Singapore Notary Public
Who and What is a Notary Public
Notary Public are generally qualified lawyers who have at least 15 years of continuous legal practice experience in Singapore and they are appointed by the Board of Commissioners for Oaths and Notaries Public to provide notary services to the general public.
There are also notary public, albeit fewer in numbers, who are appointed to provide notary public services to government departments.
Only qualified persons who have been appointed the Board of Notaries Public can notarise and perform notarial services in Singapore.
It is a common misconception that all lawyers and Commissioner for Oaths in Singapore can act as Notaries Public. This is not the case. While lawyers can certify true copies of documents and the Commissioners for Oaths can administer affidavit and statutory declarations for use in Singapore, they cannot notarise documents. Documents which have been certified by lawyers who are not Notaries Public, will not be sufficient if the document is needed for overseas or is a specific document which requires notarisation by a Notary Public. For example, financial services like banks or government authorities might require documents such as constitutional documents like Certificates of Incorporation, Business Profiles, Constitutions, Charge and Mortgage documents to be notarised by a Notary Public. Certification or witnessing by a lawyer who is not a Notary Public, may not be sufficient for those purposes.
The common functions of a notary public are to witness a person or corporate entity sign documents and to certify a document as a true copy of the original document.
A Notary Public has to verify that signatures on a document were signed by the person or corporate entity referred to, with their own free will. Valid notarisations of documents will ensure no one can pretend to be someone else, or force a mentally incapacitated person to execute a document against his or her own free will.
In addition to witnessing of documents, a notary public may be asked to certify a document as a true copy.
Depending on the circumstances, Notaries Public may be required to carry out further research or verification to satisfy themselves that everything is legitimate with the notarisation.
For examples, a Notary Public, who is engaged to certify that a document is a true copy, has to carry out company searches on a company to confirm the directors/shareholders; or if a director wishes to sign a document on behalf of a company, the Notary Public will have to be satisfied that the director has the authority and is abiding by the company’s formalities laid out in their Company Constitution (formerly known as Memorandum & Articles of Association. If the director is representing a foreign company, the Notary Public may have to seek a legal opinion from the jurisdiction in which that company operates, confirming that the director in question has the authority to act on behalf of the company.
For any document to be accepted internationally, the document has been correctly notarised by an official Notary Public, who is regarded as such in the jurisdiction where the document was notarised. In Singapore, the Notary Public will verify the identities of the persons or corporate entity signing the document, witness the signatures, and imprint the document with a stamp (or “seal”) issued by the Singapore Academy of Law. The Notary Public will also have to issue a Notarial Certificate and inform the client that the documents have to be apostilled by the Singapore Academy of Law.
For use in specific countries, the documents must also undergo a process called legalisation at the relevant Embassy or High Commission before they can be used in these specific countries. On behalf of our clients, we can arrange for legalisation at all embassies and High Commissioners which are located in Singapore.
The Notary Public has to witness your signing or certify your document as a true copy. The duration may vary depending on the time taken for him to explain the document, procedure and the time taken to process the notarisation, which involves endorsing on your document, submitting information online to the Singapore Academy of Law, issuing a Notary Certificate and bundling the Notary Certificate on your documents.
For general guidance only, you should set aside approximately 15-30 minutes waiting time for a document and about 30-45 minutes for 2 or more documents. For numerous documents or multiple sets of documents, the Notary Public may request that you collect the documents on the next working day.
It is therefore imperative to notify the Notary Public in advance in the event that you have many documents for notarisation so that he can plan your appointment with him accordingly.
No, you do not need to see a Notary Public if you want to certify true copy of a document. You can either personally deliver the original document to our office or arrange for someone to do so, with clear instructions on what wordings require notary endorsements by the recipient. You can also send a clear copy of documents by email to the Notary Public to examine before sending the original document to our office. However, the Notary Public can only certify true copy of document after he has seen the original document.
No, you do not need to make appointment for collection. The Notary Public will notify you after your document has been notarised. You can collect from our Notary Public office at any time during business hours, 9 am to 6 pm, Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays.
You can also arrange with the Notary Public to courier the notarised documents to your local address or overseas address. However, you will need to make prior arrangement and make payment of courier charges at the time of engaging the Notary Public.
Yes, you are required to sign the document in the presence of the Notary Public. You cannot pre-sign the document or sign remotely. The Notary Public will have to verify your identity by checking on your identity document and to ensure that you understand the nature of document and you are signing voluntarily and without duress.
No, you have to be physically present in Singapore in the presence of the Notary Public when you sign the document. The Notary Public cannot witness your signing of the document via video conferencing.
The notary public fees are fixed by law in Singapore. The list of fees charged by a Notary Public for certain notarial services are set out in the First Schedule of the Notary Public Rules (https://sso.agc.gov.sg/SL/NPA1959-R1?DocDate=20170210&ProvIds=Sc1-.#Sc1-).
For witnessing a document, the notary fee is $40.00 for the first person, $20 for the second party and $10 for each additional party to the same document. If there is any exhibit, the notary fee for each exhibit is $10 per exhibit.
For examining and certifying that a document is a true copy of the original (where a Notary Public is required to affix a seal), it is $10 for the first page and $2 for each subsequent page. Where the Notary Public is not required to affix a seal, the notary fee is $5 for the first page and $1 for each subsequent page. Similarly, if there is any exhibit, the notary fee for each exhibit is $10 per exhibit.
While the notary fees for witnessing and certifying true copies are fixed by the Notary Public Rules, the Notary Public can charge reasonable fees for other notarial acts which are not fixed by the Notary Public Rules.
With effect from 17 February 2017, it is compulsory for a Notary Public under the amended Notary Public Rules to issue a Notarial Certificate for all documents witnessed or certified. This requirement applies even if you are not submitting your document(s) to an Embassy, High Commission, foreign government authority or a foreign recipient who may not require such Notarial Certificate.
The Notary Public will charge for issuing a notarial certificate for each document that has been notarised (i.e. witnessed/certified as true copy).
The costs for issuing a Notary Certificate is $75 for each notarised document and this is in addition to the notary public fees.
All notarised documents must be authenticated by the Singapore Academy of Law. This is mandatory since 1 October 2019. The authentication service is performed over-the-counter at the office of the Singapore Academy of Law which is located at 1 Coleman Street, #08-06 The Adelphi, Singapore 179803 and their operating hours are from 9.00 am to 4.30 pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).
The authentication fee for each notary certificate is $85.60 which is collected by the Notary Pubic before he issues the notary certificate