A notary public is a public officer who serves the public in non-contentious matters usually concerned with foreign or international business. Notaries are appointed by the Chief Justice. In general only solicitors are appointed.
What do notaries public do?
Notaries certify the execution in their presence of a deed, a contract or other writing. They can also verify some act or thing done in their presence. Among the things they do are:
- Authenticating documents
- Witnessing and proving signatures to documents
- Administering oaths
- Taking affidavits (other than for the courts in Ireland)
- Drawing up Powers of Attorney and other legal documents customarily prepared by notaries public
When am I likely to need the services of a notary public?
You are most likely to require a notary where you have to send papers or documents to a foreign jurisdiction. You may require the services of a notary in relation to:
- Foreign adoption papers
- Affidavits for use in foreign courts
- Copies of State documents for use abroad
- International contracts
- Powers of Attorney
How do I find a notary public?
A notary may notarise documents in the county where their principal office is situated and also in some adjoining counties. If the notary you choose will be required to notarise documents outside their county, you should check they are authorised to sign and notarise documents in that place. You can find a list of notaries public on the website of the Faculty of Notaries Public in Ireland (see below).
When meeting a notary you will be required to prove your identity and residence. You will be required to bring several forms of identification such as your passport and a recent utility bill.
Who regulates notaries public?
The Faculty of Notaries Public in Ireland promotes and regulates the profession of notary public in Ireland. There is a code of conduct (pdf) that notaries are required to follow.