A notary public in Dhoby Ghaut is a public servant appointed by a state official. The general focus of his or her job is to witness the documents’ verification and administer oaths. They serve to deter fraud, appearing as an impartial witness for legal documents such as affidavits, deeds or powers of attorney. The presence of a notary public helps to screen for imposters and make sure both parties are entering into an agreement knowingly and willingly.
Similarly, legalization is the process of proper authentication or screening of documents or the notary by the high commission or the embassy or the consulate of the country in which the document is to be used is authorized to or located in Singapore. In simple terms, it is the official confirmation of the originality of the documents or we can say that document legalization is just the confirmation that the stamp, seal or the signature showing in the document is genuine and not a fraud.
Dhoby Ghaut Notary Public Service Locations
We have been notarizing documents for over 12 years and am astounded by the incredible number of incompetent notaries that are notarizing documents on a daily basis and how little the public knows about this serious problem-until they learn about it the hard way. I have personally seen hundreds of documents rejected by county clerks and consulates for leaving out required notary wording, including incorrect information, using blurry stamps and a variety of other reasons. Every day, these untrained and seemingly clueless notaries put countless legal documents and contractual arrangements at risk-from Power-of-Attorney and Loan Documents to Prenuptial Agreements, Travel Consent Forms and Wills.
Most of the notaries notarizing today have received little or no training. They may study for a few hours or days, take the notary license test and then just start stamping away with no real understanding of the principles of notarizing or the mandatory notary requirements. A high percentage of notaries don't know even the most basic notarization requirement: that a notarized document include either what is known as a notary "acknowledgement" or a "jurat," two types of notary statements that are the core of a notarization. Having just the notary's commission stamp and signature on a document, a common practice by many notaries, does not make it notarized.
And you don't have to take my word for it. A study by one state association of notaries a few years ago confirmed that "a majority of notaries" were "not performing their duties properly." The study took place in NY but it could have been done anywhere in the US with the same results.
Another mistake notaries make is related to the location where the notarization takes place. The notary section must include the notary "venue": the state and county where the notarization took place. Instead of writing in where the notarization took place, many notaries often write in the county in which they have their notary commission filed (information that is included on their notary stamps and not what is needed for the venue). Or they don't see that the notary location is completely omitted from the document and do not add it.
Notary customers are constantly caught off-guard by this negligence or incompetence and it often has major consequences. Frequently, a customer will end up waiting on a government agency line for an hour or two to get a notarized document approved and then have to start from scratch when the document is rejected because the notary had no idea what he or she was doing. The notary customer may even have a flight later that day that will need to be delayed or cancelled due to not being able to get his or her documents properly approved in time. I would bet there are worse disasters that incompetent or inexperienced notaries have caused that I am just not aware of.
Action needs to be taken to prevent these sloppy practices from continuing. It's time the Secretary of State or Lieutenant Governor in all 50 states--from NY to California--stepped in and started monitoring notaries more closely. To test their skills, test administrators should give notaries a variety of sample documents (not theoretical multiple-choice questions that have little relevance to notarizing an actual document) and should be instructed to notarize the test documents for various purposes, including international use. Then we can finally weed out the good notaries from the bad, reduce the number of legal documents that have to be re-executed, re-notarized and re-authenticated and to give the general public a break.
What Does a Notary Public Do?
The Commissioner of oath, with a general reference to solicitors and advocates, officers working under government ministry, court interpreters, statutory boards, government-associated companies, employees of not for profit organizations and certain departments who are considered fit and robust to govern oaths. They are actually appointed by the Board of Commissioners for Oaths and Public Notaries.
What is the job of Commissioners of Oaths?
Generally, the job of commissioner of oath is to delegate the execution of oaths and taking care of the legal documents which are to be used in Singapore. This incorporates the complete administration of oaths, in other words, affirmations, with respect to the affidavits or the evidence in question, anticipated to be used in Singapore court or the statutory documents to be taken or received in Singapore. Also, the commissioner of oath takes care that the person standing before him has thoroughly read the affidavit and is fully acquainted with the contents of the affidavit. Further to this, the commissioner of oath should also demand the person to swear or testify that the affidavit is genuine by carrying the testament in the right hand and reproducing the words of oath in front of him. All these services are charged in Singapore and are prescribed by the Senate of the Singapore Academy of Law and so, is not negotiable in any terms.
Oath, Affirmation, Affidavit and Statutory Declaration: A glance at their meanings
Oath: A swear or a vow on the subject of truth of statements or facts provided by the maker of oath.
Affirmation: It has almost same legal power as the oaths is pursued by the persons of different religions, like Hindu, Muslim or any other and is with respect to the oaths. Here the oaths are not of mandate force and the person is not having any conscientious objections to the taking of oath.
Affidavit: It is a written sworn statement or information of facts that is drafted by the deponent. Unlike Affidavits, testimonies are vocal evidences given by the witness while taking oath.
Statutory Declaration: It is the statement drafted to establish an entity or any statement to be true for the purpose of satisfying any legal proceedings or requirements. These statements are not vowed or sworn.
Why may one require the services of Commissioner of Oath and affirmations in Singapore? The requirement of a Commissioner of Oath and affirmations may be required because of the following reasons: 1. If you are giving evidence or proof on the affidavit for any court or legal proceeding in Singapore. 2. If you are constituting a declaration, affirmations, examination, attestation or acknowledgement to be required for the purpose of registering the documents or for the purpose of the court proceedings.
A Detailed look at the services of the Commissioner of Oath Under Section 68 of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act, there is a rule 7 with regards to the Commissioner of Oath, which justifies the functions which can be performed by different commissioners.
This Section reads as, The Senate of The Singapore Academy of Law may appoint fit and proper persons to be commissioners for oaths (subject to any limitations expressed in their appointment) who may do all or any of the following things – (a) Receive acknowledgements of married women in all cases where such acknowledgements are required by law to be taken before a public officer; (b) Receive acknowledgements of recognizance of bail and bail bonds; (c) Administer oaths for – (i) the justification for bail; (ii) taking any affidavit or affirmation; (iii) receiving and taking the answer, plea, demurrer, disclaimer, allegation or examination of any party or parties to any action; (iv) the examination of any witnesses upon any interrogatories or de bene esse or in chief or on any other occasions; (v) swearing executors and administrators; and (vi) swearing persons in any cause or matter which is pending or about to be instituted in any court in any of its jurisdiction; (d) Take and receive the statutory declarations.
Fees required to be paid to the Commissioner of Oath in Singapore:
As mentioned above, the Section 68 of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act along with the Commissioner of Oath Rules designates the fees that the commissioner of oath may charge for the services rendered by him. The fee is set by the Senate of the Singapore Academy of law and is non-negotiable. However the services may not be charged depending on the organization for non-lawyers.
Also, an additional fee may be charged when the oath is pursued outside the office of the commissioner of oath and he is allowed to charge an appropriate fee for deciphering or interpreting the contents of the affidavit to the deponent.