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What Is A Notary And When Do You Need One?

Do You Need A Notary?

A notary is a person qualified to certify documents and information for use overseas.

Notaries are internationally renowned for being independent and qualified to witness the signing of certain documents and to authenticate paperwork. The majority of legal documents for use abroad need to be certified by a notary.

Notaries check documents or the person the documents relate to, that are to be sent abroad. Examples include declarations, affidavits, transfers, contracts and conveyances, connected to corporate matters and companies overseas as well as personal matters such as international properties.

There are numerous reasons a notary might be needed, but as a guide you might need a notary to certify the following documents:

  • Copies of your passport, driving licence or other official forms of ID
  • Confirmation you don’t have a criminal record and are of good character
  • Confirmation you are single and to enable you to marry abroad
  • A DSB (Disclosure & Barring Service), formerly CRB, check
  • Copies of your UK educational certificates
  • Application for UK citizenship with the option to send a notarised copy of your passport to the Home Office in place of the real one
  • Consent for a child to travel abroad
  • Certification of good standing for your company
  • To buy or sell property abroad
  • A statutory declaration to replace a lost passport

What Is The Notarial Process?

A notary mainly handles materials for use overseas, where procedures are different. Once a document has been correctly signed by a notary, it is commonplace for further certification to be needed by most countries.

An apostille authenticates the credentials, signature and seal of the notary, and readies documents for use outside the UK.

Every document is unique but the process is often similar to the below:

  • A document needs to be sent overseas
  • The notary checks the document or the individual it relates to
  • The notary signs the document to authenticate it
  • Apostillation, if needed – an apostille confirms the notary is registered and the signature is correct
  • Legalisation, if needed – the country’s embassy in the UK further ratifies the document

We Can Help If You Need A Notary

At Bartletts Solicitors, we have notaries in our Chester office who are able to handle every aspect of certifying legal documents and information for use overseas. Whether you need a notary to witness signatures, help with copies of official papers, or authenticate documents, of a corporate or personal nature, our specialist notaries are here to assist and can also advise on the level of certification you need to make the process as easy as possible for you.

For professional advice and guidance from a specialist notary, please contact Bartletts Solicitors on 01244 311 633 or email or call in to see us at our offices at Martins Bank Chambers, 31 Hoole Road, Chester CH2 3NF.