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Notary Services During COVID-19 restrictions

PROSPECTIVE CLIENTS NEED TO BE RESPONSIBLE
FOR DECIDING WHETHER THEIR NEED FOR NOTARIAL SERVICES
IS URGENT OR NON URGENT

The OFFICE OF JOHN PEARCE SOLICITOR & NOTARY PUBLIC has sought advice from the Victorian Government’s COVID19 Advice Line.

Notaries Public often provide urgent notarial services to clients with personal, financial, governmental and legal obligations overseas.

Therefore, in certain circumstances it would appear that practising Notaries can provide notarial services notwithstanding the extensive Stage 4 restrictions.

URGENT/ESSENTIAL NOTARIAL SERVICES

The advice is that in urgent/essential circumstances notarial services can be provided to clients face to face, and only in circumstances where it is not suitable, reasonable, appropriate or possible for a client to avail themselves of remote notarial services (for example, it is not apparent that the overseas jurisdiction in which the remotely notarised document(s) will be presented will be deemed to be acceptable).

Given the above, the OFFICE OF JOHN PEARCE SOLICITOR & NOTARY PUBLIC is available to provide urgent/essential notarial services to clients who state in an email that they urgently require notarial services, and that the matter cannot wait. Email: john@NotaryPublicMelbourne.com

Upon receiving such an email declaration, this Office will, by return email, confirm the prospective client’s declaration and provide an appointment time for a face to face appointment.

REMOTE NOTARISATION FOR NON URGENT/NON ESSENTIAL NOTARIAL SERVICES

Note that “notarisation” generally means one of the following 3 tasks:

  1. Commonly, with a person in the physical presence of the Notary Public, the Notary check’s the person’s identity by sighting an original photo ID (such as a Passport or Driver Licence) and one other original document with the person’s name on it.  Then the Notary witnesses the signature of the person on a particular document which is to be presented overseas.
  2. Almost as commonly, a person presents an original document to the Notary and asks the Notary to certify a copy of the original as being a “true and correct copy of the original which the Notary has sighted”.
  3. Less commonly, a person presents a purported original document to a Notary and asks the Notary to certify that the purported original document is authentic.  This requires the Notary to do due diligence, such as ringing the person who it is said has signed and issued a particular document (for example, a letter from a doctor).

Given the current pandemic, the above 3 tasks are problematic.  However, there is temporary emergency Victorian legislation which permits “remote notarisation.” In certain instances, the OFFICE OF JOHN PEARCE SOLICITOR & NOTARY PUBLIC is able to provide “remote notarisation” services.

Prior to seeking our “remote notarisation” services, prospective clients need to:

  1. Advise the overseas people or government authorities who will be relying on the remotely notarised document(s) that the current law of the State of Victoria during this pandemic emergency permits “remote notarisation”.
  2. Ask whether documents “remotely notarised” in Victoria will be acceptable in the overseas country where they will be used.

If the answer is “yes”, prospective clients should email their comprehensive query to: john@NotaryPublicMelbourne.com

Prospective clients will then receive a return email advising them as to what we require in their particular circumstances in order for their documents to be remotely notarised. Then the requisite document(s) can be emailed, posted or couriered depending on the particular circumstances.

If it is to be by Express Post or courier the address is:

JOHN PEARCE SOLICITOR & NOTARY PUBLIC
10 FRANK STREET
BOX HILL SOUTH, VICTORIA 3128
Mobile 0419 383 397

As well as sending the document(s) to be notarised, prospective clients need to send contact details, as well as clear written instructions as to what is required. Also, they are required to provide a COPY of their Passport and Driver’s Licence, with their signature on each copy just beside the signature on the original Passport and Driver’s Licence.

Further, they need to supply a self-addressed return envelope or arrange a courier to collect the notarised documents.

Upon arrival at the BOX HILL SOUTH Office, the document(s) would be notarised that very day and then a Tax Invoice would be issued. The fee would be based on how long it takes to provide the notarial services – the fees and how they are calculated can be found at:

www.NotaryPublicMelbourne.com

Note that the remotely notarised document(s) would not be sent back to the client until proof of payment is received.

Alternatively, prospective clients can nominate a time and date and place for an appointment after the lockdown is over. A confirmation email would be sent, but of course, the appointment would be conditional upon Victoria’s COVID laws at the time.