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Is Legalisation the Same as Notarisation?

Every official process carried out in any country comes with its own set of rules, forms, timeframes, requests and requirements; and these often differ based on the government agency or organisation you are dealing with. The only constant is documentation, a set of paperwork or online filing which holds the power to actually complete these tasks, even across borders.

Some documents hold an essence or meaning under a certain statute of limitations. To expand the enforcement of such intent or order to another country often involves embassies – or government bodies such as the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) – and processes such as notarisation and legalisation.

Notarisation is a process done by a licensed Notary Public or Notarial Services Attorney to certify that a person’s signature on a document is a valid signature signed by them (in the presence of the Notary Public/Notarial Services Attorney) or to certify the authentication of a certain document.

For example, you may be looking to appoint someone to purchase some assets abroad on your behalf. In this case, it is quite possible that you will need to sign a power of attorney in the presence of a Notarial Services Attorney (i.e. have it notarised).

Legalisation is the process often done after notarisation is complete. This could involve MOFA certifying the Notary’s signature to be valid, and that they are authorised and licensed to conduct the notarisation. Other cases involving legalisation could involve a government body certifying that your birth or marriage certificate is valid, for example. This is often required when applying for a Non-Immigrant O visa here in Thailand.

If you are looking for notary services in Bangkok, you are welcome to get in touch with our notarial services attorneys to request a quotation and schedule an appointment. Depending on your requirements, we may also be able to assist with legalising documents with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.