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What is a Notary? What are the services that a notary provides?

If you have landed here then you have undoubtedly heard of the term “notary”. When we talk about a notary, in effect we are talking about a lawyer with the capacity, inter alia, of authenticating the originality of documents. the accuracy of translations and the identity of people signing on documents. 

A proper notary certificate will include a steel embossed red stamp together with the word “notary” in three different languages – Hebrew, English and French.

Who is actually a notary? Is every lawyer a notary and what is the range of services which a notary offers? Stay tuned.

Notary: A Profile

A notary is a lawyer who has held a license to practice law for at least 10 years and who has received a “notary license” to execute actions under the aegis of the law – certification, authentication, identification, etc.

When we talk about a notary signature we are talking about a signature with great power serving as confirmation and authorization for the courts and governmental institutions in Israel and overseas. A notary authenticates the originality of documents, the identity of people ad their legal capacity to sign on a document, whether in their name or in the name of others.

Documents signed before a notary are suitable for national and international use in courts and in many governmental bodies.

“Hang on, is every lawyer a notary?”

Not every lawyer is a notary, but every notary (in Israel) is a lawyer.

The whole process for the obtaining of the title “notary” is a carefully thought-out and well-established with a umber of threshold conditions: Holding a license to practice law of at least 10 years, the submitting of an orderly application to the notary licensing committee in the Ministry of Justice, the absence of a criminal record and/or convictions in matters of ethics.

The committee convenes just a few times a year, with the committee investigating the notary candidates on the basis of the criteria set out in the law.

Certificates requiring notary authentication: When do we meet a notary?

When we need to present the credibility of various documents and/or our identity, we will find ourselves making use of the services of a notary. Many of you wonder when, and if, you will ever require the services of a notary in your life. Spoiler: We surely will need a notary, often more than once. Sometimes there is a legal requirement that the certification of the signature be by a notary. For example: certification of an irrevocable power of attorney for a mortgage.

There are many times when we will meet a notary during our lifetime.

Certification of signature for mortgage purposes – many of us are have been exposed, or will be exposed in the future, to the prices of taking a mortgage. When we turn to one of the banks or the various financing institutions for a mortgage to buy an apartment and to take a mortgage, the bank will require is to certify a signature on an irrevocable power of attorney in favor of the bank.

Universities overseas – Are you planning on studying overseas? Maybe even studying medicine? There are many cases in which a notary certificate will be needed for the translation of various certificates, grade sheets, birth certificates, etc. There may also be a need for certification before a notary of signatures on various applications.

Notary translation – A notary translation may be required for any one of dozens of reasons; you might be required to verify the authenticity of your undergraduate degree for various bodies elsewhere in the world. Today, many people in Israel are eligible for a foreign passport; during the process they will be required to provide various notarial translations.  A notary may certify a translation whether executed by himself/herself or by a translator on his/her behalf.

Certification of Copy – on the assumption that you hold the original or an original copy of a certain document, e.g. a will – you must present a copy thereof to the bank and/or relevant body. This must also be done for the taking of various loans. The bank will request a notary certification to authenticate the credibility of the document and that it corresponds to the original document.

Pre-Nuptial (Pre-Nup) Agreement – before marriage. When we talk about a pre-nup agreement between partners who have not yet married, this is an agreement which can be certified before a notary in order to provide the document with legal validation.

Notary’s Fees: What Are the Costs Actually?

When we talk about costs for notary services we are talking about a tightly regulated market. The price of various notary acts is determined in accordance with the Notaries law and the Notaries Regulations and the tariff is fixed. Notaries are obligated to the uniform and equal tariff.

On the other hand, other peripheral services, such as the translation itself, will entail various expenses, since these are not solely notarial acts.

Contact your notary for further full details.