The “Who, What, Why, When and Where” of Notarization in Singapore

Who can be a Notary Public in Singapore?

In Singapore, a notary public must be a qualified lawyer. A Notary Public in Singapore is appointed by the Board of Commissioners for Oaths and Notaries Public.

A Notary Public is usually an experienced lawyer with no fewer than 15 years of experience.

What does a Notary Public Do?

According to Singapore Academy of Law’s website (http://www.sal.org.sg/content/LI_conp.aspx):

The Notaries Public Act (Cap 208) expressly provides that every notary public shall have and may exercise within Singapore all powers and functions which are ordinarily exercised by notaries public in England.

Without prejudice to the generality of the powers and functions, the practical functions of a notary public follow those applicable in England, with some variations, and are principally as follows:

  • administer any oath or affirmation in connection with any affidavit or statutory declaration which is executed- for the purpose of confirming or proving the due execution of any document;
  • by any master or member of the crew of any vessel in respect of any matter concerning the vessel;
  • or for the purpose of being used in any court or place outside Singapore; take or attest any affidavit or statutory declaration referred to in (a).

A Notary Public acts as an impartial officer. He or she notarises documents by witnessing, authenticating and certifying the execution of documents. The role of a Notary Public in Singapore is to prevent fraud and to ensure that the person who executes the document does it on his or her freewill. This means that a Notary Public will refuse to notarize your document if you are signing it while you are medicated, intoxicated, or unable to understand what is happening.

A Notary Public also certifies true copy of your documents, such as Birth Certificates or Marriage Certificates.

A certified true copy is a copy (often a photocopy) of a primary document, such as a birth certificate or marriage certificate. Certifying true copy does not certify that the primary document is genuine, only that it is a true copy of the primary document.

As such, when certifying true copy, the Notary Public simply ensures that the photocopies are indeed true copies of your original documents. This is done by a visual comparison of the copies with the originals.

What does it mean to have a document Notarized?

Having a document notarized is the same as swearing under oath in a court of law. When a person signs a declaration, document or translation certificate before a Notary Public in Singapore, he or she is saying that the facts contained in the document are true.

What does Notarization involve?

To get a document notarized:

  1. Prepare a statement or declaration.
    Make sure that the statement or declaration has a space for the Notary Public to sign and place his or her seal. This is usually near the end of the document or near the place where you will sign. But DO NOT sign it yet.
  2. Make an appointment with a Notary Public in Singapore.
  3. The Notary Public will review your statement or declaration together with you. This is to ensure that you understand what you are about to sign and can attest to it.
  4. Provide a valid identification document, such as your company’s ACRA Business Profile (where applicable), Identity Card or Passport.
  5. Sign the statement or declaration in the presence of the Notary Public in Singapore.
  6. Wait for the Notary Public in Singapore to affix his or her signature, seal and stamp on your statement or declaration.
    The seal and signature of the notary public serves as an authenticating mark. Once this seal is placed, the binding nature of the information in your document is officially recognized.

… to be continued.

Posted in Notarized translation, Translation