So what exactly is a Notary Public
A Notary Public in South Africa is an admitted attorney who has passed the competency examination for Notarial Practice, and who has been admitted as a Notary Public by the High Court of South Africa. The Notary Public holds a respected office which is internationally recognised.
Depending on which country documents are required for, your documents may also require an Apostille or will require Authentication.
A Notary Public is not a commissioner of oaths. A Notary Public may certify documents for use abroad- usually documents which are only certified by a commissioner of oaths are not acceptable for use abroad, although documents certified by a Notary Public are usually acceptable, and a Notary Public may prepare a notarial certificate and place his/her seal on such documents.
A Notary Public:
may notarially certify documents for use abroad;
may confirm that a person has duly signed a document before him/her;
has the duty to ensure that the person who signs the document before him/her, truly is that person;
ensures that any person signing before him/her is competent to sign such document;
- ensures that any person signing any document before him/her is not under any influence or duress when they sign the document;
- when preparing a document on behalf of a client, ensure that the document is carefully explained to the client;
must carefully inspect a document to ensure its authenticity before certifying that it is a true copy of the original;
drafts documents which may only be executed before a Notary Public, such as notarial deeds, antenuptial and postnuptial contracts, etc.
usually performs an impartial role.