Notarisations for the USA. Don’t Get Lost There.
In the United States, there are Notaries Public. They are not lawyers and have no comparable status to the Notaries of the rest of the World so far as reliance upon their certificates is concerned. The only similarity between them and the Notaries of England is their naming.
I think it is usually understood in North America that the Notaries in England are not the same creature as their home-grown Notaries. This seems on occasion to give rise to an incorrect opinion that documents for use in the USA can only be notarised by a USA qualified Notary. This opinion is wrong wrong wrong.
Twice in the past year I have had clients who, needing to make applications to the Courts in New York, have been advised that an English Notary is not an acceptable certificate provider and that a US Notary must be found, or otherwise that the client must travel to London to the US Embassy which can do the job for them.
This belief seems to go hand in glove with the idea that England is really small and we can all pop round to Grosvenor Square in ten minutes.
A colleague Notary has noted this week that a Notarisation he has made for use in the States has been returned to the Client [who is now seeking her money back!] with a covering letter from her lawyers’’ office. The letter, signed by a “para-legal” trots out this untrue advice,-
We are in receipt of your notarized Affidavit of Defendant. However, after review of your notary stamp we noticed you had this notarized in Woodbridge, a town in Suffolk, East Anglia, England.
As previously instructed, the court will only accept documents notarized by a United States Notary. You may have this done at the US Embassy.
Attached is another copy of your Affidavit of Defendant. Please sign and have notarized by a US Notary, and email back to us.
Please be further advised that the documents must be notarized by a United States authorized notary in order to be valid.
Have a great day!
Don’t you love the “have a great day” with its exclamation mark? I think that if my lawyer wrote to me setting out completely untrue bad news before signing off in that way, he wouldn’t be my Lawyer for long.
So let me nip this in the Bud.When the Paralegal submits the Affidavit to the New York Court it will certainly be accepted, in spite of his belief.
If ever there is the need to prove the law on the point, I have a written opinion of a New York Attorney General confirming the status of foreign Notarial certificates and, to resolve it once and for all, here is a link to guidance on the US Consular website. [The reference to a solicitor is incorrect of course, but hey]
The fact of the matter is that North America is so large, and most lawyers there act for English clients living in England so rarely, that myths of this sort can grow up. Bottom line, believe your English Notary.
And don’t get lost in America – link here
If you would like to have your American Notarial work done properly here in England, do please get in touch – You can contact me or Louise here at AtkinsonNotary E7 Joseph’s Well Leeds LS3 1AB, phone 0113 8160116 and email email@example.com