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A Notary Public is an officer of the law who holds an internationally recognised public office, is appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and is subject to regulation by the Court of Faculties.
They are primarily concerned with the authentication and certification of signatures and documents for use abroad. The Role of English Notaries is expanding, with increasing demand for both commercial and individual purposes, due to the European Community, the widening of international trade generally, and increasing personal mobility.
Notarial services include:
- attesting the signature and execution of documents
- authenticating the execution of documents
- authenticating the contents of documents
- administration of oaths and declarations
- drawing up or noting (and extending) protests of happenings to ships, crews and cargoes
- presenting bills of exchange for acceptance and payment, noting and protesting bills in cases of dis-honour and preparing acts of honour
- attending upon the drawing up of bonds
- drawing mercantile documents, deeds, sales or purchases of property, and wills in English and (via translation), in foreign languages for use in Britain, the Commonwealth and other foreign countries
- providing documents to deal with the administration of the estate of people who are abroad, or owning property abroad
- authenticating personal documents and information for immigration or emigration purposes, or to apply to marry, divorce, adopt children or to work abroad
- verification of translations from foreign languages to English and vice versa
- taking evidence in England and Wales as a Commissioner for Oaths for foreign courts
- provision of Notarial copies
- preparing and witnessing powers of attorney, corporate records, contracts for use in Britain or overseas
- authenticating company and business documents and transactions
- international domain name transfers
The document presented to the Notary may be in a foreign language. It is imperative that the Notary is content that the client understands the meaning and the effect of the document and therefore it may be necessary to get the document translated. It may also be necessary that the document may need to be translated into the language where the document is to be used, again we can arrange the document to be translated.
What is Legalisation or Apostille
Depending on which country the document is going to be used will dictate what work will need to be undertaken by the Notary. In some instances the Notaries signature and seal will be adequate to verify to the authorities in that Country that the relevant checks have been carried out. However, it may be necessary for further authentication by having the U.K Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirm the validity of the notary’s signature and seal. This is done by legalization by the use of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s official certification attached to the document, known as an apostille.
What identification does a Notary Public require?
When you attend an appointment with the Notary Public following the implementation of the Money Laundering Regulation 2007, notaries are obliged to keep evidence of their files of the identity and address of all their clients before undertaking any work. It will be necessary to provide the following to identification documents to meet these requirements:
- Photograph driving licence
In addition, we shall require proof of residence, which can be one of the following documents which are no more than three months old;
- Bank Statement
- Utility Bill or Council Tax
- Inland Revenue tax demand.
If we are acting for a Company we shall require additional documentation and you shall be advised of the same before attending our meeting.
A Notary Public charges are based on time spent on the matter. An estimate will be provided at the commencement of the appointment based on the information provided. There is no VAT payable and you shall be asked to pay fees and disbursements on completion of the notarisation. A copy of the terms and conditions are available on request.
Notarial acts require a high standard of care, as reliance on such acts is made by clients, third parties and foreign governments and officials. The Notary has a responsibility to protect against error, omission, alterations, fraud, and forgery.
Unless otherwise agreed in writing Notarial responsibility is limited to the Notarial formalities and does not extend to advice on or drafting of documentation or on the matter under consideration.