in order to be certified as true and original, a notary can provide you with a Notarial certification proving this. ​If you are signing forms for official use or executing documents, a notary may need to witness your signature.
We offer notorial services online and we also make home/office visits for FREE on Sydney’s North Shore.
Scroll to Top
Authentication. Attestation. Legalisation.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.