Using of a Notary Public can sometimes be confusing, especially as there is can be some jargon involved. We’ve put together a guide for our Notary Public Clients of some common technical words used when notarising the legalising documents.

Affiant – The person signing an Affidavit.

Affidavit – A written statement of evidence which is signed before a person authorised to administer affidavits such as a Notary Public.

Affix – Attaching or impressing the Notary Seal to a document.

Authenticate – Most commonly, authentications are requested for documents that are bound for a foreign country. A document is authenticated by attaching an Apostille or certificate of authority to it.

Apostille, Apostillized, Apostille Certificate – The legalization certificate, or certificate of authority, issued by the Legalisation Department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Certify – To authenticate or attest a document as being true or represented.

Commission for Oaths – A Notary Public or other professional authorized to administer an oath to a person making an affidavit. For further information please visit.

Deed Poll – A Deed Poll is a form of legal contract which only concerns one person and is signed by that person in presence of a witness. A Deed Poll is a name to legally changes the name of the person who signs it.

Identification document – The evidence used to confirm identity. This will usually be a current passport and a bank statement or utility bill to confirm your residential address.

Notarisation – The process of a Notary Public adding a Notary Stamp and Notary Seal to a document.  

Notary Legalisation – The process by which the signature and seal of the notary are authenticated by the Foreign Office and/or the Embassy or Consulate of the country in which the document is to be used. This process varies depending on the country.

Notary Public, Public Notary or Notary – The role of a Notary Public is to verify, corroborate, prepare and certify legal documents for global use.

Notary Seal – The imprint or embossed impression of a Notary Public’s stamp.

Notarisation – This is the term used to describe how a Notary Public witnesses and certifies the execution of the document or confirms a legal principle or fact. Often notarisation requires the Notary Public to draft of a specific and suitable notarial certificate.

Notarial Act – An official act that a Notary Public is authorized to perform by statute. Can be in Public or Private form and is also sometimes referred to as a Notarial Deed.

Notarial translation – A Notary will affirm the translation is a true representation of the original document.

Power of Attorney – A document giving a person authority to act for another person in specified or all legal or financial matters.

Signatory – A person who has signed an agreement or contract.

Statutory Declarations – A prescribed declaration, made under statutory authority, which may in certain cases be substituted for a statement on oath before a Notary Public.

Witness – To observe the signature or execution of a document in order to authenticate it.