How to Get a Document Notarized in the Philippines
Business establishments and government agencies often require notarized signatures to avoid fraud among contracts and other legal documents. A notarized document will serve as proof that the said document has been officially verified by an independent party who in turn had verified that the people signing the document are who they say they are. Notarized documents are also self-authenticating, meaning signers need not testify in court to verify the authenticity of their signatures.
Remember that notary publics are usually not lawyers and cannot offer legal advice so you have to read and understand the contents of your document before having it signed and notarized.
Finding a Notary
Finding a notary is easy. You can find them at places where their services are needed like in municipal halls, banks, law offices, government agencies, courthouses, and on business areas.
Documents that Need to be Notarized
There are different documents that need to be notarized. Most common among them are affidavits, sworn statements, Power of Attorney, medical documents, and documents that transfer assets to another person like wills, deeds, and trusts. So before going to a notary public, make sure that the document you have really requires a notarized signature.
The process of notarizing a document may vary from place to place, but generally, the most common procedure is as follows:
Step 1: Documents
Bring the unsigned document to the notary public. Do not sign the document ahead of time. The notary public will not entertain documents already signed without their presence. Bring proper identification so the notary public can verify your identity. Proofs of identity should be valid. Among those widely accepted are passport, driver's license, TIN, SSS ID, and NBI Clearance. The notary's discretion will be exercised on clients who lost their ID's on floods, fires, and other similar disasters.
Step 2: Verification
The notary public will verify who you are based on your identification. He/She will check your documents. In the case of affidavits, most notary publics have a prepared document for you to sign.
Step 3: Signing of Documents
If your identification and document are clear, he/she will ask you to sign the document. The notary will also observe if you are signing under duress or if someone is with you and is forcing you to sign against your will.
Step 4: Witness
Among the signatories of the document is at least one credible witness who is personally known to either the notary public or to the individual signing the document.
Step 5: Recording
The notary will then record the transaction on his/her journal. The date and place of the transaction will be logged on the journal along with all the details.
Step 6: Notary Stamp
If everything went well, the notary will then stamp the document with an official public stamp or seal. Your document is now notarized.
Notarial fee varies depending on the place and the type of document you want to notarize.
Power of Attorney
In case of a person acting as representative for someone, a notary will take extra measures to ensure the identity. An authorization letter will be required before conducting business with the representative. It is advisable that the representative acting on someone else's behalf should bring the document that gives you authority. The notary will look at it to help verify the legality of the document and your identity.