NOTARY PUBLIC

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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