It’s often confusing as to whether you require a Notary Public or Commissioner for Oaths, particularly once you need some documents certified.
It all depends upon the character and purpose of the documents you need certifying and the state where the documents required.
A Commissioner for Oaths is someone commissioned by the Lord Chancellor to administer an oath or take any affidavit for the purposes of court matters in England. Solicitors holding a valid practising certificate may also perform this role providing oath or affidavit to be used in a court in England.
Additionally, it is worth noting that a Commissioner for Oaths or a solicitor can’t administer any oaths or affidavits to be used in an English court if acting for any or of the parties in the specific matter for which the documents required.
Alternatively, a Notary Public is a skilled solicitor who holds an internationally recognised public-office and with their specialism in the preparation, authentication and certification of documents. Documents to be used anywhere in the world and are appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury following a stringent application process involving an extreme 2-year training program, which could only be obtained by those already holding sufficient qualifications in a variety of legal practice areas.
The principal duties of a Notary Public are to check the identity of someone to whom the records relate, to ensure the person has understood and read any documents they are to sign and that the individual has an understanding of the transaction to which the documents are releasing.
The reason why a Notary Public is trusted to facilitate transactions anywhere in the world is that, while a solicitor’s primary duty is to his customer, a Notary Public’s primary concern is to the trade he/she is easing in another jurisdiction as well as overlook the credibility of any documents involved.
Employing a Notary public is often required when dealing with resources outside of England, like selling stocks that are administered by an overseas company or perhaps closing an offshore bank accounts or perhaps an overseas property transaction.
It could be beneficial to visit a Notary Public to get documents authenticated, it eliminates the need for the individual to travel abroad to take care of their affairs.
So the long and short of it is……….if you will need some documents authenticated in which the transaction and the assets are all here in England or Wales, then a solicitor permitted to Commission Oaths will be fine, but if any part of the transaction involves an overseas component, then you need to probably be using a Notary Public.