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Singapore Academy of Law (SAL) provides authentication services for the signatures of Notaries Public appointed in Singapore by virtue of Rule 12 of the Singapore Academy of Law Rules.

The need for notarisation is determined entirely by the party receiving the documents. There is no need for notarisation if parties to the transaction can mutually agree to dispense with it.

However, if notarisation is desired, then these documents must be notarised in accordance with the Notaries Public Rules and be authenticated and legalised by SAL, as the competent authority responsible for appointing notaries and administering the legalisation infrastructure in Singapore.

All documents that require notarisation by a Notary Public in Singapore will have to be authenticated and legalised by SAL. The following payments are payable at the Notary Public’s office:

  • Notarisation Fee to the Notary Public; and
  • Authentication Fee of $85.60 (incl of GST) to the Singapore Academy of Law.

Your Notary Public will issue the Notarial Certificate upon payment of the Authentication Fee. Once the Notarisation is complete, please proceed to the SAL Counter for SAL’s authentication and legalisation.

“By virtue of Rule 8(3)(c) of the Notaries Public Rules, a Notarial Certificate must be authenticated by the Singapore Academy of Law in order to be valid.” A notarised document without SAL’s authentication and legalisation is considered to be invalid. With effect from 16 September 2021, a Notarial Certificate shall be deemed to be validly authenticated by the affixing of an Apostille to the back of the Notarial Certificate.

A recipient of the notarised document will be able to search and verify the authenticity of the notarised and authenticated documents via a search register at here.

Introduction

Legalisation is a process of document authentication observed by international governments. If you intend to use a document overseas then local authorities may require it to be legalised before it can be considered valid.

You can get official Singapore documents legalised by asking SAL to confirm that the signature, stamp or seal is from a Singapore public official. You might need to do this if an official in another country has asked you to provide a Singapore document and they have said it must be legalised.

Each country has its own legalisation requirements determined by the type of document being legalised and its intended use. Legalisation requirements are determined only by the country where the document is going, not by SAL. As such requirements often change from time to time, please check with the recipient/local authorities/embassy of the country where your documents are to be used.

Apostilles to be issued for all documents legalised by SAL from 16 September 2021

On 18 January 2021, Singapore deposited its instrument of accession to the HCCH Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (“Apostille Convention"). To operationalise the Convention, SAL will be issuing Apostilles for all Singapore documents bound overseas from 16 September 2021.

An Apostille is a certificate issued under the Apostille Convention authenticating the origin of a public document. Member countries of the Apostille Convention can agree to accept Apostilles in place of any other form of legalisation or authentication. The intention is to simplify cross border laws and remove the need for various Embassy legalisation which differs from one country to another.

From 16 September 2021, SAL will affix Apostilles for ALL documents irrespective of which country the document is destined to be used. Once the Apostille has been issued to a document, it can then be presented outside of Singapore in any member country and will be accepted as a document containing legitimate legal signatures or seals. To check whether a country is a member of the Apostille Convention, click here

If the document is to be used in a non-member country, not party to the Apostille Convention, the document will require further legalisation through the foreign embassy in Singapore, and should be presented to the consular section of the mission representing that country.

To have your documents legalised, please submit an online request here

Singapore Academy of Law is the statutory body that appoints Commissioners for Oaths and Notaries Public who practise in Singapore.

COMMISSIONERS FOR OATHS

Commissioners for oaths who are advocates and solicitors are only competent to take any affidavit or affirmation or for the swearing of executors and administrators and of taking and receiving Statutory Declarations in accordance with ss 68(2)(c)(ii), 68(2)(c)(v) and 68(2)(d) of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act (Cap322)

Commissioners for oaths who are officers in the employment of Government ministries, departments, statutory boards, Government-linked companies and employees of designated non-profit organisations are eligible to take and receive the documents specified in Schedule I of their applications and subject to such other limitations as the Senate of the Academy may determine or as may be stated in the certificate of appointment.

Commissioners for oaths who are court interpreters may administer oaths in accordance with Section 68 of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act (Cap322), subject to such other limitations as the Senate of the Academy may determine or as may be stated in the certificate of appointment.

NOTARIES PUBLIC

A notary public's duty is to attest deeds, contracts, and other instruments that are to be used abroad and to give a certificate of the due execution of such documents duly authenticated by his signature and notarial seal. Unlike commissioners for oaths, a notary public is in a position to witness a document signed in front of him which is in a foreign language.

The Notaries Public Act (Cap 208) expressly provides that every notary public shall have and may exercise within Singapore all powers and functions which are ordinarily exercised by notaries public in England. Without prejudice to the generality of the powers and functions, the practical functions of a notary public follow those applicable in England, with some variations, and are principally as follows: -

a. Administer any oath or affirmation in connection with any affidavit or statutory declaration which is executed-

  • For the purpose of confirming or proving the due execution of any document;
  • By any master or member of the crew of any vessel in respect of any matter concerning the vessel; or
  • For the purpose of being used in any court or place outside Singapore;

b. Take or attest any affidavit or statutory declaration referred in (a). These shall not include the power to administer any oaths or affirmation in connection with any affidavit or statutory declaration which is executed for the purpose of being used in any court or place within Singapore.

Click here for more information on the appointment criteria for applying to become a Commissioner for Oaths and/or Notary Public.