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Seeing a Notary Public

Getting ready

Each case a Notary deals with is different, however the Notary will require you to:-

  • Make an appointment.
  • Need to see any relevant documents or instructions that relate to the matter; preferably before your appointment. Please send this to the Notary by e-mail or fax.
  • Need you to bring original evidence of your identity, usually your current passport or a picture driving licence and something like a council tax or utility bill to confirm your current address.
  • Must be satisfied that you understand the terms of any document signed and are willing to be bound to all provisions. If the document is not in English a translation may be required at your expense, organised by the Notary.

What does it cost?

There are no set charges. The fees are determined by the time the Notary spends dealing with the matter on an hourly rate basis. The Notaries Society reminds its members that they should charge a fee appropriate for the service offered, which will enable the Notary to meet the cost of acting properly in accordance with the Notarial Practice Rules 2014; and the high standards expected internationally for Notarial work. Notaries usually charge hourly rates equivalent to senior solicitors in their locality who deal with complex commercial matters.

The Notary will usually be able to tell you the fee and any disbursements payable to third parties once they have received details of what is required. For complex matters you will receive details of how their fee will be charged, and an estimate of how long it is likely to take to deal with the matter. In some cases however, this is not known at the outset.

For more details on fees, please read the My Fees section in the Terms of Business page.

How long will my appointment take?

You should allow around half an hour if the document is straightforward and in the correct form. The Notary may need to liaise with lawyers abroad to agree any amendments needed to ensure the document satisfies all legal requirements both here and abroad. This may take some time, and may require more than one meeting to finalise.

Many countries require documents to be countersigned by their London Embassies and/or to be sent to the Foreign and Commonwealth office for an Apostille to be affixed. This is called legalisation and can take some time to be dealt with. The payable and time taken for this vary however the Notary should be able to give you an estimate of the fees and the timescale involved once they have considered what is required.

Availability

Most Notaries work during normal office hours. They will however make arrangements to see you out of hours or out of the office if this is necessary. This may take longer and cost more than their usual fee. If your local Notary is away or unavailable, her or his office will be able to give you the name and contact details of another Notary; however you may have to travel some distance.

The Notaries Society has contact details of all members and can be contacted by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via their website at www.thenotariessociety.org.uk.

Additionally for Company matters

If a document is to be signed by a Representative of a company, partnership, charity, club or other incorporated body, I will require the following information before being able to proceed.

Personal ID of the Representative

  • Your current passport; or, if not available,
    • a current new driving licence (with photo)  or a  current old style driving licence (without photo) and the paper counterpart
    • a recent  utility bill showing your current address;

Company, Partnerships, etc details:

  • A copy of the current letterhead (showing the registered office it is a company)
  • A Letter of Authority, Minute, Resolution or Power of Attorney, authorising Representative  to sign the document
  • In some instances, I may have to see a copy of the latest Annual Accounts; the latest Tax Assessment; the latest quarterly VAT Return

Additionally for companies:

  • Certificate of Incorporation and of any Change of Name
  • A copy of the Memorandum & Articles of Association
  • Details of Directors and Secretaries

Additionally for partnerships, clubs etc:

  • A Partnership Agreement, or relevant Trust Deed or Charter, or Constitution/Rules

I may have to insist on seeing originals of these documents. If you do show me photocopies, they would have to be certified on behalf of the person holding the originals if they are not be able to release them. The certificate should be in the following form:

I certify that this (with the following ….. pages) is a true and complete copy of the original document which is currently held by me.

 

Full name of signatory: ........................................................................

 

Who certifies in his/her capacity as: ....................................................

 

Signature....................................................... Date..............................