From time to time it is necessary to have certain documents witnessed by an authorised official. In most cases, you will need a document signed in front of a Justice of the Peace but in some circumstances, you may be required to sign a document in front of a Notary Public. We asked Renee Stevens from local Lane Cove lawyers SRM Lawyers to explain why you might need a Notary Public.
What is a Notary?
A Notary Public (or Public Notary) is a practising lawyer with at least 5 years’ experience who has been appointed to hold a unique public office. A Notary assists people with documentation required for overseas use that can’t be dealt with by a local lawyer or justice of the peace.
When Would you Need a Notary?
You will only need a Notary if you have documents or information to be used for an overseas purpose. Usually, the request for notarised documents will come from an overseas consulate, employer, education provider, lawyer, government or other official office.
What does a Notary Do?
The most common tasks of a notary include:
- authenticating (certifying as genuine) official, government, commercial or personal documents and information for production and use overseas;
- witnessing signatures of individuals and authenticating identity;
- witnessing Powers of Attorney for use overseas;
- certifying true copies of documents for use overseas;
- witnessing documents and authenticating status and transactions for corporations; and
- dealing with documentation for land, property and deceased estates overseas.
How Much do Notaries Charge?
Whilst the fee to be charged is up to the individual Notary, many Notaries charge their fees in line with the NSW Society of Notaries recommended scale of fees which you can find here. The Notary may be unable to quote a fee until he or she has examined all the documents and the letter of request from the overseas source.
What do I do next?
Don’t leave it until the last minute!
In many instances, documents to be sent overseas require the signature and seal of the Notary to be legalised/authenticated by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Once DFAT issues its certificate and attaches it to the Notary’s document, the document may also have to be certified at the Consulate or Embassy of the foreign country to which it is to be sent. This can take a number of weeks.
Renee Stevens of SRM Lawyers is a Notary Public and can guide you through the process. As the requirements of every country are different, Renee can advise on the specific DFAT and Consulate requirements for the country that you’re dealing with. James Shevlin is also a notary public located in Lane Cove.
Where Can I find a Justice of the Peace in Lane Cove?
Renee Stevens can also sign any documents you require witnessed by a Justice of the Peace. We find that most people look for Justices of the Peace after hours, so we have prepared a list of people who can help you here.
Powers of Attorney and Guardianship Documents
If you are going overseas it is always a good idea to have in place a power of attorney and/or guardianship documents. Renee Stevens can also help you prepare these documents.
Level 1, 102-104 Longueville Road
Website: SRM Lawyers
Phone: 02 9188 9631
Mobile – 0419 257 392
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile – 0410 466 286
Email – email@example.com
Mobile – 0414 717 717
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Linked In: SRM Lawyers
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