Friday, September 27, 2013

Visiting the Notary

DSC00220 (900x1200)The London attorney sighed, slowly rotating the thick stack of papers a quarter-turn at a time, tapping the edges on the table to align them, then repeating.

In the United States, *tap*, a Notary would just sign and stamp the signature page. *tap* But that simply isn’t how things are done here in England *tap*.  Perhaps you could come back tomorrow when you’re more ready?

I took the proffered business card and smiled before departing.  ‘just another day in Paradise….

We are filing legal documents in the United States, requiring a notarized signatures on each signature page.   I’ve been through US (an embossed stamp: easy) and Dutch (tricolor yarn and wax: formal) procedures, but this was the first run at the UK. I took the advice given and printed a full set of finalized documents before contacting a local Notary Public in Cambridge..  This time, much smoother.

So, while the process is a bit complicated, it’s workable with preparation and patience:

1)  Print everything.  Twice.

In the US, only a signature page is required.  Here, the primary and supporting documents must all be printed (100 pages in my case) and a second copy printed for the Notary.

2)  Bring ID.  Twice.

Bring a passport, driver’s license, and visa card for proof off identity.   For proof of residency, I needed to additionally provide a utility or phone bill, something with my name and address on it, for the Register.

3)  Bring cash.

‘about 75  gbp.

4)  Enjoy the show.

DSC00221 (881x1200)The documents are examined and checked to make sure that everything is present.  Holes are punched and a ribbon is threaded through the spines to bind the documents. There was choice of colour, I picked Royal Blue.

There was a formal signing, and then an oath for the affidavit.  I was handed a bible for my right hand, instructed to point at my signature with my left, and solemnly swear before Almighty God that I was indeed, David Hampton, that everything in the documents was true, and that the signature affixed to the document was well and truly mine.

The Notary then signs everything in flowery cursive with a fountain pen, blots the excess ink, and affixes a seal to the two loose ends of the ribbon (Wax is so messy, he commented, applying a press-on seal).

5) Sign the waivers

A supplemental document is reviewed and signed stating that I was not given legal advice or translation services, and a number to call if I had any complaints.  I accepted the terms and shook hands.

And off I went to scan, send, and join the submission.  Everything will go in on Tuesday.

‘couldn’t be simpler.

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