E-notarisation is a relatively new concept, which allows a notary to notarise a document with an electronic signature.
Once a document has been e-notarised, it may also need to be e-Apostilled in order to be accepted internationally.
Here at Vanner Perez Notaries LLP, we can assist with both the e-notarisation and e-Apostille.
As the process is new and developing, it is essential to check:
- that your document is suitable for e-notarisation and e-Apostille. Certain documents cannot be e-Apostilled and the full list is available on the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) website, which can be found here.
- that the receiving jurisdiction will accept the document. E-notarisation and e-Apostille will not be accepted in all situations. For example, documents requiring further legalisation at a Consulate or High Commission, can only be accepted in hard copy.
We can assist if you have been asked to have your signature on a document e-notarised. In most instances we would need to schedule a video call, whereby the notary can identify you with your ID held up to the camera, and then using ‘remote access’ on a digital platform, you sign the document electronically. The notary will then take back control of the screen and issue their notarial certificate, using a Qualified Electronic Signature (QES).
We can also e-notarise documents that do not require your electronic signature, such as documents filed at Companies House (e.g. certificate of incorporation/ memorandum and articles of association), degree certificates, P60s, payslips and many more. If documents were issued to you in hard copy, then we would still need to see the original documents, so we can confirm that the scanned version is a true copy of the original. Educational and employment documents would also need to be verified with the issuing body, but the team at Vanner Perez Notaries can advise you further on these requirements.
Once your document has been e-notarised, it can be submitted to the FCDO for an e-Apostille. A plain PDF of a document, without an Advanced Qualified Signature or Qualified Electronic Signature, cannot be submitted for the e-Apostille service, as it must be e-notarised first. At the time of writing, an e-Apostille costs £30 and takes up to 2 working days. We can assist with submitting your document to the FCDO for the e-Apostille.
Key points to note:
Some documents cannot be e-notarised and e-apostilled such as UK-issued birth, marriage and death certificates and UK issued criminal record checks (i.e. ACRO/DBS). We can still assist with notarising and apostilling these for you, but only in paper form.
Documents such as affidavits, oaths and declarations need to be sworn in the presence of the notary in-person, rather than over a video call.
If your documents require further legalisation at an Embassy or Consulate (e.g. China, UAE, Vietnam), then the e-notarisation and e-apostille process would not be suitable at this time. The documents would need to be notarised and apostilled in hard copy, before they can be submitted to the Embassy/Consulate.
As the concept of e-notarisation and e-Apostille is still new, we recommend that you check with the receiving party/jurisdiction if they will accept the documents in electronic format, as no hard copy is produced. If the receiving jurisdiction insist on hard copy documents, then we can assist with notarising and apostilling the documents in hard copy format.
Get in touch with our team for more information.