I am applying for an Australian passport. I was born in Austalia, as were my parents (and grand parents).

Part of the application requires that I present one of my parents birth certificates. My parents live many hours away, so I asked my mother to scan an email it, so I could print it out.

I note now that it says on the front of the form "You must provide original supporting documents (not certified copies)."

Is my mother's birth certificate a "supporting document" that I need an original for? Or is it some kind of secondary supporting document, and the "original" only refers to the documents relating directly to me. E.g. Drivers License, my Own Birth Certificate etc.

I suspect it is the former, but I wanted to check with anyone who had actually tried. Its moderately annoying to have my mother post up her birth certificate, and then for me to hang on to it for a while, then post it back.


2 Answers 2


You do not need an original, but a normal photocopy will not do. What you can do, in your circumstances, is to present your passport application, with all except your parents birth certificate. Then it can be arranged to have your parent take their birth certificate to their local post office, and get the post office to certify it and fax it to the Passport Office. This is different to simply having it certified as there is a chain of custody from the certifying Post Office to the Passport Office.

As an alternative, there are other ways to provide supporting citizenship documents. One of with (that I never saw documented online) is to bring an old passport. Even if it is long expired (as can't be renewed), as long as it was issued after the year 2000, it can be used in place of a parent's birth certificate.

  • 2
    Are you sure about the certification possibility? The OP states some quite clear instructions that certified copies are not acceptable in this case.
    – Tim Malone
    Commented May 23, 2016 at 9:12
  • 2
    Yes. This was told directly to me by the official. It has to be Certified at the post-office and then faxed direct from the post-office to the Passport Office. So it is not simply a Certified copy, it is a certified copy with a controlled chain of custody from the certifier to the passport issuer. Commented May 23, 2016 at 9:14
  • Ok fair enough, sounds legit!
    – Tim Malone
    Commented May 23, 2016 at 9:16

I have been told by someone at the Passport Office that if I, a grandparent, can get my grandsons passport application number and take that to my PO (I live interstate) then the the PO can verify it on a B11 form that then goes to the Passport Office. This means I don't have to send my original birth certificate through the mail.

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