What is Notary Public in NSW ?
A Notary Public, Public Notary and Notary are various descriptions of the same profession. In NSW, a Notary Public is a practising solicitor (with a minimum of five (5) years practising experience), who is appointed for life by the NSW Supreme Court and given statutory powers to witness documents, administer oaths and perform other wide-ranging administrative functions of a national and international nature.
A Notary Public not only takes oaths, signs and witnesses documents for use within Australia, but also performs similar functions in respect of international documents.
Justices of the Peace (JPs) in Australia provide services similar to American notaries, but are not permitted to witness documents for use in foreign countries. Notaries Public have this exclusive right and are the only true international “JP” in Australia.
Notaries Public affix their official seal (usually impressed onto a red sticker) or stamp to documents immediately under, adjacent or as near as possible to their signatures.
All Notaries’ seals and signatures are officially recorded in a data base held by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), a government department authorised to issue Apostille or Authentication Certificates authenticating the signatures, seals or stamps of Notaries on Australian public documents.
In NSW, Public Notaries are required to have their signatures, seals or stamps registered with the Supreme Court and it is also recommended to have their signatures, seals or stamps registered with the Society of Notaries NSW Inc.
What does a Notary Public actually do?
A Notary Public principally:
- attests documents and certifies their due execution for use in Australia and overseas countries
- prepares and certifies powers of attorney, wills, deeds, contracts and other legal documents, for use in Australia and overseas countries
- administers oaths for Australian and international documents
- witness signatures to affidavits, statutory declarations, powers of attorney, contracts, and other documents, for use in Australia and overseas countries
- verifies documents for use in Australia and overseas countries
- certifies copy documents for use in Australia and overseas countries
- exemplifies official documents for use internationally
- notes and protests bills of exchange
- prepares ships’ protests
What costs are charged for services?
In NSW, there is a recommended scale of fees for services performed. Usually, we charge in accordance with this scale, although you should contact our office to confirm charges prior to making an appointment.
Apostille and Legalising Services
Some documents required further authentication. This can be normally be done by obtaining an Apostille from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Countries that are not a signatory to the Hague Convention will require legalisation of the document at their respective consulates.
We also provide, for an additional fee, an Apostille and Legalising Service, including obtaining Apostille(s) from DFAT and arranging legalising of documents from the relevant embassy or consulate. Clients are able to provide the documents to our office and we arrange the whole service as a “one stop shop” saving time and hassles. This service can be offered as an express service if urgency exists.
For the convenience of our clients, we can visit your home or place of business by prior arrangement.