FAQs

Here are some of the questions that our clients often ask us. If you don’t find the answer you are looking for below, please contact us and we will be happy to advise you.

What is Notarisation?

Notarisation is the process whereby a Notary certifies a document. Usually this is done by attaching a notarial certificate to the document. The notarial certificate contains statements of fact or law in relation to the document being certified. Our Notaries often issue certificates in the language of the country where the document being certified is to be used. Please see our Notarisation section for further information.

Do I need an appointment?

Yes, although we are sometimes able to accommodate walk in clients it is preferable to book an appointment in advance in order to ensure a Notary will be available to see you. This also allows us to ensure we have all necessary documents in advance and that the appointment is as brief as possible for you.

What should I bring to the appointment?

Normally you should bring the document requiring notarisation as well as the following:

  1. proof of identity (normally your passport);
  2. proof of residential address issued within the last three months (such as a bank statement, utility bill or council tax bill).

Other forms of identification that we may be able to accept include National Identity Cards and Driving Licences. If you have any queries about providing suitable proof of identity and residential address, please contact us.

Why do I need to bring proof of identity and proof of address?

One of the Notary’s fundamental duties is to properly identify his or her client. This requirement is laid down by our practice rules and legislation.

How much will it cost?

This will depend on the document being certified and exactly what the notary is required to do. Our notaries will be happy to discuss this with you prior to your appointment (please note it will often be necessary to see the document in advance in order to provide an accurate fee estimate).

Can you come to my office?

Yes, in most cases we will be able to attend clients’ offices (an attendance fee will be charged and this will depend upon the location and duration of the appointment – please contact us – will be happy to provide a fee estimate in advance).

How long will it take?

This can depend on a number of factors such as how many documents there are and whether any translation or legalisation is required. Our Notaries will be happy to give you an indication of how long the process should take. Please contact us should you require further information.

What documents do you notarise?

De Pinna offers a full range of Notarial Services. We notarise documents for use in all countries around the world, often in a foreign language or in a bilingual format. Please see our Notarisation page for further information.

Do I need a translation?

One of the Notary’s’ main duties is to ensure that you understand the document that you are signing. We have Notaries who are conversant with Spanish, French, German, Dutch, Italian and Portuguese. A written translation may be required prior to the document being signed. We are able to provide both certified and uncertified translations into and from most languages using our highly qualified panel of external translators. Please contact us should you require clarification on this point, or a quotation.

What is a notarised translation?

A document whereby the accuracy of a translation is certified by a notary or alternatively where the translator responsible for the translation certifies its accuracy and the notary certifies the signature of the translator.
Where a notarised translation is not necessary, a plain or uncertified translation can be provided. Please see our translation page for further details.

What is a certified translation?

Essentially the same as a notarised translation.

What is Legalisation?

The process whereby the signature (and if relevant the Seal) of the Notary or other Public Official (such as a Registrar) is certified by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and/or Consulate / Diplomatic Mission of the country where the document is to be used. Please see our legalisation section for further details on the requirements for various countries and the services we offer. Please contact us if you require a fee or time estimate for the legalisation of a document.

What is an Apostille?

The Apostille is a form of certification issued in the UK by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirming the signature (and if relevant the Seal) of the Notary or other Public Official (such as Registrars) who has signed a particular document. For countries which have ratified The Hague Convention of 5th October 1961 on the use of the Apostille, the legalisation process is complete once the Apostille is obtained. For all those countries which are not parties to this Convention it will normally be necessary to obtain further legalisation at their particular Consulate or Diplomatic Mission in the United Kingdom. Please see our legalisation section for further details on the legalisation requirements for the various countries and the services we offer.

What is Consularisation?

Consularisation is the process of legalising a document at the Consulate of the country in which it is to be used. This is usually required for countries which are not parties to The Hague Convention(referred to above).

What is a Scrivener Notary?

A notary, who has undergone additional training and passed both examinations in the law of a particular foreign country and translation examinations in two foreign languages. As the Notaries at De Pinna are specialist lawyer-linguists, most are Scrivener Notaries.

What qualifications does a Notary have?

Notaries form the third (and oldest) branch of the legal profession in England and Wales along with Solicitors and Barristers. As such they are required to pass examinations in various different areas of law. Full details of the qualification requirements for Notaries in England and Wales are available on the website of the Faculty Office.

Are you Commissioners for Oaths?

Yes, our Notaries can also act as Commissioners for Oaths in relation to Statutory Declarations and Affidavits to be used in the United Kingdom. Where the document in question is to be used outside the United Kingdom, Commissioners for Oaths have no authority to act. In these circumstances we act solely as Notaries.

What is the Faculty Office?

The Faculty Office is the abbreviated name of the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury which is the regulatory body for all Notaries practising in England and Wales. Please see the website of the Faculty Office. for further details.

Are you a UK Notary?

All our Notaries are entitled to practise anywhere in England and Wales. If you are executing a document in Scotland or Northern Ireland you will need to see a Scottish or Northern Irish Notary. Different rules for the qualification and appointment of Notaries apply in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Are you a U.S. Notary?

No but we can usually still provide our services. Notaries in England and Wales can assist U.S. citizens and others who require documents to be notarised for use in the U.S.A. An Apostille stamp will sometimes be required in addition if a client has been expressly told to see a U.S. Notary or go to the U.S. Consulate. Please see our U.S. Notarial Services page for further details.

Are you members of the Notaries Society?

Yes, all of our notaries are members of the Notaries Society which is the main representative body for notaries in England and Wales.


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