Following the implementation of the Money Laundering Regulations 2003, notaries are now obliged to keep sufficient evidence on their files of the identity and the address of all their clients before they undertake any services.
Each person whose signature they are to certify must provide one of the following original identification documents at the time of the appointment.
- driving licence (with photo card)
- national identity card (EEA state members)
- an armed forces pass (with photo and signature)
- firearms licence (with photo and signature)
- other government issue ID (with photo and signature)
- residence permit
- benefit book or original notification letter from Benefits Agency
If you do not have the above documents, you will have to ask the notary to advise you on how best to prove who you are.
In addition, they require proof of residence, which can be one of the following original documents:
- Bank statement or letter from bank
- Utility bill or council tax bill (not mobile phone bill)
- Tenancy agreement or Housing Association rent card
- Inland revenue tax demand or self-assessment statement
For corporate/business clients, notaries will (in addition to checking your personal identity) now need to establish that the company or organisation which you represent actually exists and in many cases that you are authorised to represent that company or organisation. In the case of companies or organisations based in the United Kingdom, the notary will generally conduct his own checks to satisfy himself that the company or organisation exists. In some cases (particularly for companies or organisations established overseas) he may ask you to produce certain documents. These might include:
- Certificate of incorporation
- Extract from the company register
- Certificate of Good Standing
- Latest report and audited accounts
- Up to date certified copy of partnership agreement
- Evidence of being regulated by a regulatory body such as the Law Society or FSA.
If the notary has to certify your authority to represent a company or organisation, additional documentation will be requested, for example:-
- Constitutional documents (e.g. memorandum and articles of association)
- Power of Attorney
- Chamber of Commerce certificate
- Board Resolutions
- Authorised signatory book (in the case of banks)
Your notary will be happy to advise exactly what will be required in any particular case.
Additional information may be required when we are acting for business clients. This is to ensure that a company check can be performed.