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Notary also known as Notary Public is one among the important careers in the field of legal profession. Notary public is a legal practitioner who is authorized to help the public with legal documents pertaining to property, deeds, power of attorney or any business affairs. There is much difference between advocates and notaries. Advocates are law graduates who register under the provincial Bar Council to perform legal practice. But Notaries are experienced advocates or public figures who are appointed by the state or central government on the recommendation of courts under the provisions of the Notaries Act LII of 1952 to authenticate legal procedures. The central government may appoint a notary for the whole or any part of the country. Likewise, the state government may appoint a notary for the entire state or for any part of the state. Notaries are appointed only if the authority is satisfied with their application. It is the responsibility of a notary officer to observe and verify the signatures on specific legal documents which has to be notarized (certified). They can give an oath to a person and declare the documents produced before him as valid, by affixing his signature and notary seal. These seals are issued to the state notary public by the state government with a unique identifying number and date. As a licensed public servant of a state, a notary public works for the common people and this profession has great importance. The services of a notary is required for those people who want to apply for ration card, domestic gas cylinder or power connection, or wants to include name in the voters list but not having any proof of residenceetc. Such persons can avail their requirements by filing an affidavit authenticated by a notary. A notary's signature and stamp is required for a person intending to change his/her name, students for their readmission if any break had occurred during their course, for those who want to authenticate a copy of a financial or academic document and so on. The notary request the parties to submit identity proofs such as driving license, birth certificate or passport before authentication. How to Become a Notary Education and Personal Requirements The status of notary public can be granted to a licensed advocate, member of an Indian legal service or even a public figure. No specific legal training is required for this, besides some essential eligibility criteria. To become a notary through legal profession, i.e to become an advocate, a person should have either 5 years or 3 years bachelor's degree (LLB) in Law. Minimum qualification for 5 year LLB program is a pass in Higher Secondary Examination, and Graduation in any stream for 3 year LLB program. Most institutes/ universities select candidates on the basis of an entrance test. CLAT (Common Law Admission Test) has become one of the most competitive admission tests in India for getting admission to law colleges. Conducted annually, CLAT consists of questions from topics such as Legal Aptitude, Logical Reasoning, English including Comprehension, General Knowledge/Current Affairs, Elementary Mathematics etc. After completing LL.B, one can enroll as an advocate in any of the State Bar Council. To apply for the Notary license, sufficient experience by years of practice is needed. A person can apply to be a notary if : • He /she has 10 years (seven years for Schedule Caste/Schedule Tribe or other backward classes and women candidates as well) of practice as an advocate If not a legal practitioner, the person should : • be a member of the Indian Legal Service or • have been 10 years a member of Judicial Service • held an office under the Central or state Government, requiring special knowledge of law, after enrolment as an advocate or • held an office in the department of judge, Advocate- General or in the armed forces. In order to obtain a notary license one has to submit an application in the form of a memorial to the competent authority (District Judge or the Presiding Officer of the Court or Tribunal where he practices as an Advocate ) of the appropriate government. If the candidate's application is accepted, they can become a Notary. A certificate of practice will be issued to the applicant and published in the State or Central Gazette. His name will be entered in the Register of Notaries maintained by the Government and he will be issued a unique identifying number. Skills needed for Notary Public Self-confidence, responsibility, discipline, attention to detail, truthfulness, neutrality and analytical skill are the key qualities required for a notary to practice in this profession. As the Notaries have to organize and express their ideas in writing, good written communication skill is essential. Leadership skills are necessary for the notaries who act as a mediator or who hold management positions in companies or who run their own firms. They should be hard working, have alertness of mind and above all honesty towards the society. In order to discharge his duties with commitment, a Notary should possess good knowledge of the law of the land and lot of experience. Career Prospects The major services provided by the Notaries involves : • Verify, authenticate, certify or attest the execution of any document • Present any promissory note, hundi or a bill of exchange for payment or acceptance • Protest the dishonor by non-acceptance or non-payment of any promissory note, hundi or bill of exchange • Protest notes and bills of exchange • Prepare marine or ship's protests in cases of damage • Administer oath to, or take affidavit from, any person • Prepare mercantile documents like bonds and charted parties • Prepare, attest or authenticate any document intended to take effect in any country or place outside India in such form and language as may conform to the law of the place where such deed is intended to operate • Translate and verify the translation of any documents from one language into another • Act as a Commissioner to record evidence in any civil or criminal trial if so directed by any court or authority • Act as an arbitrator, mediator or conciliator if so required and • Any other act which may be prescribed Notary Public works in a variety of settings such as courthouses, courtrooms and law offices. Notary can practice only in a particular area as specified by the government. They can authenticate the legal documents held by the clients from that area. Also, they will administer the oaths and affidavits given by them. Cyber notaries are available for performing the notary jobs required in the cyberspace. It is better to use the service of these notaries to avoid legal bottlenecks that could happen in the cyberspace. Fees for the Notary Remuneration of a Notary depends entirely upon his services. There will be a fixed charge specified by the authority for each of the activity of a notary. So every Notary may charge fees for each category of their notarial act according to the rates of the instruments (documents) mentioned in the Notaries Act. The fee for his services should be minimal and not excessive. In addition to the above fees, a notary may charge traveling allowance. It is mandatory that every Notary should display the rates of fee for any notarial act in the conspicuous place inside as well as outside his chamber or office. Every notary should maintain a notarial register in the prescribed Form to enter the fees charged by him and also grant a receipt for the fees charged by him. Institutes



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