Question about document legalisation in the UK
January 23, 2013 10:57 PM Subscribe
You are a UK solicitor, but you are not MY UK solicitor
posted by LDL707 to law & government (4 answers total)
I have a quick question regarding legalisation and apostilles.
I have a letter from the UK National Archives, that confirms that my great-great-grandfather never became a UK citizen. I need to have it legalised.
According to the UK Legalisation Office, the only way that they can legalise it would be to have a solicitor or a notary public sign it, certify it, and date it.
My question is: what exactly would the solicitor or the notary public be certifying? In the US, a notary witnesses a signature and confirms that the person is who they are claiming to be. In the US, a notarial act must be done in person--it would be meaningless for a notary to notarize a signature on a piece of paper without knowing who signed it. How could a solicitor or a notary public be able to confirm the authenticity of the document any better than the Legalisation Office could?
Furthermore, as far as I know in the US, an apostille is a certification by the state that the signature affixed to an official document matches the signature on file with the state, and that it is authentic. When an apostille is affixed to a notarized document, the apostille has nothing to do with the original document--the apostille is affixed to the notary public's notarial certificate.
What would the solicitor or notary public be doing that allows the Legalisation Office to affix an apostille? Can someone shed some light on this?