What is a Notary Public?

A Notary is a qualified Lawyer and member of the third and oldest branch of the legal profession in the United Kingdom. The Court of Faculties appoints him by the Archbishop of Canterbury and is subject to regulation by the Court of Faculties.

Its is Compulsory for Notaries to have an Annual Practising Certificate and are required to possess Professional Indemnity and Fidelity Bond, The Office of Notary is recognised internationally.

Notary Services

Where the services of a Notary may be required.
Please note that the following list is not exhaustive, but contains the majority of situations
where a Notary public would be necessary:

  • Obtaining a certified and authenticated copy of a passport or other travel document.
  • The certification of copies of other documents necessary for travel, such as examinations.
  • The buying and selling of property abroad, as well as the buying and selling of timeshare property.
  • Transferring the ownership of a property from one party to another.
  • Setting up power-of-attorney for use in situations in another country, specifically abroad.
  • For making a declaration or swearing an oath, affidavit, or other legally binding document.
  • The confirmation of your marital status in order to marry in another country.
  • To give permission for your child to travel to another country without you. Emancipation may also fall into this category.
  • The creation and obtaining of documents to replace any important files lost.
  • To get legalisation or Apostille.
  • To lodge and confirm proof of identity at the Land Registry.
  • The preparation and notarisation of papers which pertain to the adoption of children abroad.
  • The authentication of contracts by a Notary, and commercial translations certified by a Notary.
  • To assign trademarks, patterns, or domain names for commercial use.

Foreign Languages

It is not uncommon for a Notary to have documents presented to them that are in a foreign language. For the process to continue, the Notary must be confident that they and the client understand the meaning of the document.

Please be aware that notaries are not in the habit of giving advice about the meaning of a document or transaction. It is also vital that the client produces any correspondence he or she has had with other individuals.

A Notary Public may also be known as a Notario Publico, Notaio, Notario, Notar or a Notaire.

We can offer a translation service.

What is Legalisation or Apostille?

There are instances where a document will need to be authenticated by the U.K Foreign and Commonwealth Office. They will confirm the legal validity of the Notary. The requirements for this can vary. This authentication will take the form of an official certificate with the
document, known as an Apostille.

What Identification Does a Notary Public Require?

In accordance with the Money Laundering Regulations of 2007, notaries are required by law to keep files regarding the identity and address of all clients prior to starting work. Any individuals who are seeking certification must provide one of the following documents at the beginning of the appointment:

  • Passport, driving licence, or national identity card with photos.
  • Armed forces, firearms licence, or government issued ID, all with photo and signature.
  • A residence permit.
  • A benefit book, or original notification from Benefits agency.

Furthermore, proof of residence is required in the form of an original document, less than three months old, from the following:

  • Bank statement, utility or council bill.
  • Tenancy agreement or rent card from housing association.
  • Inland revenue tax demand/self assessment statement.

All Notary public acting for corporate clients will need to provide evidence of the due incorporation of the company or entity, from the following list:

  • Extract of company register, certificate of authentication or latest report and audited documents.
  • Certified, in date copy of partnership agreement, or evidence of regulation from a recognised regulatory body.

All individual signatories will also need to provide one of the identification documents which are mentioned above.

Kerr and Company pride ourselves on providing a friendly efficient service. We offer a wide range of legal services including

  • Notarising documents for Foreign Properties including Powers of Attorney and providing an Apostille service
  • Conveyancing
  • Probate
  • Estate Administration
  • Wills and Trusts
  • Preparation and Administration of Lasting Powers of Attorney
  • Independent Legal Advice
  • Certifying documents including passports


Where possible, an initial quote will be given in advance, but the following information will be required for an exact charge:

  • List of required services.
  • Types of documents in question.
  • Context behind documents – personal use or commercial, etc.
  • Number of documents, and destination where applicable.

A full written quotation will be provided after your initial contact.

Independence and Rules

All notaries are independent officers and can take no actions to compromise this position. They are unable to act in matters where a conflict of interest is present, and are bound to professional standards at all times. They are also legally required to follow the rules to prevent money laundering. All notaries are required to be insured against negligence and have a commitment to continuing education.

Public Records kept by a Notary

The Notary is required by law to keep a full set of any documents copied or made, which will be permanently available as public records.