When would I need a Notary?
You will generally need a Notary to prepare documents, formally witness the execution of documents, authenticate documents, and administer oaths and declarations.
A Notary deals with documents for use outside the UK, and a Notary’s signature and seal are recognised as evidence of a responsible legal officer in most countries.
What is an Apostille?
When signing a document, the Notary certifies the authenticity of the facts set out in that document. When the document is sent overseas, the country receiving it sometimes asks for proof that the Notary is qualified and that his seal is genuine. This is normally done by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office when they attach an Apostille certificate or the appropriate foreign Consulate. It is not always necessary.
What do I need to bring to an appointment with a Notary?
Regardless of whether you need a Notary for personal or business reasons, it is always recommended that you:
- contact a Notary as soon as possible
- provide the Notary with the original document needed to be notarised and any related documents
- provide the Notary with the passport(s) and a utility bill confirming both the identity and residential address of all people signing the document. Without this, the Notary will be unable to proceed. (In most cases a personal appointment is required by the person signing the document.)
The Notary will need to be satisfied that you understand any document before you sign it, especially any that are not in English - sometimes a translation is needed.
How much does it cost?
The services of a Notary are either for commercial or individual purposes and the fees vary depending on the work requested.