Notary Public is a role that was created for the purpose of verifying signatures and certifying documents. In Thailand, only those lawyers who have passed the Lawyers Council of Thailand examination and licensing are able to act as Notary Services Attorneys.
A notarized document is highly useful for legal documentation and international transactions. Understanding the procedures and key considerations of this service is vital to ensuring its authenticity.
Most countries have a Notary Public who is commissioned as a ministerial official and expected to adhere to established rules without significant personal discretion, unlike a judicial official. These officials then authenticate documents, sign them, and stamp their seal. Notarized documents are widely accepted in foreign jurisdictions, which can be vital for international business, legal proceedings, or real estate transactions.
Siam Legal is Thailand’s leading provider of notarial services. Notaries are legal professionals who have undergone a unique licensing assessment to be able to provide authentication services such as signing signatures, witnessing affidavits, and statements of persons under oath. In many cases, these notarized documents will require further authentication through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the embassy to which they are being presented. This process is known as legalization or an apostille. Some Thai lawyers claim to be able to certify or “notarize” documents, but in reality this is generally of no use outside of Thailand unless the document is subsequently legalized abroad.
Notaries witness signatures on documents, verifying the identity of signatories with government-issued ID. They can also authenticate copies of documents and administer oaths or affirmations to individuals making sworn statements.
Documents that have been notarized are often accepted in foreign jurisdictions, a crucial step for international business or legal proceedings. It’s also a prerequisite for further processes like legalization or obtaining an apostille for international use.
Although there is no official notary public in Thailand, the Lawyers Council of Thailand does designate particular attorneys as Notarial Services Attorneys, allowing them to perform authentication services regulated by the Lawyers Act B.E. 2528. However, it is important to note that Thailand is not a member of the Hague Convention on Legalization of Foreign Public Documents. As a result, any document that is notarized in Thailand will need to be further legalized or authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand Legalisation Division before it can be used in Thai government offices.
Affidavits and Oaths
In many countries, notaries are officials who the government recognizes to authenticate documents or signatures and witness affidavits or statements of persons under oath. They can also verify that a person presenting the document is actually who they say they are.
However, Thailand has no notary public system and instead uses attorneys with a special role called “Notarial Services Attorney” which is regulated by the Lawyers Council of Thailand. Generally, institutions such as banks, schools and embassies require notarized documents to prove their authenticity and to be sure that the document is presented by the actual person who claims to be the owner of the document.
Having your documents notarized is essential for international use because if you take your important documents to another country they might need to be legalized with the stamp of the embassy or of the ministry of foreign affairs depending on the circumstances and the destination country. Notarized documents are generally accepted worldwide as authentic.
As Thailand is a hub for international business and commerce, the role of notaries has become crucial in authenticating various legal documents. The authentication of signatures, affidavits and statements made under oath for documentation and legal processes are all important functions carried out by notary publics.
Moreover, if the document is intended for use overseas, notarization provides another layer of authenticity and is commonly required by a foreign authority. This is especially true for documents pertaining to cross-border business, real estate deals and legal proceedings as they may be subject to further verification by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Embassy of the country in question.
Although the law in Thailand does not officially provide for a notary public, some Thai lawyers are registered as notarial services attorneys under Lawyers Act B.E. 2528 and are regulated by the Lawyers Council. These lawyers are able to carry out the functions of notary publics including witnessing signatures, certifying copies and administering oaths or affirmations.