Notary Publics in Singapore: Understanding Rules

Have you ever had a situation where an official witness has to come in and confirm the signing of some vital document? Maybe it’s the international business contracts or some need related to any legal purpose requiring certification. Notary public in Singapore, thus, find imperative roles.

Who are Notary Publics? Why They are Important?

Think of a respected person authorized by law to do certain acts. That is precisely what a notary public does. Appointed by the Singapore Academy of Law, will be unbiased parties, firming up the legitimacy of documents and maintaining the integrity of the legal system.

Public notaries in Singapore are very important in the legal system and act as an additional guard for possible fraud over important documents; therefore, they are very useful for the certification of legality in many different types of transactions. They verify the witness signatures and assure the full record of identity, execution, and attestation, to provide trust and confidence in business and legal communities.

Qualifications and Appointments

Becoming a Notary Public: The Road Ahead

But, not every person out there can simply become a notary public. An applicant for the position should necessarily have a very rich legal background. Usually, they are qualified and practising Singaporean lawyers with at least 15 years of professionalism. This ensures that they have relevant experience and understanding of the judicial system for the effective discharge of duties.

The Appointment Process: A Stepping Stone

Any person who wishes to become a notary public would have to go through an application process. An application for registration as a notary public shall be submitted to the Singapore Academy of Law together with the necessary supporting documents and fees. After a thorough evaluation of his qualifications and eligibility, a certificate of appointment will be issued to successful candidates together with a notary’s stamp as evidence of his official character.

Scope of Practice: The Notary’s Role in Action

The notary publics in Singapore are given a range of responsibilities specifically characterized by law: from the authentication of documents to the attestation of acts, of each kind of intervention directed to the genuineness of the document, to avoid its use for other purposes than that which has been drawn up.

Witnessing of signatures:

One of the major roles of a notary public is witnessing the signature appended to the relevant documents. The latter is to ascertain that the signatories are valid persons as they purport to be and that they have also given out their signatures willingly without duress.

Administering oaths and affirmations:

They also have powers of solemnizing, receiving, and administering oaths and affirmations. The oaths and affirmations are formal declarations that may be taken either in the course of any legal proceedings or given otherwise by any person in writing.

Preparation of Notarial Certificates:

Once they have completed all the duties, the notaries go ahead to prepare a notarial certificate. This document is prepared as an official record that attests not only to the action of the notary but also to the authenticity of the signature or oath involved in the notarization.

Certified True Copies:

People may need certified authentic copies of the original papers under specific circumstances. Such copies could be verified for accuracy and a formal certificate made to that effect.

It’s important to know the place of notaries and people from the general public in the same area is great. However, they still have a limited circle of activity. Notaries do not have the right to give advice juridically or act as a representative for a person at court. Their primary purpose lies in acting as an impartial witness or certifier of the document.

Upholding the Highest Standards: A Notary’s Ethical Obligations

The responsibilities of notary publics in Singapore are very heavy. He or she is supposed to discharge an important code of ethics for the sake of securing credibility in the legal system and general interest. The following are some of the basic principles behind their professional conduct:


Notaries Public are required to keep all information from the client very private. This will include personal details, the kind of documents being processed, or even what is discussed with the client.

Prevention of Fraud:

In fact, notaries make every effort to the manner of prevention from the parties’ possible fraud. Thereby, they have to be quite conscious of such kind of situations and take necessary steps to prevent these people from misusing the services. This may include verifying the identities of the persons involved, authenticating the authenticity of the documents presented, and non-dealing when some red flags are detected.

Anti-Money Laundering Measures:

Public notaries must observe the laid down anti-money laundering (AML) regulations. This includes being on the lookout for any suspicious activity trends and subsequently alerting those authorities on any activities that may exist for purposes of illegal financial gains.

Due Diligence and Record Maintenance:

The notary will take care to conduct verification and maintain detailed records for actions conducted with all procedures adhered to.

Maintaining Trust: Building a Strong Reputation

These ethical principles ensure that notaries public are members of the community who ensure trust. Commitment to confidentiality, vigilance against fraud, and AML regulations are the guarantees that services rendered are with integrity.

Notary publics in Singapore are expected to conduct themselves with the utmost professionalism. This involves:

  • Adherence to the Law: They must strictly adhere to all applicable laws and regulations governing their practice.
  • Avoiding Conflicts of Interest: The notaries should avoid putting themselves in a position that may result in a conflict of interest. These words, mean notarizing documents in opposition to or, for that matter, in favour of individuals with whom they owe personal or business relations, more so if this has the potential for bias.
  • Continuous Professional Development: The legal environment is always dynamic, and the environment and instruments of conducting operations change. Notaries should be embraced as part of continuous professional development programs so that they keep updating the current regulations.

Disciplinary Measures and Complaint Procedures

Ensuring Accountability: When Things Go Wrong

Notary publics in Singapore are supposed to be professionals of the highest standard, but there are instances when they fail to come up to their professional standards. In the case of any such failure, there is a very strong system in place to deal with such notaries.

Grounds for Disciplinary Action:

A notary public may be disciplined rightly. These are based on the following grounds: breach of confidentiality or going against the integrity of his office.


If any of the above matters trouble you concerning the conduct of a Notary Public, a formal complaint can be made to the Board of Commissioners for Oaths and Notaries Public. Matters will be inquired into fully, and appropriate action taken, which may range and include revocation of the notary’s appointment.

A Safeguard for the Public:

This, for sure, would ensure a disciplinary procedure that safeguards the interest of the public since it ensures the notaries and public work within the permissible limits conforming to the ethical standards of their practice.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button