What can a Notary Public Do For You?
- 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
- Witnesses 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
A Public Notary must…
- Confirm the true identity of a signatory by careful examination of an identity document, such as a current Driver’s Licence or Passport;
- Determine that a signatory does not suffer any legal incapacity, such as a congenital disability, physical or mental illness, physical
- Ensure that a signatory fully understands the nature and effect of the contents of a document to be signed and witnessed;
- Ascertain that a signatory acting in an official representative capacity e.g. a secretary or director of an ASIC registered Company, has the Company’s authority to sign on behalf of the Company; and
- Refuse notary services if a document constitutes a fraud or an unlawful act.
What is a JP?
JPs provide a number of important legal services within Australia, such as:
- witnessing a person make a statutory declaration;
- witnessing a person make an affidavit; and
- certifying copies of original documents.
Primarily, JPs provide independent verification of legal documents. Although you do not have to be a lawyer to be a JP, all practising lawyers are automatically able to act as a JP.
Other than by contacting a practising lawyer, you can find a JP through your state or territory’s online register. Local libraries, post offices and some pharmacies also often provide JP services.
What is a Notary Public?
A Notary Public can carry out the same tasks as a JP. However, they can also authenticate documents intended for use overseas. Because of this greater responsibility, becoming a Notary Public is a longer process than becoming a JP. To become a Notary Public, a candidate must:
- have been a lawyer for at least five continuous years;
- currently hold an Australian practising certificate; and
- complete the Notarial Practice Course.
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