What is a Notary Public?
In England and Wales, a Notary Public is an internationally recognised lawyer who deals with the certification and authentication of documents for use anywhere in the world. Although many Notaries Public in the UK are solicitors as well, it is a separate branch of the law.
A notary’s responsibility is to everyone who may be relying on the documents, not just to the person who originally asks the notary to authenticate them, so the notary will usually need to carry out some checks and be completely satisfied with all the information provided to him before finalising any certification.
The Notary will check a person’s identity, their legal capacity and their understanding of the document to be verified. They will also check a person’s authority to sign the document.
Services a Notary Public may offer include:
- Administering oaths and statutory declarations
- Authenticating residency certificates
- Authenticating documents for immigration or emigration purposes
- Authenticating documents needed in order to marry or work abroad
- Dealing with lost passports, share certificates and other documents.
- Dealing with documents relating to foreign wills, inheritance and estate administration
- Preparing foreign adoption applications
- Authenticating documents to assist in the opening of bank accounts within or outside of the UK.
- Authenticating companies and business documents and transactions for foreign contracts