Need a Notary Public in Moray?
Several of our solicitors at Grigor & Young – in Elgin and Forres – also hold the office of Notary Public.
What follows is an explanation of –
- Some of the situations in which you might need help from a Notary Public
- How you can contact us
- What our notarial services will probably cost you,
- Some situations where we probably cannot assist you, unfortunately.
We also give some specific questions we get asked about particular scenarios – and whether we can help with the work required.
In Scotland, a Notary Public has a number of roles.
The functions of Notaries Public in Scotland
Most commonly, oaths, affidavits and affirmations require to be taken before a Notary – including affidavits in undefended divorce cases – although, in certain circumstances, a solicitor can also administer the oath.
A Notary can check original documents and provide certified, notarised copies.
Certain foreign documents for use in foreign jurisdictions require execution or certification before a Notary. This is particularly true when buying or selling abroad. Frequently there will be a requirement to appoint an overseas attorney to handle paperwork and open bank accounts on your behalf. It has become much more common during COVID times because of restrictions on international travel. A power of attorney in this type of scenario usually has to be signed in the presence of a Notary.
Notaries have a function in signing documents for the blind or illiterate and can notarise: entry of a person to overseas territories; documentation for formation of overseas companies; and drawing for repayment of Bonds of Debenture.
Some documents for use abroad require a signature and notarial seal and then have to be “legalised” (authenticated) by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
We can certify documents by signing and sealing them before they are then sent on to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to be legalised.
Most of our Notaries have had their Seal and signature authenticated by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) for this purpose.
The UK Government offers an online service for getting documents legalised and it is generally most cost-effective for you if you send the notarised document off yourself rather than us doing it on your behalf. The standard FCO service costs £30 per document plus postage/courier costs (which may take the total up to around £50).
If you want us to carry out that part of the process for you, the cost will be higher than the amounts quoted below because it involves us in a lot more time (and responsibility). A typical charge for us notarising a deed then sending it to FCO for an Apostille and then arranging for the deed to reach its ultimate destination (e.g. a solicitor or notary in another European country) would be £120 + VAT + Apostille costs.
How we can help
We can often notarise documents at short notice and, in emergencies, outwith normal business hours.
You will need to have satisfactory ID and we will always check that the service you require is within the competence of a Scottish Notary Public.
Feel free to contact us for advice or to make an appointment. All initial enquiries are free of charge and without obligation.
Basic charges for notarising deeds and other documents
Fees for Notarial Execution of 1 – 5 documents – £40 + VAT
Fees for Notarial Execution including seal – £50 + VAT
Please note that we cannot certify as a true copy Birth, Marriage or Death Certificates.
Situations where we cannot help you, if you are a new client (or non-client) of Grigor & Young
On advice from the Law Society of Scotland, we cannot and should not certify documents for non-clients if it is to prove the person’s identity (ID) for anti-money laundering (AML) purposes.
We can notarise documents for, say, someone applying for a job overseas when we are certifying the authenticity of degrees and qualifications etc.
We are now sometimes being asked by estate agents to verify ID for our client who is purchasing from them, even though our client is not a client of theirs. The Money Laundering Regulations require them to ID the purchaser, as well as their seller client.
We cannot provide certified ID to estate agents if it is a new client (in most cases, the estate agency has just referred the person to us). If it is an established client of ours we may feel happier certifying the ID but we cannot guarantee that we will do it in all cases. The advice to Scottish solicitors from the Law Society was not to do it.
I require documents to be legalised by UK authorities and then the Vietnamese Embassy so I can apply for a teaching work permit in the country. Are you able to legalise documents or just certify them so that they can then be sent to the UK Legalisation Office?
We can help with this.