A Notary is a qualified lawyer and public officer whose primary role is to authenticate and certify signatures for use overseas.
Notaries are appointed by the Court of Faculties of the Archbishop of Canterbury and are regulated through the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
A Notary uses a personal seal and signature which are recognised as confirmation of the facts in the document which can be used as evidence of a responsible legal officer. Documents dealt with by a Notary are called notarial acts.
Some countries require documents to be legalised. This is a further check to ensure the Notary seal and signature are genuine . The Foreign and Commonwealth Office validate the Notary's signature and attach a certificate called an Apostille. Documents may also need further checks by the relevant embassy or consulate depending on the destination country.
Notaries must verify the identity of their client and their understanding of the document.
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