Notary Public in Thailand
One of the most frequent questions which law offices in Thailand have been asked is: “Do you have a Notary Public Service in your law office?” or “Can I get a document certified by Notary Public in your law office?”
Those questions are asked either by foreigners or by Thai people who have contract or business with a foreigner.
The precise answer which may cause disappointment is: “There is no Notary Public in Thailand”
In various countries, a Notary Public is a special kind of lawyer with a license to perform specific work, i.e., to authenticate a document, or to witness an affidavit or the statement of any person under oath. The Notary Public provides a very useful service in that when a person receives a notarized document, affidavit or statement, he will recognize it as being authentic because it has been certified by a licensed neutral person who guarantees the document. A document that has be! en certified by a Notary Public is likewise recognized by government and other official agencies.
Even though there is no Notary Public in Thailand, when a client requests for the Notary Public Service, we may assist our client as follows:
1. We will advise our client to inform the related person precisely that there is no Notary Public in Thailand and recommend our client to ask the related person whether he will accept the document authenticated by a reputable licensed lawyer in Thailand instead of a Notary Public. In most case, if such document or transaction is performed in the private sector, the answer of the related person will be positive.
2. On the other hand, if such document is to be presented to an official agency in another country, we advise that after the document is authenticated by a reputable licensed lawyer in Thailand, it should then be re-authenticated by the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs or else by the Embassy of the country in which the document will be presented.
Recently, the Law Society of Thailand has the idea of proposing a new law to introduce the Notary Public Service in Thailand but it may take a long time before such law is enacted.
Consequently, the aforementioned advice is appropriate for the time being."
Even though there is no Notary Public System in Thailand, the Thai Law Society has tried to solve this problem by establishing the Registry of Signature and Document Attestation to train lawyers, who will perform the duty to certify signatures and documents, as so called Notarial Services Attorneys; and also to register the Notarial Services Attorneys for the purpose of verification.
Besides this, the Thai Law Society has also notified the international embassies in Thailand concerning the roles and the duties of the registered Thai Notarial Services Attorneys, which should be accepted at an international level until Thailand establishes a formal Notary Public System.
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