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Getting Ready

Obviously, each case is different but usually the Notary will:

  • expect you to make an appointment
  • need you to bring good evidence of identity.  Generally, this will have to be a current valid passport and something like a Driving Licence or Council tax or electricity bill to confirm your address
  • need to be satisfied that you understand any document particularly a document which is not in English
  • want to see any relevant papers or documents that relate to the matter, including the contact details of the overseas lawyer or other advisor

It is essential that you email or send a copy of your document and any instructions for the execution of the document to the notary before your appointment.

What Does It Cost?

There are no set charges although a Notary should charge a proper fee which is appropriate for the level of service offered and which will enable them to meet the cost of acting properly and in accordance with the Rules made by the Faculty Office and with the demands of good professional practice.  For most matters the Notary should be able to tell you his fee in advance.  For more complex matters he will tell you how his fee will be assessed – usually based on how long he will have to work on your matter.  There may be fees to pay to third parties, such as the Foreign Office or an Embassy, an agent and courier charges.

How Long Will It Take?

If the document is straightforward, already prepared and in the correct form the notary is likely to need to see you for a minimum of 15 – 20 minutes and complete it within an hour.  Obviously it takes longer if the document is not straightforward or he has to draw up the document or make a proper copy.

Many countries want documents to be countersigned by their London Embassies (legalisation) and this will take several days unless you want to take them to the Embassy in person and wait in line.  The fees and procedures for this vary widely but the notary should be able to give you a reasonably accurate idea of the time and cost.


Notaries keep normal office hours.  They will, however make arrangements to see you out of hours or out of the office if it is really necessary.  This may cost more and take longer.  If your local notary is away or unavailable his office should be able to contact another notary for you, but you may have to travel some distance.

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