Australian Notaries Public are appointed by the Supreme Court of the relevant State or Territory in which they intend to practice, except in Queensland where Notaries are appointed under its common law heritage by England’s Archbishop of Canterbury, acting through the Master of the Faculties.
Their principal services are….
- Attestation of documents and certification of their due execution for use in Australia and internationally
- Preparation and certification of powers of attorney, wills, deeds, contracts and other legal documents of a similar nature for use in Australia and internationally
- Administering of oaths for use in Australia and internationally
- Witnessing affidavits, statutory declarations and other documents for use in Australia and internationally
- Certification of copy documents for use Australia and internationally
- Exemplification of official documents for use internationally
- Noting and protesting of bills of exchange
- Preparation of ships' protests
- Providing certificates as to Australian law and legal practice
On attending your appointment, if you are not personally known to the Notary, you must produce an official government identity document which displays your signature and recent photograph, such as a current Passport or Driver's Licence.
If your require a certified copy of an original document, you must bring with you the original and the Notary will copy it himself to ensure it is an exact replica.
A Notary may offer legal advice on documents requiring notarial services. If you require legal advice, bear in mind that this is an alternative professional service and additional fees may be payable over and above fees prescribed or agreed for notary services.
Read carefully any written instructions you have regarding the manner your document is to be completed and signed before attending your appointment, and have your papers in proper order, prepared and ready to sign. It is not the Notary’s function to complete blanks in your document, such as your full name and address. This detail should be attended to beforehand. However, refrain from actually signing the document until you meet with your Notary who must physically witness your signature.
Notaries must be satisfied that you fully understand the document being witnessed, particularly a document written in a foreign language.
They may require such a document to be translated into English before witnessing, if he or she is of the opinion that you do not fully understand or agree with its contents; or that a qualified interpreter be present to explain the contents of the document to you. If such a course is necessary, additional expenses may be incurred. Most notaries however, will witness signatures to documents written in languages other than English if satisfied you fully understand and agree with its contents.
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