According to the Oxford Dictionary, a notary — known also as notary public — is a person with the authority to draw up deeds and perform legal formalities. In other words, a Notary is a lawyer who is licensed by the state or the centre to perform acts in legal affairs, in particular witnessing signatures on documents.
- A notary can authenticate, verify, certify or attest documents.
- A notary can also present a promissory note or a bill of exchange for payment or acceptance.
- A notary can note the dishonour, by non-payment and/or non-acceptance of a promissory note or a bill of exchange
- He can also prepare acts of honour under the Negotiable Instruments Act
- A notary can administer oath to, or take affidavit from any person
- A notary can act as a commissioner to record evidence in any civil or criminal trial.
- A notary can also prepare mercantile documents like bonds and charted parties.
- A notary can also act as a mediator, a conciliator or an arbitrator
- A notary can also translate and verify the translation of documents from one language to another.
A person can apply to be a notary if he has been practicing as an advocate for at least 10 years. In case the applicant belongs to either of the SC/ST or OBC category, the experience required as a lawyer is 7 years. For woman applicants, too, the minimum years of practice as lawyer are seven.
In case the person is not a legal practitioner, he should be a member of the Indian Legal Service or must have held an office under the Central or the State Government and having special knowledge of law.
Read: Attorney General Career