This article provides an introductory guide to Notary Public Fees in Singapore, along with a number of common, and simplified examples of the fee breakdown.
A Notary Public is a person with legal authorisation to perform various legal functions such as the administration of oaths and affirmations, and certifying copies of documents. This usually happens when the documents will be used outside Singapore. For documents being used inside of Singapore, it is usually acceptable to just leverage a commissioner for oaths.
A Notary can certify that a document is authentic and valid. Notary Publics can certify academic transcripts, for example, so they can be submitted to overseas universities. They can also certify that birth and marriage certificates are genuine. They can also certify someone’s identity and issue a certificate of true likeness to validate ID documents.
If you have been given authority to carry out a duty such as Power of Attorney, a Notary Public can confirm those documents. A Notary Public must be present when a document such as Power of Attorney is signed, to witness the signature and confirm it was properly executed. They will also ensure the person signing the document knew what they were doing and what it meant.
The term ‘attestation’ is sometimes used in relation to notarial services. It simply means that the Notary Public – a third party – witnessed the parties involved signing the document and verified the document’s contents. When executing documents for high-value deals like property transactions or overseas business, attestation is often required.
Notarial execution is not usually required for documents only being submitted in Singapore. Here, a commissioner of oaths can certify Singapore documents.
This article focuses on notarial services for documents intended to be submitted overseas, and looks at the cost of these services. All fees mentioned here are in Singapore Dollars.
Notarial service fees in Singapore are set by law and listed in the Notaries Public rules, Schedule 1. However, Notaries Public can charge additional, reasonable fees for related acts not listed in the rules. For example, if they need to spend time travelling, or understanding/translating certain documents to be notarised, they may charge for that time.
Notarisation is usually required by foreign government agencies. Any person or organisation wanting to submit documents to such an agency must usually use a Notary Public. Documents will not usually be accepted overseas unless they have an official notarial seal.
Every document executed by a notary must have a corresponding notarial certificate (see below for more detail).
The Notary Public, having executed a document, must issue the notarial certificate and attach it to the document with a ribbon and seal, issued by the Singapore Academy of Law (SAL). The certificate represents the Notary’s declaration that the document was executed properly.
A notarial certificate costs $75 for one person and $20 for each additional party to that certificate. If three parties signed a contract, the certificate fee would be $75 plus $40.
All notarised documents must be authenticated by the Singapore Academy of Law, which costs $85.60. Before issuing the notarial certificate, the Notary will collect this fee.
The total compulsory fee therefore is $160.60 ($75 plus $85.60).
The balance of the fees depends on the nature of the notarial services needed.
Notarial ‘execution’ covers various types of services, including witnessing, certifying true copies, attesting, and verifying identity or content. Though it sounds complex, ‘execution’ simply means the signing of documents to meet legal requirements. Sometimes the law dictates how many people must sign, or who must witness it, etc. Notaries ensure all legal requirements are met and witnessed.
In Singapore, witnessing signatures and executing documents are among the most common notarial services.
The set fee for notarial execution of a document by one person is $40, and
These fees are in addition to the compulsory fee of $160.60.
It’s common for companies to need notarial services when concluding a business deal with a foreign company.
Examples would be:
A company needing notarial execution of a document must pay a fee of $150, which includes the exhibits and certificates.
The most common notarial service is certifying copies as true. Often you’ll need to ‘prove’ that copies of an original document are true. This is especially important if submitting documents overseas. If the certification happens within Singapore, then a commissioner of oaths will usually suffice.
For example, if someone is applying to study abroad then the foreign academic organisation will need confirmation that a copy of a current academic record is genuine. If someone is applying for visas or passports, the same will apply for copies of birth/marriage certificates or bank statements. Perhaps you want to sell your overseas-incorporated company to someone living abroad, or maybe you want to buy a holiday home in Malaysia. In these scenarios, the person in the foreign country needs to know that the relevant Singaporean documents are real and any copies are true.
A Notary Public has the authorisation to certify that copies are ‘true’ – meaning that a ‘true copy’ is different from a simple photocopy. True copies have Notary Public authorisation.
If the Notary Public inspects the original and the copy and is satisfied, they will certify the copies with an official stamp. A seal may need to be fixed to the document if required by the foreign entity.
Check the requirements of your foreign entity before meeting the Notary Public.
For the first page of a document, a $10 fee is payable for examining and certifying true copies with a seal. Then:
A statutory declaration is a legal declaration that something is true. Sometimes the law requires someone to make such a declaration if no other evidence can be given to substantiate a claim, whether in a personal or a business context.
It’s commonly used to declare simple facts like nationality or marital status, where you don’t have any other proof. They’re also used in other situations, like:
Statutory declarations may be used in a business context to confirm certain documents’ content; board members’ statuses or the status of goods subject to import-export control.
Declarations are also necessary when trademarks are filed, or evidence of trademark use is needed in Singapore.
More recently, if business owners have rented premises during the Coronavirus pandemic, they may apply for rental relief if they’re eligible, using the Covid-19 rental relief framework. Applicants need to declare their eligibility using a statutory declaration.
The cost of one party’s statutory declaration is $40, then:
Example 1: you need copies of three pages of your academic transcript to be certified as being true copies. You must pay:
Example 2: Witnessing the execution of a power of attorney:
Further legalisation is required by some countries before they will accept documents that can be legally used in that country. For instance, evidential documents in overseas court proceedings, or immigration applications all need to be legalised. The process for legalising a document is as follows: it must be notarised, gain SAL authentication, and authentication by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and also by the relevant embassy.
In addition to the costs set out above for notarising and authentication by the SAL, further costs are payable for authentication ($10 per page) and administrative fees that the relevant foreign commission will determine. For instance, the fee is S$5 at the Malaysian High Commission and US$50 at the US Embassy.
In Singapore, many lawyers will provide Notary Public and commissioner of oaths services. What services you need will depend on where your documents will be submitted – in Singapore or overseas. It is critical that you follow the right procedure – if not, you risk having your documents rejected, and suffering delays to your applications or transactions.