Terms of Business
VISITING A NOTARY PUBLIC
NOTES FOR CLIENTS
TERMS & CONDITIONS
1. NOT A MERE RUBBER-STAMPING EXERCISE: The international duty of a Notary involves a high standard of care. This is not only towards the client but also to anyone who may rely on the document and to governments or officials of other countries. These people are entitled to assume that a Notary will ensure full compliance with the relevant requirements both here and abroad, and to rely on the Notary’s register and records. Great care is essential at every stage to minimise the risks of errors, omissions, alterations, fraud, forgery, money laundering, the use of false identity, and so on.
2. SIGNATURE: the Notary should normally witness your signature. Please do not sign the document in advance of your appointment with me.
3. PAPERS TO BE SENT TO ME IN ADVANCE: It can save time, expense, and mistakes if, as long before the appointment as possible, you can let me have the originals or photocopies of:
- The documents to be notarised;
- Any letter or other form of instruction which you have received about what has to be done with the documents;
- Your evidence of identification.
4. IDENTIFICATION: I will need you to produce by way of formal identification the original of (in preferred order):
- Your current passport (or, if not available);
- A current photo driving licence and in either case together with 2 utility bills, or bank statements which should not be more than three months old reflecting you name and current address If neither of the above two photo identifications are available, at least three of the following
- Corporate ID or other formal means of identification;
- A utility bill showing your current address;
- Any other means of ID, which may be referred to in the papers, sent to you as being required.
5. PROOF OF NAMES: In a case where the name on the document is different from the name you are currently using, or there has been a variation in the form of spelling of the name over the years, please provide me with, eg, Certificates of Birth, Marriage, or a Divorce Decree. If there has been a change of name, then I will need to see a copy of the Deed Poll or Statutory Declaration, which dealt with it.
6. COMPANIES, PARTNERSHIPS, ETC: If a document is to be signed by you on behalf of a company, a partnership, a charity, club or other incorporated body, there are further requirements on which I may have to insist. Please be prepared for these and telephone with any point of difficulty before attending your appointment with me.
In each case: Evidence of identity of the authorised signatory (as above) and a Letter of Authority, Minute, Resolution or Power of Attorney, authorising you to sign the document.
Additionally, for companies, I will need to see the Certificate of Incorporation and of any Change of Name, a copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association and details of Directors and Secretaries (as applicable).
For partnerships, clubs, etc, I will require to see the Partnership Agreement; or relevant Trust Deed; or Charter; or Constitution/Rules.
I will always verify such details with the appropriate public registers for which there will be a small additional charge.
7. ADVICE ON THE DOCUMENT: If you bring a document to me for authorisation as a Notary, I will advise you as to the formalities required for completing it. However, I shall not be attempting to advise you about the transaction itself.
8. WRITTEN TRANSLATIONS: It is important that you understand what you are signing.
- If it is in a foreign language, which you do not understand sufficiently, I may have to insist that a translation be obtained. If I arrange for a translation, a further fee will be payable.
- If you arrange for a professional translation, the translator should add his/her name, address, relevant qualification, and a certificate stating: “Document X is a true and complete translation of document Y, to which this translation is attached”.
9. ORAL INTERPRETER: If you and I cannot understand each other because of a language difficulty, we may have to make arrangements for a competent interpreter to be available at our interview and this may involve a further fee.
10. NOTARIAL CHARGES AND EXPENSES:
- My charges: My current hourly rate is £250. The minimum charged for dealing with a single document is normally £80. As a Notary I am registered for VAT. My charges are normally payable upon signature of the document requiring notarisation and I reserve the right to retain any completed document until payment has been received.
- Once I have seen any documents and any instructions sent to you about the document, I may be able to give you a firm indication or an estimate of the likely charges.
- Payments to third parties: I may have to pay legalisation fees. There might be translator or interpreter fees. Other payments may be required including, travelling expenses. Your approval to these expenses will be sought before incurring the same.
- Basis of charging: If it is a simple matter of witnessing a document, a fixed fee will be charged. If I am required to draft or complete a document, or obtain legalisation, the charge will be based upon time spent. This may include telephone calls, letters or emails sent and received, time spent in interview, on drafting or amending the document.
- Special factors which might result in an increase in the charge include: Complexity or novelty, or the number and importance of the documents. If the work has to be done away from this office or where, for instance, there is special urgency that may require me to prioritise your work over other work.
11. NOTARIAL RECORDS: When I carry out my work for you, I am required to make an entry in a formal register, which is kept by me. I will retain a copy of the notarised documentation with that record. In the case of “Public” documents I will keep a full copy or counterpart original bearing your signature and identification documents.
12. DATA PROTECTION: I am a registered data processor under the data protection act. Personal data received from clients is held securely and not capable of being accessed externally. Data collected by me as part of my record is used solely for the purposes of meeting my legal responsibilities as a law practitioner exercising a public function. For Further details please refer to: www.slignotaries.com
13. CONSUMER SURVEY: It is important that as a profession we receive feedback from the public as to the service we provide. As such, I would invite you to complete the consumer survey which can be found on our regulators website: http://www.facultyoffice.org.uk/notary/notary-news
14. COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE: My notarial practice is regulated by the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury: The Faculty Office, 1The Sanctuary, Westminster, London, SW1P 3JT, Tel: 020 7222 5381, Email Faculty.email@example.com Website www.facultyoffice.org.uk
If you are dissatisfied about the service you have received please do not hesitate to contact me.
If we are unable to resolve the matter you may then complain to the Notaries Society of which I am a member, who have a Complaints Procedure which is approved by the Faculty Office. This procedure is free to use and is designed to provide a quick resolution to any dispute.
In that case please write (but do not enclose any original documents) with full details of your complaint to: The Secretary of The Notaries Society, Old Church Chambers 23 Sandhill Road, St James, Northampton. NN5 5LH, Email firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01604 758908
If you have any difficulty in making a complaint in writing please do not hesitate to call the Notaries Society/the Faculty Office for assistance.
Finally, even if you have your complaint considered under the Notaries Society Approved Complaints Procedure, you may at the end of that procedure, or after a period of six months from the date you first notified me that you were dissatisfied, make your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman*, if you are not happy with the result : Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ Tel: 03005550333 Email: email@example.com Website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk
If you decide to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman (LO) you must refer your matter to the LO within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint and six years from the date of act/omission; or three years from when you should have reasonably have known there was cause for complaint (only if the act or omission took place more than six years ago).
*Certain kinds of commercial entities are not eligible to make complaints to the LO. Please refer to the LO Scheme Rules or consult the Faulty Office