Visiting A Notary
Guidance for visiting a Notary Public:
1. Documents: Please ensure you bring with you to an appointment all the original documents required, including those to be notarised and any instructions from foreign lawyers in dealing with the formalities around the document, as well as any instructions from the receiving authorities
2. Signatures: The Notary should normally witness your signature. Please do not sign the document in advance of your appointment with me.
3. Papers to be sent to me in advance: It will save time, expense and mistakes if, as long before the appointment as possible, you can let me have the originals or photocopies of:
- The documents to be notarised;
- Any letter or other form of instruction which you have received about what has to be done with the documents;
- Your evidence of identification.
4. Identification: I will need you to produce by way of formal identification the original of (in preferred order):
- Your current passport (or, if not available);
- A current new driving licence (with photo) or national identity card
If neither of the above are available, you must bring with you a current government or police issue certificate bearing a photo or other formal means of identification.
In addition you must bring with you evidence of your current residential address i.e. a utility bill, credit card or bank statement showing your current address which should not be more than 3 months old or council tax bill;
You must also bring any other means of ID which may be referred to in the papers sent to you as being required such as a foreign Identity Card. I may also ask to see further evidence of identity such as marriage certificates etc and will advise you of this if necessary.
5. Proof of names: In a case where the name on the document is different from the name you are currently using, or there has been a variation in the form of spelling of the name over the years, please provide me as appropriate with Certificates of Birth, Marriage or Divorce Decree of Change of Name Deed showing all the different names that you use. If there has been a change of name, then I will need to see a copy of the Deed Poll or Statutory Declaration which dealt with it.
6. Advice on the document: If you bring a document to me for authorisation as a Notary, I will advise you as to the formalities required for completing it. However, I will not be attempting to advise you about the transaction itself.
7. Written Translations: It is essential that you understand what you are signing.
- If the document is in a foreign language which you do not understand sufficiently, I may have to insist that a translation be obtained. If I arrange for a translation, a further fee will be payable and I will provide you with details of this.
- If you arrange for a professional translation, the translator should add his/her name, address, relevant qualification, and a certificate stating: “Document X is a true and complete translation of document Y, to which this translation is attached.”
8. Oral Interpreter: If you and I cannot understand each other because of a language difficulty, we may have to make arrangements for a competent interpreter to be available at our interview and this may involve a further fee.
9. Companies, Partnerships etc: If a document is to be signed by you on behalf of a company, a partnership, a charity, club or other incorporated body, there are further requirements on which I may have to insist. Please be prepared for these and telephone with any point of difficulty before attending on the appointment.
In each case:
- Evidence of identity of the authorised signatory (as listed above).
- A copy of the current letterhead (showing the registered office if it is a company).
- A Letter of Authority, Minute, Resolution or Power of Attorney, authorising you to sign the document.
Additionally, companies: Certificate of Incorporation and of any Change of Name, A copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association Details of Directors and Secretaries. In all instances I will be carrying out various company searches, which will may have an effect on the level of fees charged.
Additionally, partnerships, clubs, etc: A Partnership Agreement; or relevant Trust Deed; or Charter; or Constitution/Rules.
10. Notarial charges and expenses: Details of my charges will be provided to you prior to an appointment. Please note that if I have to make payments on your behalf such as legalisation fees, translator or interpreter fees, or other costs such as travelling expenses, your approval to these will be obtained and you are normally required to make payment in advance of any such amounts.
Payment can be made by card and where agreed in with me by bank transfer. Payment of my fee and disbursements is due when the document has been prepared which I may retain pending payment in full.
Occasionally unforeseen or unusual issues arise during the course of the matter which may result in a revision of my fee estimate. Examples of this could include where additional documents are required to be notarised, additional translations or legalisations are needed to meet the requirements of the receiving jurisdiction, third party fees are adjusted to reflect external factors such as fuel price changes and so on. I will notify you of any changes in the fee estimate as soon as possible.
11. Typical Stages of a notarial transaction: Each notarial matter is different and the requirements will vary according to whether the client is a private individual or a company. Some of the typical key stages are likely to include:
- Receiving and reviewing the documents to be notarised together with any instructions you may have received;
- Liaising with your legal advisors or other bodies to obtain the necessary documentation to deal with the document (e.g. information from Companies House or foreign registries, powers of attorney etc);
- Checking the identity, capacity and authority of the person who is to sign the document;
- If a document is to be certified, checking with the issuing authorities that the document/award is genuine. In the case of academic awards, this would entail checking with the appropriate academic institutions;
- Meeting with the signatory to verify their identity and to ascertain that they understand what they are signing and that they are doing so of their own free will and ensuring that the document is executed correctly;
- Drafting and affixing or endorsing a notarial certificate to the document;
- Arranging for the legalisation of the document as appropriate;
- Arranging for the storage of copies of all notarised documents in accordance with the requirements of the Notarial Practice Rules 2019