Notarization or notarial act is the official fraud-deterrent process of examining, certifying and record-keeping performed by Notary Public or Notarial Services Attorney that solidifies the important document as trustworthy. It is many countries’ requirement to notarize personal or commercial documents originating from or signed in another country before officially using or before legally recognizing the document. Consequently, a document will have much more legal credibility once notarized.
It is an assurance by a duly appointed and unbiased Notary Public that a document is authentic, that its signature is genuine, and that its signer acted without coercion or intimidation. In other words, a notary certifies the identity of the signer and that they signed the document in front of a Notarial Services Attorney.
A notary public is a person of integrity appointed to act as an impartial witness to the signing of an important transaction. They perform a notarial act which validates the transaction. The act of notary is for the purpose of preventing fraud and forgery by requiring the personal presence of the signer and satisfactorily identifying the signer. Unlike other countries, in Thailand, only lawyers/attorneys have the authority to act as Notarial Services Attorney through the regulations of the Lawyers Council. For an Attorney in Thailand to become a Notarial Services Attorney, he must pass a special legal training course from the Lawyer’s council to get a notary’s license or attestation.
A Notarial Services Attorney may execute the following functions:
Examples of documents commonly notarized are as follows:
Certain affidavits, real estate deeds and other documents may not be legally binding unless duly notarized.
Be sure to bring an unsigned document because you need to sign them in front of the Notarial Services Attorney. You then have to present your original proof of identification with photo and signature such as Passport or other government issued ID. Afterwards, the Notarial Services Attorney will sign your document and then mark with a stamp or seal. This is to indicate that the signature is legitimate and it wasn’t somebody else pretending as you.
Be sure to check if the Notarial Services Attorney marked the document with a seal or stamp. The notation must correctly identify the date and place of Notarization, as well as the full name, title, Certificate validity date and License Number of the Notarial Services Attorney.
Notaries are not responsible for the accuracy or legality of the content of the documents they notarize because notaries merely certify the identity of signers. Overall, they have no responsibility to verify a document’s content. Hence, the signers are responsible for the content of their own documents.
Notaries should not refuse to serve anyone because of religion, nationality or lifestyle. A Notarial Services Attorney may only refuse service to anyone if they have a good reason to suspect fraud and the signer cannot reasonably prove his or her identity and general competence.
A blank line is an invitation for fraud. Therefore, you should complete the details of the documents before notarization, except for the space intended for the signature of the bearer because the signer must sign the document in front of the Notarial Services Attorney.