New Rules for certifying documents

The Scottish Government has introduced new rules for solicitors when certifying documents. More solicitors are also Notaries and this means clients frequently call upon them to certify or “notarise” documents.  When the documents are executed, both the Notary and the individual usually need to be in the same place. However, because of the coronavirus pandemic, new procedures have been introduced. The certification of the documents can now take place over a video link.

The grandly named Coronavirus (Scotland) (No 2) Act 2020 in Schedule 4, Part 7, sets out the basis on which the notarisation can take place. You can read this new act by clicking here.

Clients regularly ask us to certify documents for them. They come to our office with their ID  and the documents they need certified. We go through the documents with them and explain that they’ll have to take an oath or make an affirmation. Once we’ve done that we administer the oath or affirmation and sign and seal the documents. These documents can then be relied on as having a lawful foundation.

What kinds of things needs to be certified?

Clients need certified documents for a variety of reasons. They may need to produce evidence of their identity to someone but are unable to do that in person. The client will normally call at our office with their ID. we will  discuss it with them, copy the documents and then certify,  sign and seal them. Once we’ve done that, the copy documents we have certified can be accepted as true copies of the originals.

Clients involved in court proceedings in family law frequently require an Affidavit.  This is a formal document that needs to be sworn or affirmed. We go through the Affidavit with the client and ask the client to swear or affirm that the contents are true and accurate. The client then signs the affidavit. After that, the solicitor/notary administers the oath or affidavit and then signs and seals the document.

Changes required to certifying documents during the coronavirus pandemic

As a result of the social distancing measures introduced during the lockdown, it’s not possible for the solicitor/notary to be in the same room as the client. In recognition of this, the provisions of the Corinavirus (Scotland) (No 2) Act 2020 now allow remote certifying documents to take place over a video link. There is a detailed procedure laid down to enable such certification  to take place and we will  guide you through this every step of the say.

If you need any help or are looking for us to certify your documents,  please get  in touch with us. Please complete the form on our contact us page, call us on 0141 647 9851 or email us on