Please Notarise my Certificate

Do you need me to “Certify” your document? – Please read this blog before asking me to certify your Degree or other professional qualification document.

Often I will be asked to add my Notarial stamp to professional papers. My certificate will be needed to support a job application whether for an Engineer or a Doctor, maybe a Teacher or any other qualified person.

The prospective employers or the Visa authorities for the Country concerned will have asked for this Notarisation. Typically the instructions received from abroad will be vague and will not make it certain or clear what is required.

In principle I think that what is required must be one or other of the following –

First, I as the Notary might be required to confirm that my client actually is qualified – that Mr Smith is a Doctor, or is a qualified Engineer or has a PHD etc. Clearly if I am being asked to say this then my job must involve checking whether the document which is submitted to me is in fact genuine. So if I am given a Degree Certificate from the University of Oxford it will be necessary for me to contact that University and find out whether the certificate is genuine. Then I can mark upon the original or a copy of the original my endorsement that the document and its contents are genuine.

However in many cases the foreign jurisdiction does not require this from the Notary. So, secondly, what might actually be required is that the person who says that he is an engineer should come to my office and make that assertion. I will document this fact in my records and write upon the photocopy of the purported Degree certificate produced to me “This is a true copy of the original certificate produced to me today – original not verified”.

It will be obvious that second option can be concluded much more quickly and therefore be cheaper than the first. But we cannot do this if Option One is actually needed, so we must make certain. Easier said than done in many cases because some foreign bureaucracies can be impenetrable .

I cover this subject in more detail in an earlier blog called “Understanding the Jargon”, but I thought it worth repeating as a separate document because it is a point which arises again and again.