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Notary Public

What is a Notary Public?

A Notary Public authenticates UK-issued documents for use overseas, including in the USA. The duties of a Notary Public include:

  • Certifying the proper execution or signing of documents for use abroad.
  • When required, ensure documents comply with English law and are recognised internationally.
  • Verifying identity, authority and capacity to sign documents..
  • Confirming and certifying facts and events.

They are also authorised to conduct certain other legal practices. These include conveyancing and probate. A Notary Public does not take part in court proceedings.

What types of documents typically need to be notarised?

A wide range of documents are certified by a notary, including:

  • Powers of Attorney
  • Authenticating company and business documents.
  • Education certificates and qualifications
  • Personal documents, such as marriage and birth certificates
  • Certifying copies of passports, utility bills and bank statements

Notarised UK-issued documents are valid in foreign jurisdictions.

What services does a Notary Public offer?

For a complete list, please see the notary services page.

About the notary profession

Notaries are among the oldest legal professions in the UK. They are appointed by the Court of Faculties of the Archbishop of Canterbury and regulated by the Master of Faculties. To become a Notary in England and Wales, individuals must be at least 21 and hold a legal degree. They also need to pass the Notarial Practice Course at University College London.

The Faculty Office governs and regulates the profession in England and Wales. Separate bodies exist for Scotland and Northern Ireland. Many practising notaries belong to The Notaries Society.