Frequently asked questions
Who is a Notary Public?
A Notary Public is a senior lawyer with at least 15 years of experience practicing in Singapore, be at least 40 years old, and who has been appointed and approved to act as a Notary Public by the Senate of Singapore Academy of Law, as pear the Notaries Public Rules of Singapore.
The Notaries Public Act Chapter 208, Section 8 sets out the rules with regards to the regulation of the services that the Notary Public undertakes. The Notary Public acts as an independent and neutral party, performing the function of notarising documents for overseas usage.
Overseas instituition such as foreign banks, government agencies, educational sector and lawyers may require the assurance that the documents submitted are certified as genuine and properly executed.
Our Notary Public is a lawyer registered with the Legal Servivces Regulatory Authority, and regulated by the Law Society.
What is Notarisation?
With an increasing number of transactions taking place across countries, notarisation is a common and good practice to verify whether a document from another country is genuine.
As proof of notarisation, a notarial certificate, bind together with the documents, sealed and signed will be issued by the Notary Public to you, the client.
In what instance do I require notarisation and legalisation?
- Documents originated from Singapore that are to be used abroad.
- Documents originated from overseas that are to be used in Singapore.
- If you are managing an overseas business or property and are involved in litigation overseas.
- Completing the sale and purchase forms for your overseas properties.
- Selling your company incorporated overseas.
The above list is not exhaustive and may be subject to change according to the needs of the individual/organisation.
What does a Notary Public do?
The Notary Public does general notarisation to attest that a document is valid, and/or certify copies of documents as true copies of the original.
Examples of the type of documents are:
1) Certifying true copies of the original
This means that the Notary Public will state that copies of the document are indeed true copies after examining the relevant documents. The Notary Public will do this by visually comparing the original documents with the copies. i.e. photocopies of the original.
- Academic Transcripts
- Graduate Certificate
- Birth Certificate
- Marriage Certificate
The above list is not exhaustive and may differ according to the needs of the individual or organisation. Sometimes a Notary may be asked to certify that a document downloaded from an authoritative website, such as the e-bills to prove that it is a true document.
2) Attestation of the signature and execution of document.
Generally, the execution of documents refers to the signing of the documents in accordance with the requisite formalities. For example, the law may require that the document be signed by a certain number of people, or in the presence of a number of witnesses.
In the latter cases, a Notary Public may act as such a witness. This may happen, for example, in the signing of deeds, contracts, documents for the incorporation of a company or property transfers.
- Power of Attorney (POA)
- Incorporation Documents
- Transfer of Property
- Other instruments that are to be used abroad.
3) Administer oath or affirmation in connection with:
- Statutory Declaration
4) Note and protest Bills of Exchange
A bill of exchange is an unconditional order in writing by one party to another that binds that other party to pay a fixed sum of money to yet another party, usually called the ‘payee’ on demand or at a date fixed beforehand. In this sense, it is similar to a cheque , which is used by one person to pay a sum to money to another.
Protesting the bill of exchange comes into play when it has been dishonoured. Dishonouring a bill of exchange happens when the bill of exchange is not accepted, or where the payment required under it is not made, such that the holder of the bill of exchange is not able to collect the sum due.
In such circumstances, the holder of the bill of exchange must enlist a Notary Public to note such dishonour on the bill of exchange.
5) Ship's Protest
A Ship’s Protest is a declaration made under oath by the master of the ship stating that any damage caused to the ship or cargo due to instances such as bad weather or a maritime accident, rather than due to the master or crew’s negligence.
This is often done following the ship’s entry into port after a rough voyage. The purpose of a Ship’s Protest is to protect the shipowner, master or crew from any liability from damage to the cargo or the ship.
In general, you should seek advice from a lawyer (not the Notary Public), the person, or the organisation on the precise procedural requirements, on which of the notary public’s service(s) you will need to obtain for your document.
What is Authentication, Verification or Legalisation?
Documents that are to be used overseas may need to go through the process of authentication, verification, legalisation/apostille.
The process is as follows:
1) Notarisation of document by a Notary Public (us), who will attach the mandatory Notarial Certificate to it
Cost starts from $85 ($75 for the mandatory Notarial Certificate and $10 for the first document to certify true copy). For more information, please read the page on Our Rates.
2) Authentication is the act of confirming the identity of the Notary Public. And the authentication of the Notary Public’s signature is by the Singapore Academy of Law (SAL)
Cost: S$85.60 per document, immediate collection.
Location: The Adelphi, 1 Coleman Street, #08-06, Singapore 179803
Operating hours: 9am to 4.30pm (weekdays only).
(The last queue ticket will be issued at 4.00pm)
3) Verification of the document by Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA)
Cost: S$10 per document
Location: 1 Sherwood Road (near Dempsey), Singapore 248163
Operating hours: 9am to 4.30pm (weekdays only).
(The last queue ticket will be issued at 3.30pm)
In some countries or scenarios, the document may not need to be verified by MFA and are able to skip step 3 to go to step 4. You are advised to check with the person or the organisation (‘requiring party’) on the precise procedural requirements
4) Legalisation by the respective embassy/consulate to confirm the origins of a document – usually by affixing an official stamp and signature on the document.
Check with the respective embassies, consulates or commission in Singapore on the administrative fee.
(For example the fee est. S$30 per document at the Indonesian Embassy and S$750+ per document at the UAE Embassy)
What is Apostille?
Apostille is the certificate which verifies and confirms the seal and signature of person who authenticated the document.
Not all countries can issue Apostille, but only the countries who had signed ‘Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents’.
As Singapore is not a party to the Convention, Singapore Notary Public cannot issue Apostille. An alternative to Apostille is the Singapore Notary Public who will issue the mandatory Notarial Certificate.
Who decides the Notary Public Fees?
The fees payable to the Notary Public are set out in the First Schedule of the Notaries Public Rules of Singapore.
All other notarial acts not specifically mentioned in the Schedule, a notary public may charge such fee as may be considered reasonable in the circumstances.
Please refer to Our Rates section for more information.
Can you give me a discount?
The fees payable to notaries public are fixed by the law.
What if I do not need a Notarial Certificate?
With effect from 15 Feb 2017, as per the Notaries Public Rules of Singapore, the Notary Public must issue and sign a certificate for each document executed/attested by the Notary Public, or in connection with which the Notary Public has administered an oath, affirmation, or certify true copies.
All documents must be bound by a Red Ribbon, completed with the notarial seal (issued by SAL), Notary Public’s signature and stamp (issued by SAL). Any attempts to peel it off renders the document invalid due to the security feature of the seal which you will see the appearance of “Void” at the back of the seal.
Do I need authentication by the Singapore Academy of Law?
From 1 October 2019 onwards, every notarial certificate has to be authenticated by the Singapore Academy of Law (SAL) and would cost an additional $85.60 authentication fee which we are obliged to collect on behalf of SAL.
What type of payment modes do you accept?
We accept Cash, Cheque and PayNow. No Credit Cards