Who can be a Notary Public in England or Wales?



A notary public provides for the certification and authentication of documents so that they are deemed to be reliable. This ensures that public authorities and other parties can trust that documents are worthy of being trusted. Those that hold the certification to be considered a notary public are typically highly qualified lawyers and members of the oldest branch of the legal profession in the United Kingdom. Rules that affect notaries are similar to those that govern solicitors. The Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury regulates the qualifications of notaries. Read on to discover who can be a notary public in England or Wales.

  1. The Academic Stage. The first step to becoming a notary public Cardiff is to satisfy the academic requirements. The educational qualifications include the following subjects;
  •         Public and Constitutional Law
  •         The Law of the European Union
  •         The Law of Contract
  •         Equity and the Law of Trust
  •         The Law and Practice of Companies and Partnership
  •         Wills and Probate
  •         Private International Law
  •         Notarial Practice.

You can attain a satisfactory standard in these subjects in three routes. You can qualify through the academic, qualified solicitor, or CILEX routes. The academic route requires completing your undergraduate degree, Graduate Diploma in Law, Legal Practice Course, or Solicitors Qualifying Exams. A qualified solicitor can become a notary public since they are exempted from studying the core subjects. The CILEX route requires you to have studied these subjects within the last five years.

  1.   Professional Training Stage. The professional training stage is where you will study the following subjects;
  •         Roman Law as an introduction to civil-law system
  •         Private international law
  •         Notarial practice

The Faculty Office does not grant any exemptions for these subjects. The Notarial Practice Course is the only way to satisfy the professional training stage. This two-year distance learning course runs on the Faculty Office’s behalf.

  1.   Admission. You will attend a one-day office practice course once you complete the Notarial Practice Course. You will apply to the Faculty for admission to the Roll of Notaries by submitting a formal application, a Certificate of Fitness, and a Certificate of Good Character. An experienced notary will supervise you for the first two years if you are appointed. As such, arranging a supervisor before formally applying for admission is advisable. The supervisor must have been in practice as a notary for at least five years.
  2. Skills. You must have the right skills if you are interested in becoming a notary public. Remember, this job involves interacting with people. For this reason, it is essential that you have excellent communication skills and be able to interact with people from different cultures and backgrounds. Studying a foreign language will help you work as a notary public. Additionally, you should be able to work under pressure because notaries often work to tight deadlines and short transaction windows. It would help if you also worked with the utmost honesty and integrity.

Are you ready to become a notary public? If so, you must attain the above qualifications and possess interpersonal skills to interact well with people. However, ensure you meet the criteria set out in the Rules governing qualification and admission to the profession before making an application.

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