notary public Sheffield

Notary Public Sheffield

Rosemary Downs is a Notary Public based in South Yorkshire. She offers a full range of Notarial Services to personal and business clients in and around Sheffield and Doncaster (including Rotherham, Worksop and Chesterfield). Appointments may be available at offices in Todwick, Sheffield or Doncaster by arrangement. Business clients will usually be seen at their own offices. Notaries are Regulated through the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Evening appointments may be available.

Please contact Rosemary J Downs for an estimate or to discuss your requirements.

Click on a link below for more information.

What services does a Notary Public provide?

A Notary, or Notary Public, can authenticate or witness most documents. A Notary can also arrange legalisation or obtain Apostilles, if needed. You will often require the services of a Notary Public when you have documents which are needed to be used abroad. The Notary's signature and seal will verify to the authorities in that country that any relevant checks have been carried out and that the document has been properly signed.

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What is the difference between a Notary and a solicitor?

Notaries form a small, highly specialised branch of the legal profession, whose area of specialisation is the preparation and certification of documents so that they may be used effectively abroad.

Solicitors form by far the largest part of the legal profession. They provide advice and representation to their clients on a wide variety of legal issues, usually within the legal framework of their country of residence.

One important difference between a Notary and a solicitor is that whereas a solicitor's primary duty is to his client, the Notary's primary duty is to the transaction and the authenticity of the documents. As Notary Public's are recognised worldwide, they have to maintain absolute integrity and impartiality to maintain the standing of the Notarial profession.

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What is Legalisation or Apostille?

Many countries also require notarised documents to be legalised. Legalisation is a double check to make sure that the notaries' signature is genuine and recognised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Documents may also be checked by foreign embassies to make sure that the Notary's signature matches the one on their records. The requirement for this will depend on the foreign country involved. Once the authenticity of the signature is confirmed a certificate is attached, called an "Apostille".

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Documents in a foreign language

If a document requiring notarisation is in a foreign language it is usually necessary for the document to be translated by an official legal translator who will then have to sign a statutory declaration certifying that it is a true translation.

In exceptional cases the Notary may be satisfied to fix their seal of office and signature on documents in a foreign language if they are fully satisfied that the person signing is conversant with the language of the document.

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What identification does a Notary Public require?

Following the implementation of the Money Laundering Regulations 2017, 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 work.

Each person whose signature they are to certify must provide one of the following original identification documents at the time of the appointment.

In addition, they require proof of residence, which can be one of the following original documents:

When a Notary Public is acting for a corporate client, evidence of the due incorporation of the company or entity is required. This can be one of the following documents:

In addition to the above, each individual signatory will need to produce one of the identification documents mentioned above.

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What does it cost?

Fees are calculated on the basis of a number of different elements which are taken into consideration e.g. the nature and number of documents and the time calculated to be involved, and any other factors where these apply. No sample price list is issued however, the Notary is pleased to have a ‘no obligation’ discussion or exchange of emails in order to be in a position to give an estimate of notary fees and the other costs involved in advance of undertaking any work – assuming the documents have already been prepared, are ready for signature and are emailed to the Notary.

So that an early indication of the costs can be given in advance, please tell the Notary the following:

Clients are expected to settle fees ‘on the day’ on completion of the notarisation work, (though apostille or legalisation may be still to be carried out) unless there is agreement to the contrary.

Please visit the contact page to obtain a quotation.

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How Long will it take?

Each notarial matter is different and the requirements and timescales will vary according to whether the client is a private individual or a company and according to the processing times of third parties (if relevant) such as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, legalisation agents, and couriers, etc. Most of my notarising work is accomplished within a few days and an appointment rarely lasts longer than 30 minutes because the preparatory work has normally been carried out ahead of the appointment. Obtaining apostilles from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (if needed) normally takes an additional few days. Some of the typical key stages are likely to include:

1. Receiving and reviewing the documents to be notarised together with any instructions you may have received

2. Liaising with other bodies to obtain the necessary documentation to deal with the document (e.g. information from Companies House or foreign registries, powers of attorney etc)

3. Checking the identity, capacity and authority of the person who is to sign the document

4. If a document is to be certified as ‘genuine’, checking with the issuing authorities that the document/award is genuine. In the case of academic awards, this would entail checking with the appropriate academic institutions.

5. Meeting with the signatory to verify their identity and to ascertain that they understand what they are signing and that they are doing so of their own free will and ensuring that the document is executed correctly

6. Drafting and affixing or endorsing a notarial certificate to the document 

7. Arranging for the legalisation/apostille of the document as appropriate

8. Arranging for the storage of copies of all notarised documents in accordance with professional rules.

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What if I have a Complaint?

Redress - I am insured under a professional indemnity policy for at least £1,000,000.00.

Complaints and Regulatory Information 

1. My notarial practice is regulated through the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury: 

The Faculty Office 1, The Sanctuary  Westminster London SW1P 3JT 

Telephone 020 7222 5381 Email


2. If you are dissatisfied about the service you have received please do not hesitate to contact me. 

3. If we are unable to resolve the matter you may then complain to the Notaries Society of which I am a member, who have a Complaints Procedure which is approved by the Faculty Office. This procedure is free to use and is designed to provide a quick resolution to any dispute. 

4. In that case please write (but do not enclose any original documents) with full details of your complaint to :- 

The Secretary of The Notaries Society P O Box 7655 Milton Keynes MK11 9NR 

Email Tel : 01908 803527

If you have any difficulty in making a complaint in writing please do not hesitate to call the Notaries Society/the Faculty Office for assistance. 

5. Finally, even if you have your complaint considered under the Notaries Society Approved Complaints Procedure, you may at the end of that procedure, or after a period of 6 months from the date you first notified me that you were dissatisfied, make your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman*, if you are not happy with the result : 

Legal Ombudsman P O Box 6806 Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ 

Tel : 0300 555 0333 Email : Website :

6. If you decide to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman you must refer your matter to the Legal Ombudsman :- 

• Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint and 

• Six years from the date of act/omission; or 

• Three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint (only if the act or omission took place more than six years ago) 

The act or omission, or when you should have reasonably known there was cause for complaint, must have been after 5th October 2010. 

*certain kinds of commercial entities are not eligible to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman – please refer to the Legal Ombudsman Scheme Rules or consult the Faculty Office.

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