Bedford & Ampthill Notaries

Anthony Northey & Ian Codrington
notary public Bedford & Ampthill
notary public Bedford

Welcome to our website. If you need a Notary, otherwise known as a Notary Public, you have come to the right place.

Bedford and Ampthill Notaries is the Notarial Legal Practice run by Anthony Northey and Ian Codrington and is a very well established and experienced Notarial Practice.

Since 1905 it has and it continues to provide Notarial Services for businesses and individuals in Bedford, Ampthill and Cranfield and throughout Bedfordshire and beyond. Whenever you need a Notary, a Notary Public or Commissioner for Oaths, please do not hesitate to contact one of our Notaries. Our Notaries are members of the Notaries Society.

We offer our services to clients in Bedford, Ampthill, Cranfield and throughout Bedfordshire and beyond.

Home or office visits may be available when required.

Please contact us for a quotation or to arrange an appointment.

Below is information about the services we provide. Please click on a link to jump to that section.

What Is A Notary?

A Notary, otherwise known as a Notary Public, is a qualified lawyer – a member of the third and oldest branch of the legal profession in the United Kingdom. Notaries are appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and are regulated by the Court of Faculties. Their origins can be traced back to the time of the Roman occupation of Britain. Notaries have been appointed by legal authority in England and Wales since the thirteenth century.

Just like Notaries in countries with Civil Law jurisdictions, Notaries in England and Wales are authorised to carry out all kinds of non-contentious legal work. Accordingly they can carry out all types of legal work carried out by Solicitors apart from litigation. They are effectively Civil Law Lawyers and are a bridge between the various Civil Law Jurisdictions and the Common Law Jurisdiction of England and Wales.

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What Does A Notary Do?

A Notary usually deals with the preparation and authentication of documents for use abroad. Notaries are recognised internationally, although for historical reasons, they play a lesser role in United Kingdom domestic matters. They also have all the powers of a Solicitor, other than the conduct of litigation.

A Notary prepares Notarial Acts, including Authentic Acts, which are documents executed in England and Wales for use everywhere in the world. The Notary’s work includes drafting, reviewing and explanation of legal documents for use outside the UK.

There are two basic types of Notarial Act; those in Private Form and those in Public Form.

The Private Form is when a Notary attaches a Notarial Certificate by way of authentification to a document thus converting it into a Notarial Act.

The Public Form is an Authentic Act/Instrument drafted by a Notary, which will include verification of identity, legal capacity and understanding of the document and awareness of the contents and confirming authority to enter into the transaction eg. in the case of a corporate body and also authenticating the contents after verifying the same.

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The Official Seal of a Notary

A Notary holds an official seal. Notarial Acts under the signature and seal of a Notary have probative force and are recognised as evidence of a responsible official legal officer in all countries of the world. The Rules of the Supreme Court provide that “A Notarial Act or Instrument may be received in evidence without further proof as duly authenticated in accordance with the requirements of the law unless the contrary is proved”.

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Getting Ready To See One of our Notaries

Each case will be different, but usually the Notary will:

  • expect you to make an appointment
  • need you to bring evidence of identity as detailed in our Explanatory Note about Identification Requirements for Individual Clients such as at least a current valid passport, a driving licence and official document showing your National Insurance Number and proving your address – please see our web page entitled “Identification Requirements”.
  • need to be satisfied that you understand the document(s), particularly a document which is not in English.
  • want to see any relevant papers or documents that relate to the matter

If you want one of our Notaries to come to your office or home this can be arranged, but there will be an additional fee.

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How long will it take?

If the document is straightforward, already properly prepared and in the correct form, the Notary is likely to need to see you for a minimum of 15 – 20 minutes and complete the documentation in half an hour or an hour. Obviously it takes longer if the document is not straightforward, or the Notary has to draw up the document or deal with any non-routine aspects.

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What Does It Cost?

The fee will be based upon how much time it is necessary to spend on your matter.

Where only one visit to the Notary is required, it is expected that you will pay the Notary’s fee at the time of your visit. Please contact us for an estimate of the cost.

Our Notarial Practice is not registered for VAT and so no VAT is payable on top of our fees.

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Why Choose our Notaries?

All of our Notaries have many years of extensive Notarial experience and all of them qualified as solicitors before qualifying as Notaries. They are both long standing members of the Notaries Society (of England and Wales).

Our Notaries long experience with Notarial work means that we are very likely to be familiar with your requirements and will be able to guide you in order to achieve your objectives in the most cost effective and efficient way.

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Legalisation services and what is an Apostille?

Frequently, once a document has been notarised, some further formalities may have to be undertaken before it can be sent and used overseas – this may involve consular or embassy legalisation (often referred to simply as "legalisation") and/or an Apostille.

Legalisation is a process by which papers are confirmed as authentic in the country of origin so that overseas organisations or authorities will accept them.

An Apostille is a certificate issued by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office ('FCO') confirming the signature and seal of the notary, in accordance with the Hague Convention covering international legal matters.

An "apostille" attests to the validity of the signature of the Notary, but not the contents of the document.

The FCO had recently relocated to Milton Keynes, but the public counter is now closed to members of the public. We can at additional expense use a courier service and agents to send your document to the FCO office in London for an expedited service for obtaining an Apostille.

All countries signed up to the Hague Convention will accept documents with an Apostille endorsed. Some countries still also require notarial documents to be legalised by their Embassies or Consulate. In those circumstances the document has to be presented to the embassy or consulate of the country where the document is to be used. Again, we can arrange for a courier service to deal with legalisation and if this is required we will need to know this is required in advance in order to obtain a fee quote. We work closely with various London embassies, consulates and High Commissions.

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We often hear clients say “all I want is a signature?”

That is not what Notarisation is about. It is not just any signature that you are after; it is the signature and seal of a Notary that you require. A Notary is a specialist lawyer who deals with international legal matters, and so charges in accordance with the expertise he/she offers.

There are a number of professional obligations which are inherent in the process of notarising documents that the Notary must comply with, which include: identifying the Appearer; keeping copies of the Notarised documents and Appearer's identification documents; ensuring that the Appearer has the necessary authority to sign the document; ensuring that the Appearer has read and understood the document and that the Appearer understands that he/she will be bound by the document. We have to maintain a protocol register of details of the Appearer and details of the work performed and copies of relevant documents.

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Foreign language documents

Where a document is in a foreign language the Notary may ask you to have it translated and sign it in English and it may have to be translated in the country to which it is to be sent. Similarly, arrangements may have to be made for a competent professional interpreter to be available at the interview.

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Identification Requirements for Individual Clients

PLEASE NOTE THAT WE ARE REQUIRED BY LAW TO SEE AND TAKE TRUE COPIES OF IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENTS FOR ALL CLIENTS

Please note that we may not be able to assist you fully unless and until sufficient documentation has been provided to us.

Please provide us with 3 items of evidence as to your identity (and that of any other person for whom we are acting along with you) by providing us with :-

1. The original of One of the following :-

Current signed passport
Photo-card driving licence
Police officers warrant card with photo
Shotgun/Firearm certificate

Plus :-

2. The original of One of the following documents showing your name and full current address:-

Driving licence (photo-card or paper type)
Recent utility bill (not more than three months old)
Recent council tax bill (current year)
Employee identity card
Pension book
Council or housing association rent card or tenancy agreement
Benefit book or original letter from Benefits Agency
Bank or mortgage statement (not more than three months old)

Plus :-

3. Original proof of National Insurance Number i.e. National Insurance card or payslip or letter from HMRC or DWP.

Please note that as far as corporate clients are concerned further documentation will be required and evidence of authority of person executing any document to be notarised will also be required.

Click here for a printable version of the Identification requirements.

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Other Legal services offered

With our partner firm of Solicitor, Palmers, we can also provide a range of other legal services such as:

Property Law Services

Legal Services for Businesses

Dispute Resolution

Family Law

Wills, Probate and Trusts

Elderly Client Servcies

Agriculture, Farming and Equestrian, Horticulture Services

For more information please visit Palmers Solicitors.

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Regulation

All our Notaries are authorised and regulated by the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury of 1 The Sanctuary, Westminster, London, SW1P 3JT and are members of the Notaries Society (of England and Wales).

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Our Terms of Business

To view our complete Terms of Business in printable format please click here.

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Download our printable brochure

Please click here to download a brochure.

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