WHAT IS A NOTARY PUBLIC?

A Notary Public is a qualified lawyer and member of the oldest branch of the legal profession in the United Kingdom. Notaries are appointed by the Court of Faculties of the Archbishop of Canterbury and are subject to regulation by the Master of the Faculties.

A notary’s role is primarily to deal with the authentication and certification of signatures and documents for use abroad.

The rules which affect Notaries are very similar to the rules which affect Solicitors. We must be fully insured and maintain fidelity cover for the protection of our clients and the public. We must comply with stringent practice rules and rules relating to conduct and discipline. We are required to renew our practising certificates every year and can only do so if we have complied with the rules.

 

 

HOW DO I ARRANGE AN APPOINTMENT?

Before I am able to fix an appointment with you, I will need you to send me the following:-

  • A copy of the document or documents which require the seal and signature of the notary. Please do not sign, date or have the document witnessed before the appointment. It is usually required that this is done in my presence as the notary public. It is preferable for me to have an electronic copy of the document, as I can then make any necessary amendments prior to our appointment.
  • A copy of any instructions which have been provided by the lawyer or foreign notary who prepared the document.
  • Confirmation of which country the document is going to
  • Details of any deadline, or timeframe within which the document is required

Please visit my enquiries page to arrange an appointment.

 

 

WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING WITH ME TO THE APPOINTMENT?

 

  • A copy of the document or documents which require the seal and signature of the notary. Please do not sign, date or have the document witnessed before the appointment. It is usually required that this is done in my presence as the notary public. It is preferable for me to have an electronic copy of the document, as I can then make any necessary amendments prior to our appointment.
  • A copy of any instructions which have been provided by the lawyer or foreign notary who prepared the document.
  • ID (required forms shown on my services page)
  • Payment

 

 

ENGLISH IS NOT MY FIRST LANGUAGE, WILL THIS BE A PROBLEM?

It is very important you and I, as Notary Public, are able to communicate and understand each other. If there is any language difficulty, I will need to make arrangements for a competent and independent interpreter to be available at our meeting. Please let me know in advance if you think this may be an issue, and I can provide further guidance and confirmation of the interpreter’s fee.

 

 

CAN I ARRANGE FOR AN ENGLISH-SPEAKING FRIEND TO INTERPRET, AND TRANSLATE THE DOCUMENTS FOR ME?

It is important that you understand what you are signing and the effect of the transaction, and are able to communicate this to me. An informal or amateur translation will not be satisfactory and a professional translation/interpreter is likely to be required. Please let me know in advance if you think this may be an issue, and I can provide further guidance and confirmation of the likely fee.

 

 

WHAT IDENTIFICATION IS REQUIRED?

You will need to bring two forms of identification with you to the meeting: a passport or full photographic driving licence (both parts) and a utility bill (not more than three months old). I am required, under my professional rules, to verify your identity and matters cannot be progressed if I am unable to verify your identity.

 

 

WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE MUNTJAC DEER ON YOUR SEAL?

My seal includes a picture of ‘Petal’ the muntjac. Petal was originally a wild deer, but she was sadly hit by a car and left for dead at the side of the road. Her front leg was badly shattered and had to be amputated after we picked her up. However, after treatment and a lot of care at home, she is now fully recovered and enjoys a life of luxury at home with us. She lives in the garden, with Pippy (another rescued muntjac), although she comes into the house whenever the opportunity arises! She is named ‘Petal’ due to her fondness for eating the majority of our flowers: roses, azaleas and agapanthus being her favourite! Our four cats adore her, and they can often be seen playing in the garden together.

She is a much loved member of the family and it makes me smile to think that her picture now appears on paperwork all over the world.

 

 

WHAT IS YOUR FEE?

I charge a minimum of £75 for a notarial act. This fee would be charged for a simple matter such as certifying a passport or a one page letter. If there is more than one document, or the matter is more complex, then my fee is likely to be higher.

I will usually give you a fixed fee before I commence any notary work on your behalf. If this is not possible, for example because the work required is particularly complex, then I will inform you of my fee structure in advance.

If a document requires legalisation (click here for an explanation of legalisation) then a further fee is applicable. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) charges £30.00 for legalising a document. The FCO also charges a postage fee for returning the document. This is £6.00 for addresses in the UK, £14.50 for addresses in Europe and £25.00 for elsewhere in the world.

The FCO offer a Premium Service in London which allows the documents to be legalised on the same day. The fee for this service is £75.

Some countries require legalisation (click here for an explanation of legalisation) by the FCO and their own embassy or consulate. The fees for this vary according to the country and I will endeavour to advise you of the likely fee before commencing any notary work.

If you require a quote, please contact me.

 

 

WHAT IS LEGISLATION?

When I notarise a document, the person receiving that document overseas needs to be satisfied that I am a genuine notary. There are different ways of achieving this, depending on the country where the document is to be used.

Many countries require only one stamp from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, called an ‘Apostille’ and this costs £30.00 per document. This will incur additional fees for the postal costs involved, or for a courier or agent if the matter is urgent, and I will advise you of this before starting work on your matter.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office Legalisation Department is located in Milton Keynes (see below) but a Premium Service for business users only (with a same-day turnaround) is available in London at a cost of £75 per document (plus courier fees).

Some countries want the Apostille from the Foreign Office and a further stamp from their own Embassy. This will take longer. There are other specific procedures that apply only to a few countries, and there can be problems if a document is to be used in a country with which the United Kingdom does not have diplomatic relations.

I will endeavour to tell you in advance what legalisation will cost, but please note that this is not possible for some embassies. Please be aware that fees can be high for some commercial documents.

The Foreign Office address is The Legalisation Office, The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, PO Box 6255 Milton Keynes MK10 1XX. For more information, please see the FCO’s website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/foreign-commonwealth-office and the information provided on apostilles at: https://www.gov.uk/get-document-legalised.