Don't wait! Verify your Indian Drivers Licence today


There are many reasons why people do not convert their Indian drivers licence to an Australian drivers licence. Perhaps they are here temporarily or not intending to remain in Australia and so they do not see the need to convert, others may be waiting for their visa approvals, some could be waiting to become an Australian citizen, while many people just think that the process is too difficult and so postpone / procrastinate on following it through.

Whatever the reason, it has been our experience that delaying the process can create other complications and so we highly recommend converting (or at least starting the process) sooner than later.

As a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney, we assist many people to convert their Indian drivers licence to an Australian drivers licence through our Indian Drivers Licence Verification process. If your name on your Indian drivers licence and your Indian passport, you will need to undertake this process in order to convert your licence. However, be aware that the process is not a simple process or a straight forward process, meaning you must allow for processing times, expect delays and account for these possibilities and contingencies when applying to convert your licence. For more information regarding the process, please visit the VFS website and review the IDLV checklist.

Problems caused by delay

Here are some problems that people face because they delayed converting their licence.

  • VFS changes. This has happened before, and it will happen again. Processes and requirements change due to changes in the law or policy and the IDLV process through VFS is no different. At this stage, we do not know what future changes may be, but we know what the process is now. Accordingly, if you want (and especially if you need) to convert your Indian drivers licence to an Australian drivers licence then you may benefit from doing it now rather than wait for the uncertainty of the future. Of course you might get lucky in that VFS makes the process easier in the future, but that would be the chance you take. However, even if the process is easier, it is unlikely that the cost/fees would be cheaper - as most things, this will only increase over time.
  • Citizenship. Many people do not (by choice or because they forget) convert their licence, but they adopt Australian citizenship. The IDLV checklist clearly relates to verifying the identity of the Indian drivers licence holder with the Indian passport holder. As far as we are aware, VFS will not assist you with the IDLV process if you are an Australian citizen and will not provide a verification between an Indian drivers licence and an Australian passport. Accordingly, if your name on your Indian drivers licence and your Indian passport are different, you must complete this process through VFS before you become an Australian citizen.
  • RTO changes. Part of the IDLV process requires a letter from the relevant RTO in India to confirm the Indian drivers licence details. The IDLV checklist states that the name on letter from the RTO and the Indian drivers licence must be identical. Due to various changes or upgrades to systems and processes in India, occasionally we have been told by clients that the name in the letter from their RTO in India no longer matches the name on their Indian drivers licence (for whatever reason). This will create complications for VFS. The scope of our notary public services is limited to verifying that you are the one and the same person on your Indian drivers licence and your Indian passport. Unfortunately, we cannot help you with any changes to your details on the RTO letter.
  • Licence or passport expiry. Too many times we have been asked to verify the identity of the Indian drivers licence holder and the Indian passport holder are the one and the same person because either their drivers licence or their passport was about to expire. At this point, people are rushing with unrealistic deadlines. Be aware that the process can take weeks - not hours.
  • RTO letter expiry. The IDLV process requires that the letter from the relevant RTO in India is less than 6 months old. Again, we are often approached a day or two (or even on the day) that the 6 months expire to complete the verification process. If it is not possible, we will tell you. As much as we want to assist, waiting to the last minute will only create yourself more complications and problems - meaning you will potentially need to re-start the process.
  • Appointments with VFS. We also receive requests from people who are rushing to an appointment with VFS - but why? If you have an appointment with VFS which requires documents to be notarised, and your appointment is at 12pm - it is unlikely that we are able to 'squeeze you in' at 11am, and it is impossible to do this if you also need to have your documents stamped with an apostille from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Remember, this process can take weeks. It will not happen at the last minute. Again, if it is not possible, we will tell you.
  • Change of name. Some people change their name (ie, if they marry, if they want to shorten or simplify, or if they Anglicise or adopt an English name). If they formally change their name on their Indian passport (which then differs from the name on their Indian drivers licence) before they convert their licence, they then must go through the IDLV process. Perhaps it would have been cheaper and easier to have converted their licence before they change their name.

Although these are just some examples, there can be many reasons why delaying could cause more complications - unnecessary complications - to the IDLV process, and those complications could also have been easily avoided by attempting this process sooner than later. Sometimes the consequence is additional delay, or additional cost, but sometimes it could potentially prevent you from converting your licence meaning to obtain an Australian drivers licence through the 'normal' process (ie, starting from the start with no recognition of prior driving history or licence). Regardless of the reason behind these circumstances, a little forward planning could have and potentially would have avoided any issues.

To obtain a quote on our notary public services for India, please visit http://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/notary-fees/.

Notary Fees

Acknowledgements

This blog is supported and maintained by . Phang Legal is a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney. With offices conveniently located in Parramatta, Phang Legal supports and services the Indian community across Sydney with readily available and easily accessible notary public services at highly competitive rates.

For more information regarding notary public services for documents going to India, view our notary publications at http://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/jurisdiction/india-notary/.

Frequently asked questions regarding our notary public services can also be found at http://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/faqs/.

For Hindi to English translation services by NAATI accredited translators, see http://hindi-naati-translation.blogspot.com.au/.

Ern Phang
Notary Public

Ern Phang is the solicitor director of Phang Legal and a notary public. Ern regularly writes about his experiences as a notary public, including the kinds of problems and solutions that his clients face when sending documents to India.

IMPORTANT: the information in this article is correct at the time of publication, however the law constantly changes. This means you should always refer to the most recent articles because we try to update this blog on a regular basis with the most current information.

What do I need to bring to get FORM V notarised?

Sydney Notary Public Parramatta

If you have lost or damaged your Indian Passport, or if it has been stolen, you will need to complete and submit FORM V to VFS to have a new passport issued to you.

As a leading provider of notary public services, many clients approach us for assistance because FORM V must be notarised - it cannot be signed by a justice of the peace.

Accordingly, to have FORM V notarised, you must attend our office and prove your identity in order to have your signature witnessed. This means, if your passport has been lost, stolen or damaged beyond recognition, you must have some other form of photograph identification that is normally acceptable in Australia (for example, an Australian drivers licence or photocard issued by the RTA/RMS). Other forms of non-Australian photograph identification will not be accepted.

Unfortunately, we have had to turn away many people without being able to assist because they did not have the required identification documents to prove their identity. If you do not have your passport or any the form of Australian photograph identification, you should contact VFS for clarification on your options.

Summary of Requirements

  1. Appointment. Make an appointment to have your documents notarised. You should also request a quote for the notary public service. Please call 02 9687 8885 between 9am-5pm Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays.
  2. Form V. Complete the information required on the form before your appointment. Do not sign it until asked. We cannot assist you with completing the information on the form.
  3. Photograph ID. Bring your passport, or if your passport is lost, stolen or damaged beyond recognition, you must bring another form of Australian identification (ie, Australian drivers licence or photocard).
To obtain a quote on our notary public services for India, please visit http://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/notary-fees/.

Notary Fees

Acknowledgements

This blog is supported and maintained by . Phang Legal is a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney. With offices conveniently located in Parramatta, Phang Legal supports and services the Indian community across Sydney with readily available and easily accessible notary public services at highly competitive rates.

For more information regarding notary public services for documents going to India, view our notary publications at http://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/jurisdiction/india-notary/.

Frequently asked questions regarding our notary public services can also be found at http://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/faqs/.

For Hindi to English translation services by NAATI accredited translators, see http://hindi-naati-translation.blogspot.com.au/.

Ern Phang
Notary Public

Ern Phang is the solicitor director of Phang Legal and a notary public. Ern regularly writes about his experiences as a notary public, including the kinds of problems and solutions that his clients face when sending documents to India.

IMPORTANT: the information in this article is correct at the time of publication, however the law constantly changes. This means you should always refer to the most recent articles because we try to update this blog on a regular basis with the most current information.

Do I really need to have my document signed by VFS/Consulate?

Following our previous article about our clients having their documents rejected by VFS, our clients often ask us whether their documents must be signed by VFS.

VFS provides consular services on behalf of the Indian Consulate to Indian citizens in Australia. For example, if you need assistance with applying for visas, change of personal details (appearance, name or address), renewing your passport, applying for Overseas Citizenship of India, converting your Indian drivers licence, registering or issuing a birth certificate or marriage certificate, or renouncing your Indian citizenship.

If you have been asked to have your documents countersigned by the Indian Consulate, then the process you must follow involves:

Notarise your documents

As a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney, we are regularly asked to notarise documents such as special powers of attorney or general powers of attorney, affidavits and other sworn documents, authorisation letters or copies of public documents.

Stamp your notarised documents with an apostille

An apostille is a type of stamp issued in accordance with the international convention known as the 'Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents'. Countries that are signatories to the convention will recognise documents stamped with an apostille without any further involvement by their foreign office (called legalisation) - which makes the process adopted by VFS/Indian Consulate as a little unusual.

Stamp your documents at VFS

Technically, as India is a signatory to the convention, documents that have been stamped with an apostille by DFAT should be recognised in India without requiring legalisation through the Indian Consulate or VFS. Despite this, if you have been asked to have your documents countersigned by the Indian Consulate, then you must submit your documents to VFS - and depending on the type of document, VFS may require your documents to be stamped with an apostille before they will stamp your documents.

Sending notarised documents without apostille or VFS/Consulate stamps

The clear majority of our clients only need to have their documents notarised. They do not need to have their documents stamped with an apostille and they do not need to have their documents stamped by VFS or the Indian Consulate. It seems that having their documents notarised and stamped by a notary public is sufficient. Obviously, this would be the quickest and least expensive process to return your documents to India as it bypasses DFAT and VFS processing times and fees.

To obtain a quote on our notary public services for India, please visit http://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/notary-fees/.

Notary Fees

Acknowledgements

This blog is supported and maintained by . Phang Legal is a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney. With offices conveniently located in Parramatta, Phang Legal supports and services the Indian community across Sydney with readily available and easily accessible notary public services at highly competitive rates.

For more information regarding notary public services for documents going to India, view our notary publications at http://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/jurisdiction/india-notary/.

Frequently asked questions regarding our notary public services can also be found at http://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/faqs/.

For Hindi to English translation services by NAATI accredited translators, see http://hindi-naati-translation.blogspot.com.au/.

Ern Phang
Notary Public

Ern Phang is the solicitor director of Phang Legal and a notary public. Ern regularly writes about his experiences as a notary public, including the kinds of problems and solutions that his clients face when sending documents to India.

IMPORTANT: the information in this article is correct at the time of publication, however the law constantly changes. This means you should always refer to the most recent articles because we try to update this blog on a regular basis with the most current information.

VFS has rejected your notarised document?

Recently, some of our clients have encountered problems when submitting their notarised documents to VFS.​

Unfortunately, you'll need to make your own enquiries with VFS as to what their requirements are when processing your documents regardless of whether those documents are notarised or not, and (as experience and history and taught us) be aware that their requirements can change without warning. Another challenge that you'll face is that documents prepared for you in India (even if they're prepared by your lawyer) and are formatted in a certain way could be rejected by VFS for no other reason than "not enough room" - which is the latest issue that our clients have faced.

This is the unfortunate reality of dealing with VFS. Our clients have had their documents rejected by VFS because after all the signing, witnessing and stamping has been done there is limited space at the end of the document for VFS to attach their stamp or seal. But is this reasonable? Should VFS reject the document simply because there is limited room on the page?

While we, and every other notary, official or consular office face exactly the same challenge on a daily basis, we do not simply reject documents or refuse to help our clients because there is "not enough room" at the bottom of the page. Instead, we address the issue by either 'squeezing' our stamps, seal and signature into the available space at the bottom or in the margins or we attach a separate certificate to the document.

If you've had to have your documents notarised or stamped with an apostille by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, you'll know that a notary certificate can be attached to the document or if you bind your documents then the apostille will be attached to the notary certificate or as a separate bound certificate. Maybe you'll be charged an additional fee for the binding or separate document, but at least your document won't be rejected.

Despite our clients' protests and complaints, VFS have refused to process their documents forcing them to 're-do' (ie, sign, notarise and stamp with an apostille) their documents and incur additional costs. We think it's a questionable attitude and approach especially when VFS (on behalf of the Consulate General of India) is primarily responsible for providing service to and assisting Indian nationals in Australia, but in reality it seems to make 'things more difficult' whether it's due to the bureaucratic model or by choice or design. We're also unsure whether this is a an official requirement, or a new requirement as it's never been raised previously, or whether it's going to be an ongoing issue. Perhaps it could be just the official who happened to process the documents.

Fortunately, not every document needs to be countersigned by VFS or the Consulate, which means if it can be avoided - then probably you should. However, if it's required, then even before considering what you need to be doing, you should ask whoever you're sending the document to whether VFS or Consulate stamps are required. Unfortunately, if you need to have your document stamped by VFS/Consulate, we're unable to control or determine what they will or won't do. This means we're also unable to guarantee whether your documents will be accepted or not - and that's the reason for this article. When it comes to our notary public services in this regard, our fees for services apply regardless and so you should make your enquiries with VFS before booking an appointment with our office.

To obtain a quote on our notary public services for India, please visit http://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/notary-fees/.

Notary Fees

Acknowledgements

This blog is supported and maintained by . Phang Legal is a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney. With offices conveniently located in Parramatta, Phang Legal supports and services the Indian community across Sydney with readily available and easily accessible notary public services at highly competitive rates.

For more information regarding notary public services for documents going to India, view our notary publications at http://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/jurisdiction/india-notary/.

Frequently asked questions regarding our notary public services can also be found at http://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/faqs/.

For Hindi to English translation services by NAATI accredited translators, see http://hindi-naati-translation.blogspot.com.au/.

Ern Phang
Notary Public

Ern Phang is the solicitor director of Phang Legal and a notary public. Ern regularly writes about his experiences as a notary public, including the kinds of problems and solutions that his clients face when sending documents to India.

IMPORTANT: the information in this article is correct at the time of publication, however the law constantly changes. This means you should always refer to the most recent articles because we try to update this blog on a regular basis with the most current information.

Help by a Notary Public - Signing an Affidavit for India

India Affidavit

If you have received an affidavit to submit to a government office or court in India (or to submit to VFS in Australia), it is likely that you will need to sign that affidavit in front of a notary public if you live in Australia.

If the affidavit has been prepared by your lawyer in India, your lawyer should have provided you with instructions as to how the affidavit should be signed and sworn. You should also clarify any other formalities such as:

  • Does the affidavit need to be printed on bonded paper of stamped paper? If it does, you will need to have the affidavit prepared in India because you cannot buy bonded paper or stamped paper from Australia.
  • Does the affidavit need to include your photograph? If so, you need to bring your own photograph and we will put a notary seal over your photograph once it has been attached to the affidavit.
  • Does the affidavit need to include your finger prints or thumb prints? If so, we can assist you in terms of witnessing you placing your prints on the affidavit.
  • Does the affidavit need to be signed in front of witnesses in addition to the notary public? If so, you will need to arrange for your own witnesses as we cannot guarantee or provide witnesses.
  • Does the affidavit need to be countersigned by the Indian Consulate or follow any other process? If so, there is a process after having the affidavit notarised that may involve the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and VFS.

Following these instructions is important otherwise your affidavit may be rejected and you would need to do it again. Aside from a cost, you need to be aware that the delay caused by not 'doing it right' in the first place may result in more complications depending on the purpose and the deadline for your affidavit.

It is also important to remember that the government office or court in India may not recognise the signature by a justice of the peace, and so the process that you will need to follow is to have your affidavit notarised by a notary public.

If you need to submit your affidavit to the Indian Consulate, you should check the requirements listed on the VFS website and they process all documents on behalf of the Consulate. You may also need to have your affidavit stamped with an apostille from DFAT. DFAT will not recognise the signature of a Justice of the Peace which means IF you need to have your affidavit stamped with an apostille, then you must have your affidavit notarised.

As a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney, we provide assistance to many clients who need to send affidavits to India. If that includes you, then please contact us to see how we can assist you.

To obtain a quote on our notary public services for India, please visit http://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/notary-fees/.

Notary Fees

Acknowledgements

This blog is supported and maintained by . Phang Legal is a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney. With offices conveniently located in Parramatta, Phang Legal supports and services the Indian community across Sydney with readily available and easily accessible notary public services at highly competitive rates.

For more information regarding notary public services for documents going to India, view our notary publications at http://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/jurisdiction/india-notary/.

Frequently asked questions regarding our notary public services can also be found at http://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/faqs/.

For Hindi to English translation services by NAATI accredited translators, see http://hindi-naati-translation.blogspot.com.au/.

Ern Phang
Notary Public

Ern Phang is the solicitor director of Phang Legal and a notary public. Ern regularly writes about his experiences as a notary public, including the kinds of problems and solutions that his clients face when sending documents to India.

IMPORTANT: the information in this article is correct at the time of publication, however the law constantly changes. This means you should always refer to the most recent articles because we try to update this blog on a regular basis with the most current information.