Notary Publics Explained

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  1. A Notary Public not only takes oaths, signs and witnesses documents for use within UK but also performs similar functions in respect of international documents for use outside UK
  2. A Notary Public in England and Wales is not to be confused with an American Notary. American notaries are not qualified to witness documents for use in foreign countries. A Notary Public in England and Wales has this exclusive right and is the only true international lawyer practising in England and Wales
  3. Notaries Public affix their official seal (usually impressed onto a red or gold sticker) or inked stamp, onto documents immediately under, adjacent or as near as possible to their signatures.
  4. All Notaries' seals and signatures are officially recorded in a data base held by Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), an UK government department authorised to issue Apostille or Authentication Certificates certifying that the signatures, seals or stamps of Notaries on UK public documents are genuine.

What does a Notary Public actually do?

A Notary Public principally:

  • Attests documents and certifies their due execution for use in UK and overseas countries
  • Prepares and certifies powers of attorney, wills, deeds, contracts and other legal documents, for use in UK and overseas countries
  • Administers oaths for UK and international documents
  • Witnesses signatures to affidavits, statutory declarations, powers of attorney, contracts, and other documents, for use in UK and overseas countries
  • Verifies documents for use in UK and overseas countries
  • Certifies copy documents for use in UK and overseas countries
  • Exemplifies official documents for use internationally
  • Notes and protests bills of exchange
  • Prepares ships' protests

A Public Notary must...

  • Confirm the true identity of a signatory by careful examination of an identity document, such as a current Driver's Licence or Passport;
  • Determine that a signatory does not suffer any legal incapacity, such as a congenital disability, physical or mental illness, physical
  • Ensure that a signatory fully understands the nature and effect of the contents of a document to be signed and witnessed;
  • Ascertain that a signatory acting in an official representative capacity e.g. a secretary or director of a registered Company, has the Company's authority to sign on behalf of the Company; and
  • Refuse notary services if a document constitutes a fraud or an unlawful act.

If you need the services of a Notary Public please get in touch