Benjamin Wise

Notary Public in Kent

notary public Erith,Kent
notary public Erith,Kent

Contact Me


07817 728 088


020 3897 0807


Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to some of the questions I am most frequently asked.

What does a Notary Public actually do?

A Notary Public is a fully qualified lawyer - a member of the third and oldest branch of the legal profession within the United Kingdom.

They are appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and are subject to regulation by the Court of Faculties. The rules which affect Notaries Public are very similar to the rules which affect Solicitors.

You will require a Notary Public if a document in question needs to be sent outside of the UK. Notaries are recognised internationally in this regard.

A Notary must be fully insured and maintain fidelity cover for the protection of their clients and the public. In addition, a Notary must also keep clients' money separately from their own and comply with stringent practice rules and rules relating to conduct and discipline. Notaries also have to renew their practising certificates every year and can only do so if they have complied with the rules.

How much does it cost?

I will normally quote you a fixed fee before I commence any Notary work. If this is not possible because the work required is particularly complex then I will inform you of my fee structure in advance.

Please contact me for a quotation.

What is Apostille and Legalisation?

Legalisation is the process by which the signature and seal of the Notary Public are authenticated by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and/or the embassy or consulate of the country in which the document is to be used.

The apostille can only be issued by the FCO but this can also be referred to as legalisation. When a document is stamped by an embassy or consulate it is only called legalisation.

When I sign and stamp a document, the person receiving that document in a foreign country needs confidence that I am a genuine notary. This is where the apostille or legalisation comes in. My signature and seal have both been registered at the FCO, embassies and consulates in the UK. When my notarial document is sent to these places my signature and seal will be checked against the records held. They can then issue the apostille or legalisation stamp which is normally affixed to the back of the document.

An apostille is issued in accordance with the Hague Convention 1961. As such it is sometimes referred to as a Hague stamp.

Documents going to countries which are, or have been, part of the British Commonwealth seldom need legalisation nor, at present, do documents going to many parts of the United States.

What you need to bring with you to an appointment

Prior to an appointment  you will need the following:

  • The document or documents which require the seal and signature of the notary. Please make sure that you do not sign or have it witnessed before the appointment. It is imperative that everything is done in my presence as the notary.
  • Any instructions which have been given by the lawyer or foreign Notary who has prepared the document. There are sometimes requirements about signing each page or even the colour of the ink.
  • Your passport¬†or, if you have no passport, a government issued document which bears your photograph such as a modern driving licence and a document which proves where you live such as a recent utility bill or bank statement. If you have difficulty producing such original documents, I shall need to discuss with you what evidence of identity I shall need to see to satisfy myself that you are the person you say you are.
  • If you have received the document electronically, please forward it to my email address in advance of the appointment. Please check the document carefully for errors in your name, address and passport number. If I have received the document electronically I should be able to make any necessary amendment to the document.