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A notary public in Jalan Besar 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.

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Many people may not be exactly sure what a notary public does. First and foremost a notary public can go by several different names: public notary, notary public, notaries public, etc. A notary public is a person who is an official who is sworn in, and bonded in the U.S. state where they are a resident by the Secretary of State. Depending on the state, the process of becoming a notary public can vary slightly, but for the most part is very similar from state to state.

The most common task, or transaction that a notary will perform is to witness the signing of documents, typically known as the execution of a document. The notary will verify that person present signing the particular document is who they claim to be. In order to verify the person's identity the notary public will check the person's photo identification. They will also confirm that the person signing the document, or documents fully understands what they are signing, and is not being forced (or also known as being under duress).

A notary works independently, is expected to use their best judgment, and to follow the state law. If a notary suspects that a signer does not understand what he/she is signing, is being "tricked", or coerced, is not of sound mind, it is the job of the public notary to refuse to notarize the document. By doing this the notary is serving the purpose their job was created for, to protect the general public.

A notary public may also verify that a signer has sworn to an oath regarding the affirmation of truth contained in a document; this may be more commonly known as a sworn statement.

After documents are signed in many states the notary will then place his/her notary seal on the papers. Some states do require a notary to have a notary seal, but more important than the seal is the notary's journal. In the notary's journal, the notary will record the name, signature, and the date of the signer that has appeared before them to sign the document, or documents. In addition to collecting this information, in many states the notary is required to take the thumbprint of the signer as well. This step is very important, because if in the future is ever disputed that a particular document was, or was not signed by that particular person, the finger print can be used as proof since it is unique.

You may be saying to yourself "this is a lot of information for me to have to know to get a document notarized." Well, there is no need for you to remember all this information. When you seek out the services of a notary public, they will walk you through all these steps mentioned above, and explain to you what is going on.

If you need to find a public notary, they can typically be found very easily during the course of your normal day. The first thing to ask when you receive documents that need to be notarized "is there someone here who can notarize these for me", if not they can most likely point you to someone nearby who can notarize the documents for you.

Other places notaries can be found are: Banks, Insurance Offices, Post Office, Real Estate Offices, Mortgage Offices, and the local UPS store.

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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.

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