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What is a Notary Public?

Most people would not know what is a Notary Public is when asked. Some have never even heard of this occupation. A notary public’s role is to attest & certify under an official seal that documents as well as signatures are valid & authentic.

Companies, foreigners, employers, immigration authorities, banks, government agencies, educational institutes & lawyers are most likely to require notary public services for the submission of documents used overseas usually, or in sometimes in Singapore.

In Singapore, guidelines for the application of a notary public are strict, which is famously known in the world.

The requirements are that applicants must be a licensed & practicing advocate or a solicitor, with no lesser than 15 years of experience in active legal practices & must be at least 40 years old.

An applicant would be rejected if bankruptcy has happened or found with misconduct, as it is deemed as unfit for the practice of a Notary Public.

Application of Notaries Public are considered & appointed by the Board of Commissioners for Oaths and Notaries Public twice a year. The appointment of a notary public is only valid for a year, reappointment is subject to approval from the Board.

The History of Notary Public

The Notary Public is known to have origins from ancient Rome. Government officials were called scribae, acted as recorders of facts & judicial proceedings & translators of state papers. In the last Century of Republic, a new form of scribae was known as notae.

Writers adopted the new word for scribae as Notarius, applied in every letter that was sent to government officials like the governor, Prime Minister and even to the Emperor. Since then, notaries were established with relations to civil law till today.

What does a Notary Public do?

Notaries Public act as impartial officers that notarize documents by witnessing, authenticating & issue Notarial Certificates to show that documents and signatures are valid & authentic.

Notarial services are needed usually for people who own businesses & properties overseas & need documents in Singapore to be used in that overseas location. People who are involved in foreign litigation would need notarial services too. There are different types of Notarial services that a Notary Public provides: Attestation services, Legalisation services, Verification services, Witnessing signatures, Certifying of True Copies and Certification services.

What are the fees of a Notary Public?

The fees of a Notary Public are fixed by the Notaries Public Rules (Cap 208, R1). Fees are exclusive of work like translation, interpretation, travelling & other work-related expenses. Fees charged by a Notary Public are not negotiable unless other work is involved. Get in touch with a Notary to find out more about the full services & fees involved.

How to find a Notary Public?

The website of the Singapore Academy of Law provides an online directory of all Notaries in Singapore with their contact details like email & company addresses. Different firms deal with different languages like Malay, Mandarin & Hindi, which you may need, to save translation or travelling costs.

Need a Notary Public?

Here at Michael The Notary, we provide information on what we do & how to help. A commissioner for Oaths, Michael the Notary has over 10 years of experience with clients that require different services. We are also partnering with law firm Clifford Law LLP. With our experience and professionalism, Michael the Notary offers services that will meet what you need. Contact us now to find out more of the Notary services we offer.

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Michael The Notary

Clifford Law LLP 1 Coleman Street The Adelphi #08-04 Singapore 179803


+65 6223 4456 / +65 9679 4587