#1 Bring your ID
This can be your passport, driving licence or other form of photographic Government issued ID.
#2 Bring your proof of address
A utility bill or bank statement will be suitable. Please note, that as of 8th June 2015 the counterpart driving licence is no longer valid so is not suitable as a proof of address.
#3 Bring the original document
Please bring the original document to your appointment even if the notary is only notarising a copy.
#4 Check fees in advance
It is a good idea to send the document by email or explain the nature of the document over the telephone before your appointment so the notary can give you an accurate fee quote. Please click here to get a fee quote for notary services.
#5 Book an appointment
It is sensible to book an appointment to visit us at Vanner Perez Notaries. This step can be completed when contacting the notary for fee quotes.
#6 Do not sign the document before your meeting
The notary will need to witness the signature on the document so please do not sign until in the presence of the notary.
#7 Check what is required from the receiving party
Double check from the person requesting the notarised document what is required. They will be able to advise on what will be accepted in the destination country. Does your document need to be legalised at the Foreign Office by way of an Apostille? Does the document need to go to a Consulate or Embassy? Your notary can advise on the process for most countries but it is always best to check with the person who will receive your document to avoid it being rejected.
#8 Bring supporting documentation and complete forms in advance
If you are signing an affidavit please do remember to bring any exhibits referred to in the document. Have you filled in all the required details on any forms? This will save time at your appointment, but remember please do not sign the document until in the presence of the notary.
#9 Allow enough time for the entire process (it could make it cheaper!)
Make sure you leave enough time to have your document/s notarised and (or) legalised. Please note that educational documents need to be verified before they can be notarised (link to educational document blog post) and the timescale varies depending on the issuing institution.
There are two services at the Foreign Office, these currently being £30 per document for the week long service or £75 per document for the one day service. Therefore, if you are in a rush you might need to opt for the more expensive one day service but if you have more time you can save money by going for the slower option.
Each Consulate/Embassy takes a differing amount of time to legalise a document. For example, the UAE Consulate currently takes one working day but the Brazilian Consulate can take up to 4-5 working days. Like the Foreign Office, some Consulates have a premium service to have a document legalised more quickly (but it is more expensive) so if you do have time to spare you can save money here too.
#10 Specific requirements
Let the notary know if you have any specific requirements before your appointment. They will be able to tell you the best way to proceed and if you need to bring in any additional documentation in order to get your document notarised. For example, educational documents for use in Taiwan will require an extra statement in the notarial certificate to confirm that the notary has been in contact with the issuing institution and has verified the authenticity of the document.