What is a Notary?
Notaries are an ancient branch of the legal profession; holders of a unique office of trust who have special knowledge and experience in matters which cross international borders and jurisdictions.
A notary public in Victoria is a senior lawyer who is responsible for certifying and attesting documents intended for use anywhere in the world.
So, that all sounds very interesting but what does a notary actually do?
In simple terms, as a notary I authenticate documents that are being sent overseas, such as:
- Witnessing powers of attorney for use in foreign countries often in relation to property and estates
- Certifying university degrees and academic qualifications for people seeking employment overseas
- Certifying identity documents for people setting up bank accounts internationally
- Preparing certificates to assist with various international transactions
Part of my role, which is relied on by the international court or institution, is to authenticate the identity of the person who appears before me with the documents, so I must be provided with government issued photo identification.
Often when documentation is required for use overseas an Apostille or authentication is also required. This is the process of obtaining a second layer of authentication from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). I can assist in organising this service, to save a trip to DFAT in Melbourne.
In some instances, even further authentication is required with the relevant country’s consulate. We can provide advice on the process involved in obtaining this third layer of authentication.
As one of the very few practising notaries in Geelong, I see a vast array of documents in all types of matters. The best advice is to give us a call and chat about your requirements, that way we can make sure that you have everything ready for when you come in to see me.
Justine Finlay is available by appointment at both our Geelong and Ocean Grove offices. For further information please call 5221 8777.