What is a Notary Public?22.09.2022
Notarisation refers to documents that have been certified by a Notary Public. A Notary Public is a qualified and practising Singapore lawyer who has generally at least 15 years’ professional experience, and who has been empowered under statute to perform functions such as the administration of oaths and affirmations, or attestation of statutory declarations. The fees chargeable by a Notary Public for their services are prescribed by that statute as well. The Singapore Academy of Law is the senate which appoints and regulates Notary Publics in Singapore.
Most commonly, Notary Publics are requested to:
- Confirm the identity of an individual (for example as referred in a government-issued photo-ID such as a passport)
- Witness the signing of documents, and
- To certify copies of original documents.
As a general rule, documents that will be used outside of Singapore have to be certified by a Notary Public.
Additional Safeguards to Document integrity
From 1 October 2019, all documents that require notarisation will have to be attached to a Notarial Certificate, and which must be authenticated by the Singapore Academy of Law [SAL]. The purpose of this is to strengthen document integrity and prevent cases of fraudulent notarial and authentication certificates.
With mandatory authentication by SAL, parties receiving these documents can be assured that they are validly certified by a genuine Notary Public of Singapore. Members of the public and recipients of notarised documents can log on to https://legalisation.sal.sg to verify the authenticity of notarial certificates.
Apostille Convention and Legalisation
Previously, many countries required that foreign public documents be legalised before they were accepted for use in those jurisdictions.
The Ministry of Law in Singapore announced that on 16 September 2021, the Apostille Convention entered into force in Singapore. Countries who have acceded to the Apostille Convention are obliged to waive the additional requirement of legalisation of documents and must accept apostilles issued by other member countries. For Singapore, the authority issuing apostilles is the Singapore Academy of Law.
Therefore, documents that have been notarised by a Notary Public in Singapore, generally do not need to be further legalised.
For countries such as the People’s Republic of China, Vietnam or Argentina who have not acceded to the Apostille Convention, the additional requirement for legalisation may still be required, depending on the requirements of that country.
Do you need a Notary Public?
JCP Law LLC has an in-house Notary Public. For added convenience we also offer the following non-contact options (within Singapore only):
- doorstep collection of original documents for certification of true copies at an additional flat fee of S$20 per trip.
- Video witnessing of signing, followed by doorstep collection of original documents at an additional flat fee of S$20 per trip.
- Courier delivery of notarised documents at a flat fee of S$20 per trip.
You may contact us via email, phone or whatsapp for assistance.