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    A Guide to the Notary Public Act, 2063: Ensuring Document Validity



    A Guide to the Notary Public Act, 2063: Ensuring Document Validity

    A Guide to the Notary Public Act, 2063: Ensuring Document Validity
    A Guide to the Notary Public Act, 2063: Ensuring Document Validity

    Background and Purpose

    Prior to the enactment of the Notary Public Act, 2063 (2007) (hereinafter referred to as "the Act"), there was no clear legal framework governing the certification, attestation, and translation of documents in Nepal. These tasks were often handled by government officials at varying levels or the Law Book Management Committee.

    The Act aimed to:

    • Enhance accessibility of document certification and attestation services for the general public by establishing a network of qualified notary publics across the country.
    • Establish a standardized system for document certification, attestation, and translation, ensuring consistency and trustworthiness.
    • Promote professionalism and ethical conduct among notaries public through regulations and oversight by the Nepal Notary Public Council.

    Establishment of the Nepal Notary Public Council

    The Act established the Nepal Notary Public Council as an autonomous and corporate body overseen by the Attorney General. The Council's primary functions include:

    • Formulating policies and regulations related to the work of notaries public.
    • Issuing certificates of notary public to qualified individuals after a rigorous examination and interview process.
    • Monitoring the work of notaries public to ensure they adhere to the Act, its Rules, and the prescribed code of conduct.
    • Taking disciplinary action against notaries who violate the Act or engage in misconduct.
    • Maintaining a public register of all certified notaries public in Nepal.

    Eligibility to Become a Notary Public

    The Act outlines specific eligibility criteria for becoming a notary public in Nepal. An applicant must meet the following requirements:

    • Hold a bachelor's degree in law or an equivalent qualification from a recognized university or institution.
    • Possess at least five years of experience as an advocate or a legal practitioner, demonstrating familiarity with legal procedures and documents.
    • Be a citizen of Nepal, ensuring a vested interest in upholding the country's legal framework.
    • Maintain a clean criminal record, free of any offenses involving moral turpitude, guaranteeing the integrity and trustworthiness of the notary public.
    • Successfully pass a written examination and an interview conducted by the Nepal Notary Public Council, assessing the applicant's knowledge, skills, and suitability for the role.

    The Examination Process

    The Council administers a written examination to assess the qualifications of aspiring notaries public. The exam encompasses the following topics:

    • The Notary Public Act, 2063, and its corresponding Rules, ensuring a thorough understanding of the legal framework governing notaries public.
    • Relevant laws, including the Civil Code, the Constitution of Nepal, and potentially other legislation related to specific types of documents that might be notarized (e.g., property deeds, contracts).
    • General principles of law and justice, providing a strong foundation for legal reasoning and decision-making.
    • English language proficiency (if providing translation services), essential for translating documents accurately and maintaining a high standard of quality.

    The written examination consists of two parts:

    • Paper I (Objective): Multiple-choice questions (100 marks, 2 hours), testing factual knowledge and legal understanding.
    • Paper II (Subjective): Essay-type questions (200 marks, 2 hours), assessing analytical skills, problem-solving abilities, and written communication in a legal context.

    Candidates who pass the written exam are then called for an interview. The interview aims to evaluate the candidate's personality, communication skills, knowledge of legal procedures, and overall suitability for the role of a notary public. The Council might consider factors like the candidate's professional experience, demeanor, and commitment to ethical conduct.

    Granting the Certificate and Official Tools

    Upon successful completion of the examination process, the Council awards a certificate of notary public to the qualified candidate. This certificate is typically valid for five years and can be renewed upon application and payment of prescribed fees.

    The Council also equips each notary public with essential tools for their profession:

    • Official Seal: This seal, containing the notary public's name, address, and unique certificate number, serves as an official stamp of authenticity on documents they certify. It acts as a visual confirmation that the document has been notarized by a qualified professional.
    • Bound Register: This register acts as a permanent record of the notary's official acts. Details such as date, client name, address, signature, and seal impression are meticulously documented for each notarized document. This record-keeping practice ensures transparency, accountability, and allows for verification of notarized documents in the future.

    Duties and Responsibilities of a Notary Public

    The Act outlines the specific duties and responsibilities entrusted to a notary public. These include:

    Certifying Copies of Documents:

    A notary public can certify copies of documents, verifying that a photocopy (e.g., passport, academic certificate, birth certificate) is an accurate reproduction of the original document. This process typically involves:

    • Comparing the copy to the original document line by line.
    • Ensuring the copy is complete and free of any alterations or omissions.
    • Attaching a certificate of verification to the copy, stating that it is a true and accurate copy of the original document.
    • Affixing their official seal and signature on the certificate.

    Attesting Signatures:

    Notaries public play a crucial role in witnessing the signing of documents and verifying the signatories' identities. This process typically involves:

    • Requesting valid government-issued photo identification from each signatory.
    • Verifying the identities of the signatories by comparing their photo ID to their physical appearance.
    • Observing the signatories signing the document in person.
    • Completing a notarial certificate that details the date, location, document title, signatories' names and addresses, and confirmation of their witnessed signatures.
    • Affixing their official seal and signature on the notarial certificate, binding it to the document.

    Administering Oaths and Affirmations:

    Notaries public are authorized to administer oaths and affirmations, which are formal declarations of truthfulness used in legal proceedings. This process typically involves:

    • Administering the oath or affirmation, using a standard legal formula (e.g., placing a hand on a religious text).
    • Ensuring the person understands the significance of the oath or affirmation and the potential consequences of perjury.
    • Having the person swear or affirm truthfully to the contents of a document.
    • Completing a jurat, a certificate attached to the document, stating the date, location, and details of the administered oath or affirmation.
    • Affixing their official seal and signature on the jurat.

    Taking Depositions:

    In some cases, a notary public may be authorized to take depositions, which are sworn statements outside of court. This process typically involves:

    • Witnessing a person provide testimony under oath or affirmation.
    • Recording the testimony verbatim, either by writing it down or using audio/video recording equipment.
    • Preparing a transcript of the recorded testimony, ensuring accuracy and completeness.
    • Having the person review and sign the transcript, verifying its accuracy.
    • Completing a certificate of deposition attached to the transcript, outlining the date, location, participants,and details of the deposition.
    • Affixing their official seal and signature on the certificate of deposition.

    Translating Documents (if qualified):

    Notaries public with additional qualifications in translation may be authorized to provide certified translations of documents from one language to another. This process typically involves:

    • Possessing fluency in both the source and target languages of the translation.
    • Demonstrating expertise in legal terminology and the nuances of different legal systems (if translating legal documents).
    • Producing an accurate and faithful translation of the document, preserving its meaning and intent.
    • Attaching a certificate of translation to the translated document, stating the translator's qualifications, the source and target languages, and confirmation of the translation's accuracy.
    • Affixing their official seal and signature on the certificate of translation.

    Additional Considerations:

    The Act also outlines limitations on the scope of a notary public's duties. Notaries public cannot:

    • Provide legal advice or represent clients in court.
    • Engage in activities that create a conflict of interest, such as notarizing documents for themselves, close relatives, or business associates.
    • Backdate documents or alter their content.

    By adhering to these regulations and maintaining a high standard of professional conduct, notaries public play a vital role in ensuring the authenticity, integrity, and legal validity of documents in Nepal.


    The Notary Public Act, 2063 (2007), established a robust legal framework for document certification, attestation, and translation in Nepal. By outlining qualifications, examination processes, and clear responsibilities, the Act ensures the professionalism and trustworthiness of notaries public. This system promotes public confidence in notarized documents and facilitates their use in various legal and administrative contexts.

    FAQs About the Notary Public Act, 2063 (2007) in Nepal

    What is a notary public in Nepal?

    A notary public is a qualified professional authorized to certify copies of documents, attest signatures, administer oaths and affirmations, take depositions (in some cases), and translate documents (if qualified). They act as impartial witnesses, ensuring the authenticity and legal validity of documents.

    Why is notarization important?

    Notarization adds a layer of legitimacy to documents, verifying their origin, signatories' identities, and the circumstances surrounding their signing. This can be crucial for documents used in legal proceedings, international transactions, or official applications.

    Who can become a notary public in Nepal?

    Individuals with a law degree, at least five years of legal experience, a clean criminal record, and passing a rigorous examination conducted by the Nepal Notary Public Council can qualify to become a notary public.

    What does the notary public exam cover?

    The exam tests knowledge of the Notary Public Act, relevant laws, legal principles, and potentially English language proficiency (for translation services). It assesses the candidate's understanding of their duties and responsibilities.

    How long is a notary public certificate valid?

    A notary public certificate typically lasts for five years after which renewal is required through the Nepal Notary Public Council upon application and payment of prescribed fees.

    What are some key responsibilities of a notary public?

    • Verifying the accuracy of document copies and issuing certificates of verification.
    • Witnessing the signing of documents, confirming the signatories' identities.
    • Administering oaths and affirmations for legal declarations of truthfulness.
    • Taking depositions (under specific circumstances) by recording sworn statements outside of court.
    • Providing certified translations of documents (if qualified).

    What are some limitations on a notary public's duties?

    Notaries cannot offer legal advice, represent clients in court, notarize documents for themselves or close associates, or backdate or alter documents.

    How can I find a notary public in Nepal?

    You can contact the Nepal Notary Public Council or search online directories for registered notaries in your area. And We Notary Nepal - Online Notary Nepal is always there to help you.

    Are there fees associated with notary services?

    Yes, notaries public charge fees for their services. The Nepal Notary Public Council establishes reasonable and transparent fee structures.

    Does the Notary Public Act apply to online notarization?

    The Act does not explicitly address online notarization. However, technological advancements might necessitate future amendments to incorporate regulations for secure online notarization services.


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