A Notary Public is a qualified lawyer – a member of the third and oldest branch of the legal profession in England and Wales. Notaries in England and Wales are appointed by the Court of Faculties of the Archbishop of Canterbury and are subject to regulation by the Master of the Faculties The office derives from Roman law and the Civil law tradition. In England and Wales, where solicitors and barristers form the predominant part of the legal profession, the particular function of notaries is to verify documents for use abroad.
Your notary can notarise documents for individuals and businesses, including powers of attorney, affidavits, ship mortgages and Companies House documents.
Your notary can authenticate identification documents, signatures and corporate documents.
If your documents need to be legalised or apostilled our notary will be able to liaise with the Foreign Office or the appropriate embassy or consulate on your behalf.
What is Legalisation by Apostille?
Once a document has been signed by a notary public it should be sent for the Apostille. An apostille certificate authenticates the document for use outside the UK by countries that are members of the Hague Convention (The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents). The apostille confirms that the notary public is registered and their signature matches the government’s records
The apostille is widely recognised and is being requested more frequently by overseas organisations and government offices.
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When is Consular Legalisation Required?
If the document is going to a country which is not a signatory to the Hague Convention, then the document is signed and sealed by a notary public, gets an Apostille and then taken to the consulate of the country in which the document is to be used.
The country’s consulate’s legalisation section will usually have a database of Foreign & Commonwealth Office Legalisation Office signatories. As soon as they have cross checked the signature of the Foreign Office staff member on the Apostille, they will duly sign ,stamp and seal confirming that the document has been duly legalised and will be ready for use abroad.
What do we do?
If your documents need to be apostilled our notary will be able to liaise with the Foreign Office on your behalf.
We can handle all these steps for you or, if you have the time, we will advise you on how to do it yourself.