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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to make an appointment?
Yes, it is always best to make an appointment.

What identity documents do I need to bring?
You need to bring with you your current passport, or if you do not have one, some other satisfactory picture identity, such as a UK driving licence. You will also need to bring some evidence of your current address, which might be your driving licence or a current bank statement or utility bill.

Is it helpful if I sign the document before I come in?
No, it is important that the Notary discusses the document with you and witnesses you actually signing the document.

Do I need to bring my own witnesses?
No, we can provide any necessary witnesses.

I have an email from my lawyer abroad with the document. Should I forward it on to you?
Yes please, it is very helpful if we have clear instructions from the Foreign lawyer as to what is required and we have site of the proposed document before you come and see us.

How much will it cost?
Our charges depend mainly upon the time it takes, but also the degree of urgency. We have a minimum fee of £80 + VAT (£96). If you tell us what is required, we are happy to provide you with a quotation for the cost of the work.

Why is it so much, when all I want is for you to “stamp” a copy of my document?
This is a common misconception. The Notary does not simply stamp the document. He is certifying the copy to be a true copy of the original and frequently will be taken to be verifying that the original document produced is genuine.  For that reason, the Notary needs to carry out certain checks and may need to qualify his certificate in some way.

Can you certify copies of any document?
Although we can certify copies of many documents, we cannot certify copies of UK birth, death and marriage certificates. If we are unable to verify the authenticity of a document, we may need to provide a certified copy, making that clear.

Is it helpful if I provide my own copies for you to certify?
No.  It is best if you simply bring the original.  We make it our practice to take our own copies so that in the event of there being any issue, we can always confirm that we copy the document ourselves. 

Does it matter if my document is in a foreign language?
If the document is in any language other than English, we will require a translation.  This is because the Notary has to understand the document so as to be satisfied that you understand what it is that you are signing.

Do you draw up Powers of Attorney for use abroad?
No we do not. We only draw up Powers of Attorney for use in England and Wales. Powers of Attorney are subject to the law of the country in which they are being used, and must therefore be drawn up by a lawyer with experience of that jurisdiction.

Can Notaries administer oaths and take statutory declarations for documents for use in England and Wales?
Yes we can. But most such documents can be dealt with by solicitors who are only permitted to charge £5 per affidavit and £2 per exhibit, so it will almost always be more cost effective to go to a solicitor. You will need a notary where the document is for use outside the jurisdiction.

What is an apostille?
An apostille is a certificate from the British Government (the Foreign and Commonwealth Office) certifying that the signature and seal on the document are genuine.

Do you deal with obtaining with an apostille where this is required?
Yes, we can assist in obtaining an apostille and any other form of legalisation that may be required.

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Contact a solicitor in Reading or Henley-on Thames

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