The state government appoints an official notary public to authenticate notarial acts or notarizations. Notaries are commissioned publically as ministerial officials, so they are expected to adhere to established rules without exercising personal discretion. They are referred to as judicial officials if they exercise significant personal discretion.
Most countries worldwide appoint a Notary Public to authenticate legal documents, signatures, affidavits, or statements of individuals under oath. However, there is no official Notary Public in Thailand. Instead, particular attorneys in Thailand are designated with the role of Notarial Services Attorney by the Lawyers Council of Thailand, allowing them to perform authentication services regulated by the Lawyers Act.
What is a Notary Public?
A notary public is generally an official the government recognizes to authenticate a person’s signature, a statement of an individual under oath, a title deed, or validation of particular documents.
A notary public is recognized internationally, whether in Europe, the U.S., or Southeast Asia. Notarizing documents is essential to prove their authenticity, and a notarized document serves as valid proof of evidence that may be needed in court.
Why Would You Need a Notary Public Stamp?
If you are a Thai resident and need to use certain documents overseas for business purposes or other motivations, your destination will need proof that your documents are authentic.
A notary public is required in such instances to validate the accuracy and authenticity of documents. Such notarization effectively prevents fraudulent persons from submitting unauthenticated documents. The Thailand notary or notary public also serves as a witness, attesting to the validity of documents and ensuring the individual signing them is qualified to do so.
Particular documents are not binding or enforceable before being notarized.
Documents That Typically Require Notarization
- A Copy of a Passport - This document is required for travels abroad and must be certified by an official notary public.
- Proof of Address - If you plan on opening a bank account or starting a business abroad, you will need to provide a notarized proof of address in Thailand. To have your proof of address notarized, you must present the notary officer with a document stating your full name and address, such as a credit card statement or a utility bill. The notary officer will then prepare a certified letter displaying your name and address and attach the document you presented as proof of address.
- Embassy Form - In some cases, you will be required to submit documents to the embassy. The embassy will ask you to sign and certify the document with a recognized notary public.
- Signed Documents - If you need to courier a signed document abroad for business or other purposes, the signed document must be notarized to ensure the authenticity of your signature. To get such documents certified, you must present the notary public with the document along with your passport.
- Translated Documents - If you have a document drafted in the Thai language that is translated to English, the translated document must be certified by a recognized notary public.
- Testament and Will - Some countries may require you to certify your will and testament with a notary public to ensure your intent to pass your estate to another person when you pass away.
- Degree Certificate - In order to apply for a degree in a foreign country, you must submit a certified copy of your Master, Doctorate, or Bachelor’s Degree certificate obtained in Thailand.
Services of a Thailand Notary Lawyer
The Lawyers Council of Thailand provides Thai lawyers with the role of Notarial Service Attorney so they can perform the same duties an official Notary Public can. Such notary services include the following:
- Verifying the authentication of the signatures on certain legal documents
- Certifying copies of original documents
- Certifying copies of documents issued by the government
- Authenticating deeds
- Verifying documents related to business acquisition, business contracts, or property
- Authenticating identification documents and signatures on other documents
- Authenticating oaths and affirmations
- Certifying the parties’ identities involved in agreements
- Serving as a witness to parties signing documents