A notary public holds a very important role in legalising and proving documentation legitimate for international use.
However, there are many common misconceptions surrounding notary publics and what their role actually entails.
The common myths about notary publics are:
Notaries can give legal advice and draft documents:
False, notaries are not actually lawyers and no not have the authority to draft legal documentation and offer legal advice. If a notary was also a fully qualified attorney, acting in a legal capacity for a client, then there is an exception to this rule.
Notary publics have an easy job
It is common for people to think that all a notary does is sign and stamp documents. There is a lot more detail in a notary publics role. The notaries need to have basic understanding of the documents and papers they are being asked to notarise and what type of notarial act is required to correctly stamp and approve the document being presented to them.
A notary is never overseen or monitored
A notary is overseen and monitored as they are appointed by a state government to act as an impartial witness and party when important documents need to be signed. Every notary has a set of legal rules and responsibilities that they must adhere to, if they fail to follow these rules they can be subject to serious repercussions that can be implemented by the state.
Notaries must be of service whenever they are requested
A notary public usually always lives up to their role and position. However, there are some circumstances in which a notary public can refuse to provide service, under these provisos.
– There is a suspicion of fraud between the signers or the document being asked to be notarised.
– They are unable to verify the identity of the signer with an authentic document, like a driver’s licence, birth certificate or passport.
– If they believe that the signer is being persuaded or coerced against their will to sign a document.
It is law that a notary must never refuse the right to service anyone because of race, origin, religion, sexual preference etc.
Notaries and notary public services are outdated
Most people who have not had the experience of dealing with notary public services believe that there is no need for notaries and their particular public service and role is outdated.
However, lots of businesses and business partners regularly seek notarisation of documentation that include: mortgage lenders, loan officers, title companies and law firms.
Notary publics have the power to make a document legal
This is untrue. The notarisation process only verifies the identity of the person who signed it and proves that they signed willingly and can use the document overseas etc. A notarised document is not an official legal document as a notary isn’t responsible for legalising documents they notarise.
Notary public services are free
Notaries can’t directly charge a fee for their services, only the state law can set fees. Notaries can only charge a fee that sits within the maximum set fee that their particular state sets for their services.
All documents and paperwork can be notarised by an official
Any document can’t just be notarised without official language and word that commits the signer to document. The document must also require an original signature from the signer of the document, as well as contain a notarial certificate of the document itself.
Notaries can offer advice and legal expertise to individuals when filling out immigration forms.
Notaries are not legally qualified to help prepare or offer legal advice or file away anyone’s immigration paperwork.
The only exception to this rule is if a notary is acting in the capacity of an attorney or accredited representative approved by the state government.
At Visatec Legal, we offer experienced, knowledgeable and fully qualified notary public services in Melbourne.
If you would like to learn more about our notary public services available, please feel free to contact us on: 1300 484 728 to speak with a member of our team today.