Notarise and Legalise Your Papers. Not The Same Thing!

Notarisation and Legalisation. Not The Same Thing!

I see many clients who are unsure of what is being asked for, when a foreign Lawyer asks for documents to be “Notarised And Legalised”.

So I hope this blog will give an explanation of the processes:

Notarisation [step 1]

Documents for use overseas usually require Notary intervention. This usually consists of the Notary either attesting or witnessing and certifying your execution of documents in his presence or alternatively certifying copies or originals of documents as genuine and true.
In order for the Notary to assist in your requirements we need to see identification for each client. This usually consists of a passport or driving licence and proof of address i.e bank statement or utility bill. If your passport is not British, we need to see evidence of your right to be present in England.

The Notarisation is carried out at the time of the appointment – the Notarisation is a statement from the Notary to confirm what has taken place on the day and then finalised with the Notary’s stamp and seal and then dated.

Depending on the Country concerned, there may then be a requirement for Legalisation to take place [see step 2] – if in doubt you can check with your foreign adviser as to whether Legalisation is also required. I can also give you guidance as to the usual requirements of that particular country.

Legalisation [steps 2 & 3]

Legalisation consists of a further stamp issued by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office called the Apostille and/or Consulate stamps.

Apostille [step 2]

The Apostille usually takes no more than a week to obtain. The stamp is issued at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in Milton Keynes. This stamp contains a unique number which is assigned to that particular document and the foreign adviser is able to check online that the unique number relates to the document and confirms that I am indeed a full qualified Notary carrying proper Professional insurance.

Consular stamps [step 3]

There may be the requirement to produce the Notarised document to the country’s Consular/Embassy. Some Countries do not require the Apostille before consular production, most do.

The document will need to be physically handed over to the Consulate or Embassy. We have security-vetted agents who are able to undertake this task and obtain the necessary stamps, usually in London.

This stamp finally concludes the document so that it is ready to be accepted abroad.

In order to ensure that your documents are processed in a way which is “right first time”, you need experienced Notarial help. Here I am in Leeds, do get in touch whenever I can assist and whenever you have a legal issue which has any foreign element or phone me or Louise +44 (0) 1138160116