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Notary Public

1. What is a Notarial Act?
A "Notarial Act" is anything undertaken by a Notary Public (including witnessing signatures to documents) in their capacity as a Notary.

2. How are Notaries appointed?
Notaries in Tasmania:
  • have either been appointed by the Supreme Court of Tasmania under the provisions of the Notaries Public Act 1990 [available at the website]; or
  • were an historical appointment by the Archbishop of Canterbury prior to 1990, and who are by virtue of Section 4 of the Notaries Public Act 1990 deemed to be appointed as Notaries in Tasmania.
3. Do Notaries have other occupations?
All Notaries in Tasmania are senior Lawyers.

4. What is the most common function that a Notary undertakes?
The most common function they undertake is to Notarise documents, or complete Notarial Certificates of documents that are required in foreign countries.

5. Why does a Notary have a Notarial Seal?
Each Notary Public has an official Notarial Seal. This seal is in a form that is unique to each Notary. The Seal is used by the Notary in completing the notarising (execution, witnessing or certification) of documents.

6. What does a Notary Public have capacity to do?
A Notary Public has the legal capacity:
  • to attest deeds, contracts and other instruments that are to be used in most countries outside Australia;
  • to give a "Certificate of Due Execution" of documents. This Certificate, if duly authenticated by the Notary's signature and official Notarial Seal, is accepted in all countries where Notarial Acts are recognised, as proof of the acts done in the Notary's presence and attested by the Notary;
  • to draw up "Ship's protests" or other formal papers relating to occurrences on ship's voyages and navigation of ships as well as the carriage of cargo in ships; and
  • the capacity to attest some other documents under specific legislation for use in the States and Territories, and the Commonwealth of Australia.
7. Does a Notary keep records?
A Notary Public is required to keep and maintain a Notarial Register of all Notarial Acts.

8. Does a Notary charge for their services?
A Notary is entitled to, and usually does, charge fees for undertaking all Notarial Acts. There is no set charges or fees. Notaries in Tasmania usually charge at rates equivalent to their usual hourly commercial charge for the time involved.

9. Is a Notary the same as a Justice of the Peace or a Commissioner for Declarations?
A Notary Public is not a Justice of the Peace or a Commissioner for Declarations. The positions of Justice of the Peace and Commissioner for Declarations are positions in the law, created for, amongst other things, witnessing Tasmanian state based documents.

If a person requires a Justice of the Peace or a Commissioner for Declarations in their local area, information is available by phoning the Legal Aid Commission, Telephone Advice Line, on (03) 1300 366 611.

10. Who are Notaries in Tasmania?
Tasmanian Legal Resources has a link to a list of current Notaries Public and their contact details.

These notes are only a brief outline of the roles and functions of a Notary Public in Tasmania. For advice in relation to specific matters contact should be made with a Notary.

These notes have been prepared by Peter Worrall, Notary Public.
© Peter Worrall

List of Tasmanian Notaries

Firm Name
Mr S B Carter
INCAT Tasmania P/L
03 6273 0677
Mr Peter Dixon
C/- University of Tasmania
03 6324 3999
Mr Ian L Hallett
C/- Page Seager
03 6235 5155
Mr Dayne Johnson M+K Dobson Mitchell & Allport HOBART 03 6210 0000
Mr Graeme  Jones
Douglas & Collins
03 6332 3400
Mr Aziz Gregory (Greg) Melick A.M. R.F.D. S.C.
Greg Melick
0439 022 988
Mr Zenia Samec
C/- Crisp Hudson & Mann
03 6431 1622
Mr Graeme Thompson
Graeme Thompson
03 6223 5687
Mr Peter Worrall
Peter Worrall Lawyers
03 6223 8899
Mr D M Whitehouse C/- Murdoch Clarke HOBART 03 6235 9311
Mr V  R Smith  C/- M+K Dobson Mitchell & Allport  HOBART 03 6210 0000