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Notary Public

I will need to verify the identity of anyone who requires me to perform a notarial act for them. Even if your identity has already been checked by the practice of Carter Bells Solicitors, I will need to verify your identity before I can carry out a notarial act for you.

Your identity can either be checked at the meeting where I perform the notarial act for you or at a prior meeting. You must note though that if you do not produce what I consider to be satisfactory identity evidence enabling me to carry out the notarial act then I will not perform this service unless and until you do provide satisfactory identity evidence to me.

If you require the notarial service to be provided as an individual, I will need to see at least an original currrent Passport to confirm your identity and an original Driving Licence to confirm your current address. If you do not have a Driving Licence for your current address, I will need you to provide either an original utility bill or bank statement in your name for your current address from the last 3 months.

If you require the notarial service to be provided for a company, I will need evidence of the identity of the person representing that company as above. Additionally though, I will need evidence of that person’s authority to bind the company through the notarial act they require me to perform. This will depend on the particular circumstances of the notarial act but typically this could be a company resolution appointing the person as a director of the company and/or to to sign certain documents on behalf of the company.

My role in connection with the notarising of any documents is not to advise on the underlying documents. I am not qualified to advise you on the applicable law relating to the documents to be notarised. You should seek and rely on the advice of a lawyer qualified to practice in the jurisdiction where the documents are to be used before asking me to perform the notarial act for you.

My role is to check you understand the meaning of the document you require me to notarise and that you intend to be bound by the document in question. I will ensure that the document is notarised in accordance with the law of England and Wales. However, if there are any particular requirements of the jurisdiction where the notarised document is to be relied upon such as in relation to the signing or securing of the notarial act then you must inform me before the notarial act is performed. I reserve the right to make a further charge if any document has to be notarised again and you will also have to pay any further legalisation fee payable to the FCO and/or a legalisation agent and any applicable foreign Consulate.

Once the notarial act is performed, I am required to note this in a Register of my Notarial Acts and will retain with this Register a copy of the notarised document in case queries are ever raised. I will further retain copies of your identity with this Register. Please note as a Public Official my Register is open to inspection by anyone who can demonstrate a legitimate interest in the transaction in question including but not limited to any government authorities.

I will then send any notarised documents to be legalised at the FCO and if required for further legalisation at the consulate of the country where the notarised documents will be relied upon. Once I have received the legalised documents back, I will provide them to you.

The timescales within which the notarised and legalised documents will be returned to you depend on a number of factors including but not limited to my availability to see you to initially notarise the documents, any amendments that must be made to the documents by a foreign lawyer before the documents can be notarised, the speed of the FCO in legalising the documents, the speed of any country’s consulate in legalising the documents and your availability to come in and carry out identity checks and sign the documents to be notarised.

Typically though, once the documents have been notarised, for the FCO Standard Service, it will generally take approximately 2 weeks for the legalised documents to be returned. For the FCO Premium Service, it will generally take 2 working days for the legalised documents to be returned.

In respect of Qualification Certificates from outside the UK, the FCO has an additional requirement I must satisfy. It will be necessary for me to verify the authenticity of the qualification with the issuing body, and also check its accreditation as an educational establishment. I will then have to confirm this in a notarial certificate before the FCO will legalise the document. I will confirm my charges for this work if it becomes apparent that this is necessary.

Please note in respect of UK Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates that the FCO will not affix an Apostille stamp to notarised copies of these documents. This is due to Crown Copyright. However, Apostilles can be affixed to originals of these Certificates without them being notarised first. The originals can be obtained from the General Register Office (GRO) if you do not want to part with the original documents. There would be a charge by the GRO to obtain further original Certificates.

Please note that I am not permitted to act in any circumstances connected to travel to a foreign country for the purpose of being assisted to end one’s life. The Faculty Office which is the regulator of Notaries has issued clear guidance that a Notary’s duty is to act within the law and in England aiding and abetting suicide is a criminal offence. Under a Notary’s Oath of Office, we further cannot act in circumstances involving violence or fraud. Suicide constitutes violence to that person so I would have to decline to act in any circumstances related to travel to a foreign country to be assisted to end one’s life.

Insurance details

The level of insurance cover for my notarial work is at least £3,000,000.

Complaints Information

In the event you are dissatisfied with the service provided, there is a complaints procedure in place for my notarial work. The complaints procedure detailing how to make a complaint will either be sent through to you with my estimate for the work required or provided at our meeting when the documents are notarised.

Regulatory Information

I confirm as a Notary that I am Regulated through the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury.