Who Can be a Notary Public in the UK?


For this article we are going to be focusing on the subject of a notary public, looking at the services that they offer, who can become one and how a person can go about training to become a notary public! Let us first look at some of the key services offered by a notary. 

What Does a Notary Public Do?

These include the attesting of the signature and execution of documents. The service of a notary can also be used to authenticate the contents of documents, as well as the administration of oaths and declarations. Other services include preparing and witnessing powers of attorney, corporate record dealings, and contracts for use in Britain or overseas. 

They can also deal with international internet domain name transfers in one of the roles more modern iterations! Of course, as the idea of a notary goes far back in history some of the services offered now would not be offered originally! Please be aware, this is not an extensive list; there are a lot of other common tasks that a notary public can support. It can be helpful to look at the full range of services from an officially licensed source, such as the official government website.

How to Become a Notary Public

So the definition of a notary is a person authorised to perform acts in legal affairs, very often associated with witnessing signatures on documents. Anyone could potentially become a notary public, but there are steps to take first. So how can someone train themselves to take on such a role? Routes may vary slightly but in general, the first part of the process would be to gain a law degree or GDL LPC or an individual module such as CILEX. Normally a person would seek to apply to qualify as a Notary early on within their legal career, say the first 5 years. They would then go on to get all of their exemptions and keep studying to improve their prospects. A notary can be a great lifelong career if desired.

Notaries are appointed by a government authority which may be a court or a lieutenant governor. They may also be appointed by a regulating body which is often known as a society or faculty of notaries public. There is a difference in the way lawyer notaries and lay notaries operate, where the former is normally an appointment for life and the latter is commissioned for briefer terms but has the possibility of renewal. When focusing on England and Wales there are two main classes of notaries: general and scrivener notaries. Although they have a difference of name, they are almost identical in their functions. Furthermore, all notaries which include solicitors, barristers, legal executives, and costs lawyers are also commissioners for an oath. They acquire the same powers as various law practitioners including solicitors, however, there is an exception regarding the right to represent others before courts (unless members of the bar or admitted as a solicitor) once they are commissioned, notaries. In summary, almost all English notaries are also solicitors and practice as such.

You might have found this article helpful if you were wondering ‘who can be a notary public’ and you’re interested in becoming one. You may also have found it useful if you are seeking to find out what the services of a notary public are.

With this in mind, you may like to look in more detail at the benefits of becoming a notary public and the benefits of using one of their services! A good place to start as mentioned would be the official government pages, and you will also find websites from notary bodies which should also answer any further questions that you may have.

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