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A notary public is an officer of the law appointed by the Court of Faculties to draw up or authenticate documents for use anywhere in the world and to administer oaths and declarations for use in proceedings in both England and Wales and abroad.
A notary public may be asked to draft, witness or certify as to the validity of documents and as to the authority of those people signing the documents. When such documents are produced or authenticated by a notary they should be acceptable abroad. A notary is also required to keep a record and copies of the documents produced or verified by him or her.
Often a notary will be asked to witness the signature of documents by companies. In this case he or she will have to carry out a Company Search to check that the company is legally empowered to proceed, will have to check that the people signing on behalf of the company have been given power to do so by the company and will have to check the identity of the people signing.
In other cases, the notary may be asked to certify that a photocopy of an original document is a true copy. The production of notarially certified copies is generally considered by courts and public authorities overseas to be equivalent to production of the original document. In court proceedings an affidavit may need to be sworn and a notary public is authorised to take affidavits or statutory declarations.
Notarial appointments are available at Harpenden with Ian Simpson or Mary McEvoy clients are advised to book via prior appointment (Luton clients are advised appointments will take place at our Harpenden office).
Find information which clients frequently seek using our Notaries FAQ. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has recently moved. To find out more information click here. You will also find more information about what notaries do on the Notaries' website at www.thenotariessociety.org.uk.