What documents do you notarise?
Greenfield Notary offers a full range of notarial services. We notarise documents for use in all countries around the world, sometimes in a bilingual format. Please see the Notarisation section from the Services menu for further information. You can also call us on 020 7692 0838 or 020 7096 0905 or email to enquire about the particular document you need.
Do I need to see a notary for affidavits, statutory declarations and oaths?
Yes. Affidavits, statutory declarations and oaths of all types for use outside England and Wales should be attested by a notary. Our notary services also include attesting affidavits, statutory declarations and oaths where the documents are to be used within England and Wales but it would be advisable to check if the services of a solicitor would be cheaper in such cases.
Is there any difference between a notary and a solicitor?
Yes, these are two distinct professions. Solicitors are the largest group of legal professionals in England and Wales, providing advice and representation to their clients in all areas of law. But a solicitor should not certify documents intended for use outside England and Wales – this is the role of a notary. Notaries are a small and highly specialised group of legal professionals, whose main area of expertise is the drafting and certification of documents for use in another country.
One notable difference between a notary and a solicitor is that a solicitor’s primary duty is to his client, while the notary’s primary duty is to the world at large and to anyone who places reliance on his notarial act. A notary’s act is accepted as an accurate statement of the facts stated in it, so it can be relied upon all over the world. For this reason a notary is required by the profession’s Rules always to be independent and impartial.
Is an English notary in any way different from a notary overseas?
Yes, there are substantial differences between the role of English notaries and that of US notaries and civil law notaries, although the main function of all notaries around the world is to authenticate documents.
Notaries public in the US are appointed without having to prove any professional qualification. As a general rule, it is sufficient to prove residence in the particular county or state, where a person applies for a licence, and to pay a certain fee. The appointment is for a limited period only, which can be extended upon payment of a new fee. In contrast, in order to practise as a notary public in England and Wales a person needs to be a qualified lawyer, and in addition he must also acquire a special notarial qualification. English notaries are subject to regulation by the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury and are held to high professional standards. They are required to have professional insurance and to maintain their qualification through continuous professional education, as a condition to have practising certificate. For these reasons a notary public in England and Wales would usually charge much higher fees for his services than a notary public in the US.
In civil law jurisdictions, such as most of continental Europe and South America, a notary is required for the preparation and authentication of a great number and variety of legal documents, for example in conveyancing or making a will. A notary in such countries would deal mainly with documents for use within his own jurisdiction, while notaries in England and Wales are primarily involved in the preparation and certification of documents for use abroad.
Do I need to sign in the presence of the notary?
In most cases, yes. It is quite often clearly stated on the face of the document that the notary must witness the signature, for example by the inclusion of the words “Before me”. It is necessary that the document is executed in the presence of the notary where this is required either by English law or by the applicable foreign law for the formal validity of the document. Affidavits, statutory declarations and certain public form powers of attorney must always be signed in the presence of the notary.
The first time we notarise a client’s signature on a document, our notary must meet the signatory in person, identify them by means of their identity documents and then witness their signature. When the notary does not need to state expressly that the document has been signed before him/her, and we already have a record of the signature on file, the documents may be sent to our office and the notary may certify the genuineness of a signature without witnessing it.
Do I need an appointment?
Yes, although we are sometimes able to accommodate walk in clients, it is preferable to book an appointment in advance in order to ensure the notary will be available to see you. This also allows us to ensure we have all necessary documents in advance, so the appointment is as brief as possible. To make an appointment call 020 7692 0838 or 020 7096 0905 or get in touch by email, so we can fix a suitable time for you to attend at our office near Liverpool Street Station in London.
Can you come to my office?
What documents do I need to bring to the notary office?
If you are signing a document and we do not have details of you and your signature in our records, in addition to the document to be notarised you need to bring proof of your personal identity.
If you are signing a document on behalf of a company or organisation, we will also need to see evidence of the organisation’s existence and of your authority to sign on its behalf – for example, power of attorney or board resolution.
What types of personal identity documents are acceptable?
Following the implementation of the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 and in accordance with the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, we are obliged to keep sufficient evidence on our files of the identity and the address of all our clients before we undertake any work. For this reason, the first time an individual uses the services of Greenfield Notary, we will need to see a photo ID and a document showing the client’s current address. We may need to take copies but any details we keep will remain fully confidential and will not be used for any other purposes. Our notary practice is registered as a data controller under the Data Protection Act 1998. Please note that you must show us original documents that have not expired. Here are some examples of personal ID documents:
- National Identity Card
- Driving Licence (with photograph)
- Some official licences and cards, such as armed forces ID cards (with photo and signature).
Proof of address can be one of the following original documents:
- Bank statement or letter (but not credit card statement) dated within the last 3 months
- Utility bill dated within the last 3 months (which should not be mobile phone bill, but can be a print of an online statement with address)
- Other document like council tax bill or statement, or letter from the electoral register
When we are instructed by a corporate client, we need to see evidence of the due incorporation of the company or entity. This can be one of the following documents:
- Recent extract from the company register (which our notary can obtain directly for UK and some foreign registers)
- Certificate of good standing dated within the last 3 months
- Certificate of incorporation (if recently incorporated)
- Up to date certified copy of partnership agreement
- Evidence of being regulated by a regulatory body such as the Law Society or FSA.
Please note that in addition to the evidence of the due incorporation of the company, each individual signatory will need to bring one of the personal identification documents mentioned above. If these documents have already been shown to the notary once, it will not be necessary to produce them again until they expire. If you have any queries about providing suitable proof of identity and residential address, please call 020 7692 0838 or 020 7096 0905 or get in touch by email.
How long will it take for the documents to be ready?
This will depend on the type and number of documents and whether legalisation is required. We aim to complete the job and issue the notarial certificate on the same day the client brings the documents. However, when the matter is more complicated or we need to see additional documents, we will aim to let you know at the outset how long the matter should take.
Documents that need to be legalised will take longer, although we also aim to have documents notarised and apostilled on the same day, if we receive them early enough and the client opts for the same-day premium legalisation service.
How much will it cost?
This will depend on the document being certified and exactly what the notary is required to do. The notary will be happy to discuss this with you prior to your appointment. Please note it will often be necessary to see the document in advance in order to provide an accurate fee estimate. To obtain a quote, please call 020 7692 0838 or 020 7096 0905 or contact us to discuss your particular requirements.