You may have been sent documents from abroad and been asked to go to a notary public and are confused as to what one is. A notary public is a worldwide recognised way of authenticating documents.
What does a Notary Public do?
A notary public’s duty is to the document. He needs to make sure that the correct party is entering into it and will therefore require two forms of identification – usually a passport and an up-to-date bank statement or utility bill proving an address. The notary public also needs to make sure that the person entering the document is happy to do so. The notary public will not check the contents of the document.
After a document has been signed by a notary public to legitimise the notary public’s seal European countries will require the document to be sent to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for the Apostille to be attached.
There is also one further step that some countries will require – following the document having the Apostille attached the document will need to be sent to the relevant country’s consulate for legalisation.
If you are signing on your own behalf you will need to bring with you a passport and an up to date bank statement or utility bill proving your address. If you are signing on behalf of a company there are further proof requirements.
Documents to bring to an appointment
As well as bringing your identification please bring the letter of instruction that you have had from your foreign lawyer. If you have had documents in an email form please forward them on before your appointment in order to ensure that there are no additional requirements.