Notary Public

Notarial Practice

Notary Public or a notary is any person commissioned to
perform official acts
(1) Acknowledgements;
(2) Oaths and affirmations;
(3) Jurats;
(4) Signature witnessing;
(5) Copy certifications; and
(6) Any other act authorizes in the rules

Purpose: To verify the personal appearance of affiant and the genuineness of signature  

             To authenticate document and verify due execution, making document admissible in evidence without proof of authenticity


Notarization is not an empty, meaningless, routinary act. It is invested with substantive public interest, such that only those who are qualified or authorized may act as notaries public…A notarial document is by law entitled to full faith and credit upon its face. Courts, administrative agencies and the public at large must be able to rely upon the acknowledgement executed by a notary public. [Baylon v. Almo, (2008)]



(1) Citizen of the Philippines
(2) Over 21 years of age
(3) Philippine resident for at least 1 year and maintains a
regular place of work or business in the city or province
where the commission is to be issued
(4) Member of the Philippine Bar in good standing, with
clearances from the Bar Confidant of the SC and the
(5) No conviction in the first instance for any crime
involving moral turpitude


Note: When there are no persons with the necessary qualifications OR where there are qualified persons but they refuse appointment, a notary public does NOT have to be a lawyer. The following persons may be appointed as notaries:

(1) Those who have passed the studies of law in a
reputable university
(2) A clerk or deputy clerk of court for a period of not less
than two years

A notarial commission is granted by an executive judge after petition of the lawyer, and is good for two years commencing on the 1st day of January of the year in which the commission is made UNLESS earlier revoked or the notary public has resigned according to these Rules and the Rules of Court. [Rule III, Sec. 11].


Every petition undergoes a hearing and approved after:

(1) Petition is proven sufficient in form and substance
(2) Petitioner proves allegations in petition
(3) Petitioner establishes to the satisfaction of the court
that he has read and understood the Rules on Notarial Practice




What can be notarized: A notary can notarize any
document, upon request of affiant.
Sec. 1. Powers. – A notary public is
(a) Empowered to perform the following material acts:
(1) Acknowledgments;
(2) Oaths and affirmations;
(3) Jurats;
(4) Signature witnessings;
(5) Copy certifications; and
(6) Any other act authorized by these rules
(b) Authorized to certify the affixing of a signature by thumb or mark on an instrument or document presented for notarization if:
(1) The thumb or other mark is affixed in the presence of the notary public and two (2) disinterested and unaffected witnesses to the instrument or
(2) Both witnesses sign their own names in addition of the thumb or other mark;
(3) The notary public writes below the thumb or other mark: “Thumb or Other Mark affixed by (name and addresses of witnesses) and undersigned notary public”; and
(4) The notary public notarizes the signature by thumb or other mark through an acknowledgement, jurat, or signature witnessing
(c) Authorized to sign on behalf of a person who is physically unable to sign or make a mark on an instrument or document if:

(1) The notary public is directed by the person unable to sign or make a mark to sign on his behalf;
(2) The signature of the notary public is affixed in the presence of two disinterested and unaffected witnesses to the instrument or document;
(3) Both witnesses sign their own names;
(4) The notary public writes below his signature: “Signature affixed by notary in presence of (names and addresses of person and two (2) witnesses)” ; and
(5) The notary public notarizes his signature by acknowledgement or jurat



In any place within the territorial jurisdiction of the commissioning court for a period of two (2) years commencing the first day of January of the year in which the commissioning is made, unless earlier revoked or the notary public has resigned under these Rules and the Rules of Court.

General Rule: Notarization of document must be at the notary public’s regular place of work.

(1) In public offices, convention halls and other places where oaths of office are administered, public function areas in hotels and similar areas used for the signing of instruments or documents requiring notarization
(2) Hospitals and other medical institutions where a part to an instrument is confined for treatment (3) Any place where a party to the instrument requiring notarization is under detention

(3) Any place where a party to the instrument requiring notarization is under detention.




Competent Evidence of Identity. – refers to the identification of an individual based on:

(1) At least one current identification document issued by an official agency bearing the photograph and signature of the individual; or (2) The oath or affirmation of:

(a) One credible witness not privy to the instrument, document or transaction who is personally known to the notary public and who personally knows the
(b) Two credible witnesses neither of whom is privy to the instrument, document or transaction who each personally knows the individual and shows to the notary public documentary identification.

Notaries public must observe utmost care in complying with formalities intended to ensure the integrity of the notarized document and the act it embodies. In this case, the respondent violated the Rules on Notarial Practice when he notarized three documents presented to him by a complainant whose identity is not personally known to him and yet he did not require proof of identity from the said person. [Gonzales v. Padiernos (2008)]

A lawyer commissioned as notary public is mandated to subscribe to the sacred duties appertaining to his office, such duties being dictated by public policy and impressed with public interest. Faithful observance and utmost respect of the legal solemnity of an oath in an acknowledgment or jurat is sacrosanct. [Maligsa v. Catanting (1997)]

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