“Apostille” only please? On my Birth, Death or Marriage Certificate. No Problem. Louise Explains.

“Apostille” only please. On my Birth, Death or Marriage Certificate. No Problem. Louise Explains.

If you have been asked to obtain an Apostille on a GRO Birth, Death or Marriage Certificate then we can obtain this for you.

You may be requiring to obtain a foreign passport for a child born in England, or dealing with visa or other matters abroad.

If the foreign Country is a party to – i.e., has signed- the Hague Convention of 1961 then it will require an “Apostille” to be placed on a document which is to be relied upon.

I am sure there will be many people who do not know what an “Apostille” is – to explain to those people, in a nutshell it is a stamp issued by the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office and confirms that the signature of a named signatory on a document is genuine – whether that be of a Notary, Solicitor, Registrar etc…

In particular, the Apostille contains a unique number which is back-checkable on the internet.

So in the case of an English certificate, the Apostille is the British Government warrant to the foreign jurisdiction that the signatory is indeed who s/he purports to be.

The Apostille will be relied upon abroad because it is in effect an Insurance policy, protecting the foreign entities who rely upon it – the British public purse will cover any financial loss from anyone overseas relying.

If a foreign jurisdiction do not require any notarisation then this is fine – we can still obtain the Apostille for you – what this means is that instead of the Apostille warranting the Notary signature, the Apostille would be warranting the signing Registrar on the GRO certificate.

You can of course submit appropriate documents direct to the Foreign Office for Apostille in this event. However many of our clients prefer to drop the paperwork in to us, so that we can check it is in order and appropriate for the Foreign Office, and then have us deal with the Foreign Office on your behalf.

One example I can give as to why an Apostille might be required on a GRO Certificate is that of registering the birth of a baby who has been born in England however their parents are of Eastern European nationality and are required to register the Birth of the baby in their home country. Typically what is required is an “Apostille” to be placed upon the Birth Certificate of the baby. This can then be submitted to the foreign jurisdiction to register the Birth.

Another example is if you are planning to get married overseas – some foreign jurisdictions require an Apostille to be placed on the reverse of a GRO Certificate of No Impediment – again this confirms to the foreign jurisdiction that the signature of the Register on the certificate is genuine and can be relied upon and the foreign jurisdiction can be quite content that they are not marrying bigamists.

A further example is an “Apostille” may be required on a Death Certificate to prove to a foreign jurisdiction that the death of a person is genuine – so if there are assets to be sold and/or distributed then the foreign legal adviser can be sure of the fact that the death is genuine and can proceed with the legal formalities.

The list goes on but hopefully the examples above will give you a good idea why an Apostille only may be required and if you need help with this, then we can assist.

There are two services [timescales] of obtaining Apostilles:

1. Standard service – as at today’s date currently the Foreign Office are taking around 5 working days to return documents to us with Apostilles
2. Expedited Service – we can, using our Agents in London, obtain an Apostille by hand within 24 hours and get it back to our office in 48 hours.

In addition, we are FedEx Agents and can have your paperwork delivered by FedEx Courier to most places in the World for you.

Please do contact me whenever you need Notarial certification or an “Apostille” – at http://www.atkinsonnotary.com or phone me on 0113 816 0116 (internationally 0044 113 8160116)

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Notarisation. Never a Dull Moment. No, Really.

Notarisation. Never a Dull Moment. No, Really.

No doubt there are those who imagine that the world and work of a Notary tends ever so slightly towards the enervative side of the tedium spectrum.

But I am here to tell you NO. Just like the wacky purviews of the Accountants and the Actuaries, a Notary’s work-load is an exciting daily roller-coaster ride of new and often baffling conundrums.

For this week, a reminder for this Notary that doing it the job “correctly” is no substitute for doing the job in a way in which it will be acceptable to the end user abroad. And that there is a difference between being knowledgeable, and being wise. Wise is better!

An example is that of the colour of ink to be used. As we are taught at Notary Nursery school, three countries in the world will reject out of hand the use of any colour or form of ink other than black fountain pen. [South Africa, Italy and Malaysia].

Since there is only one place which requires the use of Blue ink [Florida USA], it is easy enough therefore to use black ink for everything, with a blue pen on stand-by for Floridian documents.

So imagine the frisson of excitement and ruffled feathers in the Notarial World, when a document for Hungary has been rejected there, for use of Black Ink. The same black ink that Notaries have been submitting to Hungary for hundreds of years. NO, says the Hungarian nut-job “I WANT BLUE INK”

The reality for Hungary is that the old Civil Code has a section – incidentally now repealed – that requires signatures to be “visibly original”. Well whatever that phrase means, it surely cannot mean that a blue signature is necessarily original or a black one not visibly original, in this day and age of colour photocopies.

There is NO Hungarian prohibition on the use of black ink.

Notarial documents bear an impressed seal in any event so that the original document is not flat as a photocopy is flat. [Are there 3D photocopiers yet?]

Notarial Documents for use in Hungary bear the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Apostille, verifiable on the internet.

Every other Hungarian lawyer accepts black ink documents. So there are lots of good points to raise in argument. If you want an argument.

The point is though, that doing things right gets you only so far. The reality is that if a man in Hungary wants a document to be signed in Blue Ink, it is quicker and cheaper to – you guessed – sign it in Blue Ink.

So a knowledgeable Notary in England might pass his exams and do everything by the book and send a black ink document to Hungary and get them rejected, whilst a wise Notary will before starting work, ask the man in Hungary – what colour ink would you like?

And by the way, I may have lied about the exciting Actuaries.

And blue and black ink pens are available here so, as always, whenever you have documents to Notarise to use abroad, you can contact me or Louise here at AtkinsonNotary E7 Joseph’s Well Leeds LS3 1AB, phone 0113 8160116 and email notary@atkinsonnotary.com or via the website http://www.atkinsonnotary.com

You Read It Here First. Check The Qualifications. Weed Out The Imposters.

You read it here first. Check The Qualifications. Weed out the imposters.

It is exactly one year ago that I wrote this Blog –Link Here – and sad to say, it hasn’t changed the World.

The gist of last year’s message was, don’t give a candidate a job just because they have a nice smile or they remind you of your favourite film star.

Don’t have a quick look at a Degree certificate or put the candidate’s letter of reference into the desk drawer, on the basis that you will check it later only if it turns out they are rubbish at the job.

Because, if you give a job to someone who is using fake papers, you may be held responsible if their incompetence causes loss or injury to your customers or others in the course of their employment.

The reality is, as I wrote last year and as the BBC have got around to reporting today, that there are liars about. Yes, really.

And the best liars will be those with the nicest smiles, possibly.

Here is the link to the BBC report –Link Here – – May I remark without being too smug that it adds little information to my year-old blog? –  Beyond making it clear that the problem of fake degrees is getting worse not better.

There is a big problem at the root of any system of learning and testing. What should be taught? How should a person’s understanding of what has been taught be tested? Who is qualified to mark the test?

Some areas of learning have a right and a wrong. Two plus two equals four.

But other areas – creative writing say, a bit harder. If a piece of text is submitted for an English language exam say, one examiner might decide it is first class. A wonderful exciting insightful story. A page-turner which they could not put down. First Class marks. But another examiner of the same piece of work might discount all that if it is full of spelling mistakes, split infinitives and incorrect punctuation. Marked grade E or even a fail.

And a candidate for a job writing instruction manuals intended for photocopier engineers to use, might not get the job if critics could say of his prose:-

“What punctuation there is has the effect not of assisting interpretation but of further breaking down any chain of meaning in the language…… instead ….  it operates as a kind of revolving door by which one both exits and enters the various semantic fields in the passage.” © Adrian Hunter writing about Samuel Beckett.

Beckett was one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century but obviously not a man to turn to when you want to be reminded how to change the toner cartridge. So does Beckett pass or fail?

So where does that leave a student with low or no grades, if ability or entitlement to a degree may be little more than the opinion of a particular examiner? Resentful, much?

So it is not too surprising that it seems that there is a huge market for fake degrees and diplomas. And whilst most may be purchased by frauds who never even went to school, that is not the whole market.

There are also those people who have worked extremely hard and feel cheated by their lower degree or failure. They may feel that the examiners have let them down and that they deserved to pass, or to get a first class award. It may be that a person works in an Industry and knows s/he is better able to do a job than a higher paid colleague, but the colleague has been given the job because they have a degree.

Which may be why there is such a huge market for fake degrees. A real degree can be the passport to secure and high-income employment. Therefore, so can a fake one. If it looks real enough and no-one has asked a Notary to investigate it.

Just for fun, google this

“Where can I buy a fake degree in UK?”

Yes, over 29 million results.

So, it seems that there may be more fake degrees certificates issued than real ones.

Not every person who has felt tempted to purchase a fake degree has a self-image as a fraudster. But here’s the reality – It is dishonest and you can go to jail.

What does seem to be interesting now is that the criminals who sell these false certificates, have a second string to their bow:- You are Mr ABC, and you have bought a degree in Engineering from the University of NotaPlace. Mr Crim knows who you are. In a couple of years, he sees Mr ABC is a Lecturer in Engineering at the British University of Somewherereal.

Next thing, Mr ABC is threatened by the criminals with exposure to the Police and his employers unless large sums are paid. Blackmail and extortion – Today and forever.

It’s a naughty World out there, so keep yourself as safe as you can, check everything once, check it again, and then ask me to Notarise it!

This week’s song – Link here for New Job –

And as ever – our message to you is, for documents for use around the world as well as educational certificates for use in England, do contact me or Louise Morley here at AtkinsonNotary E7 Joseph’s Well Leeds LS3 1AB, phone 0113 8160116 and email notary@atkinsonnotary.com or via the website http://www.atkinsonnotary.com

How To Convince The Land Registry That You Are Not An Imposter. Or, How To Protect The Land Registry. Form ID1.

How To Convince The Land Registry That You Are Not An Imposter. Or, How To Protect The Land Registry. Form ID1.

I have blogged a few times now, about the consequences of the decision of the Government that the Land Registry must do away with “Title Deeds” as evidence of Land ownership, after October 2003.

Here are some of those blogs, – read and weep. –Link Here –  – And Here –  – And Here-

It does seem to me that the Land Registry has abandoned a system based on paper – or sometimes parchment if not actual vellum [google it!] – for systems based upon computerisation more for reasons of appearing to be “up to date” than for any actual good purpose.

Because a fraudster is not going to be able to persuade a purchaser that he is the owner of land to which he holds no title deeds, if title deeds are necessary to prove ownership.

But since the abolition of the need for title deeds, all a fraudster has to do is to pretend to be the real owner of the land. This is of course still difficult but it is a whole lot easier than it used to be.

Hence the rise in frauds.

There have been many frauds when unwitting solicitors have been instructed to act. And as the cases which I have blogged about show, when those frauds have come to light, the solicitors have usually been made to pay all the compensation.

And because the solicitors have done nothing wrong, the Courts have been inconsistent, sometimes ordering the fraudster’s solicitor to pay, sometimes ordering the honest party’s solicitor to pay, and sometimes ordering the money payment to be split between them. The inconsistency arises because there is in truth no moral reason why either firm of solicitors should pay, so it is necessarily all a bit random, however the judges have tried to dress it up in veneer of logic.

And thus generally no Government department usually loses out when this kind of fraud takes place if there are solicitors involved to carry the can.

Therefore we can understand the concern of the Land Registry when a transaction is put forward for registration, where one or other of the parties has acted for themselves without a Solicitor involved.

No whipping boy, oh dear oh dear, it may think.

And hence their requirement of form ID1, [Identity 1] to accompany every land transaction worth over £6000 where a party acts for themselves.

In an attempt to make sure that any fraud will be underwritten by a professional insurance policy, the Land Registry ask all Buyers and Sellers of land who have done their own conveyancing to go see a suitable professional person and get that person to certify their identities.

Then of course if A is pretending to be B, sells B’s house and runs away, the person who identified him on Form ID1 to be B, and who has not run away, is in a spot of bother.

Now there are people who don’t like using Solicitors, so it must seem to them to be a bit of a catch 22 if in order not to use Solicitors when buying or selling land, they have to go and see a Solicitor anyway.

And it is a bit odd, to ask a Solicitor to do this. The role of a Solicitor is to act for a Client. If a Solicitor acts carelessly then that Solicitor must compensate C.

Traditionally, the only person to whom a Solicitor is liable is C. Or, if he botches the writing of a Will for C, he may be liable to C’s intended beneficiaries. But that is it. There is no concept that a Solicitor is liable to the whole wide world for the consequences of his or her mistakes.

So in the worst case can the Land registry actually sue a negligent or fooled Solicitor when all he has done is unwittingly fill in a form ID1 for a crook: – but who is not acting for the Land Registry, who has no contract with the Land Registry, who is not even being paid by the Land Registry? I really wonder.

Properly, it’s a job for a Notary. Just to say, you can come see me instead. Notaries are in the business of authentication and the authentication of identity is number one on our list of what we do all day. And we –Notaries – are liable to compensate anyone who loses out by relying upon our certificates.

There’s a song about it. – If you want to know who we are – Link Here –

And as ever – our message to you is, for documents for use around the world as well as forms ID1 in England, do contact me or Louise Morley here at AtkinsonNotary E7 Joseph’s Well Leeds LS3 1AB, phone 0113 8160116 and email notary@atkinsonnotary.com or via the website http://www.atkinsonnotary.com