We organise notarial services such as:

  • Attesting powers of attorney
  • Documents verification
  • A certificate of notary that verifies the authenticity of documents
  • Confirmation of statements written under oaths
  • Certification of university, college, and similar qualifications
  • Administering oaths, affidavits, and affirmations
  • Authenticating business transactions and documents
  • Personal identity authentication
  • Vindicating the accuracy and truth of the contents of both private and public documents
  • Obtaining “legalisation” of acts at the consulates in London and foreign embassies or perhaps by “apostille” at the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office

The list above is not an exhaustive of notary public services we can provide.

Our notarial execution includes all types of documents.

We also offer apostille legalisation, consular, birth certificate notarisation, undefended divorces, provision of official seal and translation services.

Our typical routine entails verifying the authenticity of documents and signatures for use in foreign jurisdictions.

Therefore, we are in an excellent position to advise on the best way to authenticate documents.

The notarisation process

To authenticate documents, notaries have a process that they must follow:

What identification does a notary public require?

The notary will have to verify your ID and address at the appointment. This regulation is necessary since notaries are under a legal obligation to identify their clients.

They are also subjected to money laundering legislation and other legislation used to establish identification requirements. Proof of address is required even for services such as passport notarisation.

Money Laundering Regulation of 2007 requires notaries to keep evidence of clients’ information.

However, this law extended notarial execution and provided an amendment act to administer oaths.

Documents required:

According to the law reform, persons whose signatures are to be certified must present any of the identification documents below during the appointment.

  • Driving license (with photo card)
  • Passport
  • National ID card (EEA state members)
  • An armed forces pass (with signature and photo)
  • Other ID issued by the government (with photo and signature)
  • Permit of residence
  • Original notification letter or benefit book from Benefits Agency

Additionally, they require proof of residence, which can be any of the original documents below:

  • Bank statement or letter from the bank
  • Council tax bill or utility bill (except mobile phone bill)
  • Housing Association rent card or agreement of tenancy
  • Self-assessment statement or Inland Revenue tax demand

When notaries are acting for a corporate client, evidence of the due incorporation of the company or entity is needed.

It can be either of the following documents:

  • An extract from the register of the company.
  • Certificate of incorporation
  • Latest report as well as audited accounts
  • Certified copy of partnership agreement that is up to date.
  • Proof of regulation by a regulatory authority such as FSA or the Law Society.

Furthermore, each signatory will have to provide one of the identification documents listed above.

Things to bring to the notaries office:

For the visit, don’t forget the following:

  • Carry the original documents (passport/utility bill)
  • Determine the number of copies you need.
  • Identify the pages that need notarisation.
  • Evidence of your current address.

Note that the counterpart of the driving license cannot be accepted as proof of address.

How long does notarisation take?

An appointment will take about 20 minutes assuming the documents are straightforward, already prepared, and in the appropriate form.

The time taken when the document is not straightforward will depend on the complexity of the matter and the solicitor.

What does notarisation cost?

We provide our clients with a quote for the provision of services upfront.

Please enquire to get a free no, obligation quote today.

Disbursements

Disbursements are the payments you make to third parties related to your matter.

Charges such as:

  • Apostille fee (Approximately £79 including postage charges)
  • Fee payments to foreign embassies and agents for undertaking the legalisation of documents (the charges vary but will be confirmed when you reach out to us)

Courier or postage charges

Allowing our solicitors and us to handle the payment of disbursements on your behalf makes the process smoother. However, you will be required to complete an advanced payment in such cases.

Payment must be in GBP and can be made by:

  • Debit card (no surcharge)
  • Credit card (a 3% added surcharge added for credit cards)
  • Advance bank transfers

Electronic notarisation

Notaries can utilise new technologies to suit your business and personal needs. For example, we are able to offer clients the option of electronic notarisation (also referred to as remote notarisation and digital notarisation).

Our notaries have adopted the required software to issue notarial certificates electronically. However, e-notarised documents have a long way to go regarding global acceptance.

Even with an increase in e-notarisation popularity, firms still have to liaise with local solicitors abroad to ensure the execution of the documents according to the law and requirements of both countries.

Notary certified translations

Our notary public can provide certified translations.

A certified translation is often needed to fulfil certification requirements in a given jurisdiction. All translations are approved as accurate by an accredited translation agency. More about apostille and document translation.

Mobile notary services for London

Our notaries offer a mobile service. Mobile notaries are convenient for individuals who have difficulty travelling to a notary.

Mobile services are excellent for the elderly and people who require notaries services in groups.

For instance, family members can simplify the collective signing of documents and oaths through mobile notary services, eliminating the need to visit the office.

Which documents must be certified by a notary public before they are legalised?

Examples of the documents that will require solicitors to notarise include:

Copies of legal documents that lack the actual signatures or stamps

  • Documents issued by private individuals
  • Compulsory school grades
  • VAT (Value Added Tax) certificates and invoices

Some documents do not require further certification by solicitors because they already have the required signature or stamp. You, therefore, do not need to visit or contact a solicitor’s office.

Official certificates like birth, death, marriage or court documents are good examples.

We always advise our clients if their documents require further certification.

We also offer notarised translation of documents in many languages via our network of external translators and solicitors.

Do I need a notary public or solicitor?

Notary services involve certifying or authenticating a UK document for use abroad or overseas.

Notaries and solicitors can both provide legal services, but notary services are just one specific part of the legal profession. For example, you can have solicitors who certify documents but also specialise in probate, or writing wills or contracts, as well as being a notary.

In most cases, a notary public is a fully qualified lawyer, who has had additional qualifications and training in one area.

Public records kept by a notary

A notary public will always keep the original copies of all the official documents that they generate as a permanent public record for two main reasons; to make copies when needed and to make them available for those with the proper right to see them.

Notary and other services that we cannot provide

  • Criminal background check
  • Medallion signature guarantee

Process agents

Agents from England and Wales are often needed to accept service of legal process on behalf of parties abroad and contracts governed by English law. We are more than glad to provide a cost-effective and tailored solution for clients in need of a London Process Agent.

Location

We receive clients in our central London office every morning from Monday to Saturday. You can book an appointment with us in the afternoon for free.

Independence and rules

For the protection of clients, a notary is supposed to be an independent officer with no room for compromise. They must put aside their interest and bind to professional rules and standards like preventing money laundering. There is also the need for notaries to be insured against dishonesty and negligence.

Insurance

The policy of professional indemnity is the one used to ensure notarial practice.

Complaints policy

We encourage our customers to raise their concerns with us first. Note that if we cannot resolve it, the Notary Society offers a complaints resolution service. We will provide details upon the instructions.

Notary regulation

The faculty office regulates all notarial work. High standards of presentation and confidentiality are ensured. Both professional indemnity insurance and a Compensation Fund help cover the notarial practice.

Please note that we are not a notarial practice, are not regulated as such, and have no notaries working for us. We do, however, have business relationships with those notaries that we use to provide the services.

FAQs

In England and Wales, a notary public is a qualified lawyer. A public officer has the legal authority to confirm that documents are truthful or correctly signed.

Only a few documents can be notarised remotely in England and Wales. Remote notarisation depends on the type of documents to be notarised, whether the country where the documents will be used accepts remote notarised documents, and whether the notary is compliant with notarial practice rules and guidance on remote notarisation.

It involves three steps. It begins with reviewing the presented documents, then the legalisation of the document, and finally, the authentication of the legalised document.

For most documents, yes, you need to sign in the notary’s presence, and indeed, if it is the first time, your ID must be verified. The notary must witness your signature.

A notary public signature is a notarised signature that relates to a document requiring authentication. A notary seal is a signature. The signed name applied to the document. A rubber stamp and an embossing seal can also be used in addition to the signature.