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 Thailand 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.

For more on the attestation process and what it means for you, read our companion article, What Does Attestation Mean?


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 countries like Thailand, the UAE, and Qatar.

Authentication is also the preferred terminology in Thailand, 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 Thailand) need to be legalised by the relevant foreign embassy in Australia to officially attest 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 notarization (sometimes referred to as attestation) as one of the first steps of legal verification. Depending on where in the world documents are required, notarization 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 notarial services online as part of our overall attestation services.

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Skip the embassy. Skip the DFAT queue. Skip the admin. Take the stress out of document attestation and let us manage the entire process for you.

Further reading
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The ultimate guide to attestation

The process of attestation can be confusing and time-consuming. There are a lot of steps involved and red tape to cut through. In this blog post, we will discuss the process of document attestation and provide a step-by-step guide on how to get it done headache-free.

Read More »

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