What does a Notary Public do?
A Notary Public provides an internationally recognised authentication for documents you need to use abroad, be it witnessing your signature or certifying your copy documents as authentic copies of originals.
Most countries in the world subscribe to notarial services being a recognised function for authenticity within their jurisdiction. Depending on the Country you wish to submit your documents to, there may be additional requirements to the Notary certificate which are explained further below.
Attending a Notary Public provides the advantage of not having to physically travel to the Country you are seeking to submit your documents within, thereby saving you travel costs, valuable time, by allowing you sign within Ireland and yet have your document authenticated.
What is a Notary Public?
The Notary profession is one of the longest running services in the World, its origin can be traced right back to the Roman Empire and long before even the legal profession.
Depending on the requirements of the country you need documentation for, a Notary Public is internationally recognised as a qualified person to certify your documents as copies, witness your signature and provide an important stamp and seal which the Country you are sending those documents to will recognise.
Do I need an appointment?
Yes, you need an appointment to attend a Notary Public, especially now there are necessary safety measures to be taken during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please call on 091 567550, email email@example.com or use the booking function on this website.
What do I need to bring with me?
When you attend a Notary you will need to bring your original passport and a utility bill to prove your residential address. You need to personally present if you are looking for your signature to be witnessed.
For certifying documents, you will need to bring with you the original documents for examination together with coloured copies of the documents you wish to have authenticated.
What does the Notarial Certificate give me?
The function of a Notary Public is simply to witness or to certify.
A Notary Public cannot advise you whether the document will fulfil the function you intend in the foreign jurisdication it is destined for. For example, the wording and effectiveness of the document is not something a Notary Public will advise on. You will therefore need to check this thoroughly in advance with the entity requiring your documents within the Country of desination.
A Notary Public does not guarantee the effectiveness of the document in the foreign jurisdiction. He or she has only the function of witnessing, of confirming that you appeared before them, and that you signed where you have indicated and that the Notary Public was satisfied as to your identity on the day.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a document you sign to allow someone else to sign on your behalf. It is a very serious authorisation and should be very carefully considered.
A Power of Attorney document is a common feature in some European countries (e.g. France and Spain) when a person is buying or selling property. If you are executing such a document it is recommendable you would ensure it is for a very specific purpose only (eg for the sole purpose of selling a specific property) and you should ensure it is limited in duration (e.g. one year). Again, it is very important you understand the document thoroughly before you sign it before a Notary Public, and the Notary will not advise as to its contents or effectiveness, only witness your appearance and signature. The Notary will ask you if you understand the import of the document and you take sole responsibility for its contents. Due to the serious nature of the document it carries a higher Notarial fee for authentification, and please note most jurisdictions will also require the additional Apostille stamp to be impressed from the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs as explained below.
Is a refund available for Notarial Services?
In circumstances where the document ‘does not work’ or needs to be amended and re-certified or re-witnessed a refund will not apply as the Notary has fulfilled the function of their role by witnessing or certifying previously. Therefore it is very important to thoroughly check with the entity requiring your document that it is correctly drafted and appropriate within that jurisdiction. You are taking full responsibility for the veracity of the document and its contents. The Notary function is to state you have presented before him or her and they are satisfied having made due enquiries that you are who you present to them as, and that they saw you sign/ examined your original documentation.
Does the Notary keep any information regarding our appointment?
A Notary Public is obliged to keep a careful record of the type of documents processed, a copy of your identification and a copy of the proof of address you have presented. In the case of a Company, a careful record of directors, registered office and all relevant details will be retained. Please note this personal information is kept on file for a period of six years. It is safely stored in accordance with Irish date proteciton guidelines.
How much does it cost?
The standard Notary Public certification fee is €50 per document.
It costs €100 standard fee to witness a Power of Attorney document. In cases of mutliple documents (3 or more documents) a discount of 10% will apply and/or discount depending on the volume of documentation to be discussed in advance and at the discretion of the Notary.
For call outs to commercial premises/ on request, a call out fee also applies. In emergency or urgent situations an additional fee can also be payable depending on the circumstances.
Do other steps need to be taken for the authentification of my document?
Often, yes, and this needs to be thoroughly checked with the Country you are sending the documents to. Often an Apostille may be needed from the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs (especially in the case of Powers of Attorney for example). Often the Embassy of the Country to whom you are sending the document will also require to process and stamp it.
The additional authentifications of Apostille and Embassy are not always required however, and it will depend on the type of document, the requirements of the Country within which it is being presented, and often the entity to whom you are submittiing the document.
Apostille is an additional authentification stamp whereby the Irish State is certifying the authenticity of the Notary Public and confirming he or she appears on its register.
When do I get the Apostille Stamp, and when do I present a document to the Embassy of the Country for which it is destined?
After you have attended with the Notary Public. The Apostille Stamp will only be impressed on a document by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs after the Notary Public has sealed and witnessed it. The Embassy will provide its stamp at the very end (after the Notary and Apostille stamps) should it be necessary.
Do I need to arrange the Apostille Stamp and Embassy Stamp myself?
Yes, if you wish to save time and money.
I can arrange this for you if required, but I charge additionally for that service on a time basis. The Apostille Stamp currently costs a fee of €40 payable to the Department of Foreign Affairs in addition, but this can be submitted and paid for by you directly. You need to be careful to provide all necessary detail as outlined on the Department of Foreign Affairs website under the Apostille section, including the country your documents are destined for, your name, address, phone number and postal order for the prescribed fee etc.
Does my document need to be in English?
Yes, it does. It either needs to be in English, be a document upon which the English language appears alongside another language, or be a document officially translated by a reputable translation company who certifies and provides its full details on the translation. Please note a document presented as a translation using a search engine or other general online facility to translate will not be capable of notarisation.