Notary Locator is a national Public Notary Directory listing Public Notaries practising in all States and Territories of Australia, including NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, ACT, WA, NT, & TAS

Frequently asked Questions

1. What is a Notary Public?

A Notary Public is a responsible official functionary appointed by a Superior Court of a State or Territory (except in Queensland where notaries are appointed under common law by the Archbishop of Canterbury, England) to witness as a third party the signing of important documents, to administer oaths and witness Statutory Declarations and to certify true and correct, copies of original documents both for national and international purposes.

2. Why are documents notarised?

To deter fraud. An impartial witness (a Notary Public) ensures that signatories to documents are who they say they are and not impostors.

A Notary Public ensures that signatories to documents have entered into agreements knowingly and willingly.

In a society in which national and international business dealings between strangers and nationalities of different countries are the norm rather than the exception, a Notary Public creates a trustworthy environment where strangers and foreign nationals are able to share documents with full confidence in their authenticity.

Notarised documents also are considered self-authenticating, which means the signatories do not need to testify in Court to verify the authenticity of their signatures. Having a document notarised is “a huge strategic advantage” in litigation.

3. May any document be notarised?

For a document to be notarised, it must contain:

  • Text committing the signer in some way;
  • An original signature (not a photocopy or a digital reproduction) of the document’s signatory;
  • A “Notarial Certificate” which may appear as an attachment to a multi-paged document as a face page and called an “eschatocol”.

The eschatocol is attached to the document to be notarised with knotted notary ribbon. The Notary completes the Certificate with appropriate text , signs it, and then applies his or her seal to complete the notarisation.

4. Is notarisation required by law?

For many documents, yes. Certain affidavits, real estate deeds and other documents may not be legally binding unless they are properly notarised.

5. How does a Notary Public identify a signatory?

Generally, a Notary Public will ask to see a current identification document that has a photograph, physical description and a signature. A current driver’s license, military ID or passport will usually be acceptable.

6. Does notarisation mean that a document is “true” or “legal”?
  1. No. A Notary Public is not responsible for the accuracy or legality of documents they notarise. Notaries certify the identity of signatories. The signatories are responsible for the content of the documents.

7. May a Notary give legal advice or draft legal documents?
  1. A Notary Public may give legal advice and draft legal documents in Australia because notaries in Australia have to be attorneys to be appointed Notaries Public. But bear in mind that giving of legal advice and preparation of legal documents is not a notary function itself and additional fees may be charged for these legal services.

8. May a Notary Public refuse to serve people?

Only if a Notary Public is uncertain of a signatories’ identity, willingness or general competence, or has a good reason to suspect fraud.

Notaries should not refuse to serve anyone because of race, religion, nationality, lifestyle, or because the person is not a client or customer.

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