What is a notary?

 A notary is someone who certifies as to the authenticity of documents and transactions.  When Christopher Columbus landed in the New World in 1492 and took possession of it in the name of Spain, he had with him a Spanish notary to properly document the process.


In the Australian Capital Territory notaries are appointed by the ACT Supreme Court. 


To become a notary a person has to have practised as a lawyer and have undertaken additional training in the skills required to be a notary. I have practised as a lawyer since 1979.


I am a Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand College of Notaries.


By notarising a document a notary is issuing a certificate in relation to the document.  For example, when I notarise a document you have signed, I am certifying that I have identified you, that I saw you sign the document and that you signed it willingly.