What is a Notary Public?
A Notary Public is an officer of the law appointed by the Court of Faculties to draw up or authenticate documents for use in foreign countries and also to administer oaths and declarations in proceedings in both England and Wales and abroad.
What is their function?
A Notary Public may be asked to draft, witness or certify the validity of documents and the authority of those people signing the documents, and after which these documents should be acceptable abroad. A Notary will also keep a record of all the work he/she has done.
The role of a Notary Public also extends to witnessing the signing of documents by companies. They will carry out a Company Search to check the legality of the company, check the identity of the people signing and that they have the authority to do so.
In some cases, the notary may also be asked to certify that a photocopy of an original document is a true copy; these are certified copies and generally considered by courts and public authorities overseas to be equivalent to production of the original document. A Notary Public can also authorise affidavits or statutory declarations used in court proceedings.