A good eye for detail.

This can come in handy in life -  particularly when we're talking about legal documents.

Getting the right signature from the right person in the right place can sound like a straightforward task, but where legal issues are concerned it is vital to get everything watertight.

Notaries are lawyers that can help get everything in place.

What can a Notary do for me?

One of the main areas of specialism for Notaries is the authentication and approval of signatures and documents that are then for use abroad. If you are buying or selling property or other assets abroad, if you want to make a will to deal with those assets, or if you are applying to marry, work or live abroad you may need a Notary to help you with the documents.

Many Notaries are also solicitors.

Some also have specialist language skills, including scrivener notaries who are required to be linguists. You can find out more from the Society of Scrivener Notaries.

Who regulates notaries?

The Faculty Office is responsible for overseeing the regulation of Notaries. You can find out more on the Faculty Office site.

What do I do if something goes wrong with my notary?

If you find that you're not happy with the way things are going with your notary, make sure you let them know. Don't be afraid to call them or email to explain why you're not happy and ask them to put it right for you.

If you don't think this is working you have the right to make a complaint to the notary. Often this is done in writing but the main thing is to make it clear that you are making a formal complaint to them. This means that they will handle it properly for you.

If you want some ideas for putting together a letter of complaint the Legal Ombudsman has got an example complaint letter that you can read first.

After this if things still aren't sorted out with your notary you might want to contact the Legal Ombudsman for advice and support.

How should I pay for a notary ?

You can find information about paying for your legal services on our Legal Costs page.

Where can I find a notary?

There are different ways to find a notary. Some of the things you can try include:

  • Go to the Find a Notary page on the Faculty Office website
  • Use the search tool on the Notaries Society website
  • Search using findmyNotary
  • Carry out a general web search for 'Notary'
  • Check your local phone directory