A Notary Public is an officer of the law who confirms or certifies deeds or other documents for use anywhere in the world.
Documents that can be certified by a Notary Public include:
- Powers of attorney
The importance of Notaries Public is not so much in the duties they carry out, but the link they provide between organisations in Jersey and overseas. This role which is carried out by the Notary Public is called notarisation.
Notarisation is often needed in international dealings where the identity and official role of the parties need to be checked so there is less risk of fraud. There is much more demand for notarisation because of worldwide anti-money laundering and Know Your Client requirements.
Notarisation will broadly take two forms.
A notarial act in the public form: This is where the Notary Public writes the whole document such as a notarial certificate which confirms that statements made in the document are true.
A notarial act in the private form: This is where the Notary Public simply adds his confirmation onto a private document signed by the client.
Legislation and apostille
Foreign authorities may want to check that the notary is who they say they are and is qualified to do the job. This can be done in two ways depending on whether the country is a party to the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961:
This is the way in which the Lieutenant Governor’s Office checks and confirms the signature and seal of the Notary Public.
The Lieutenant Governor’s Office is c/o States of Jersey Customs & Immigration Service, Customer and Local Services, Phillip Le Feuvre House, La Motte Street, St Helier, Jersey, JE4 8PE. A fee of £21.00 is currently charged for this service. The Notary Public will also be able to arrange this for an extra fee.
This is the way in which the government departments of the country in which the document has to be given, check the signature and seal of the Notary Public. Charges and fees will be on a case-by-case basis.
It is usual for most countries to accept the Apostille. This is the fastest and more cost-effective process. The Notary Public will be able to tell you which is needed.
You should check beforehand if the foreign countries need this. This is important as they may not accept a document you have had notarised without this.
What are the costs for a notarial act?
Notary Publics are free to charge what they like to costs should be agreed beforehand.