When a document is legalised with an apostille or autherntication certificate it must have a stamp of a recognised body or the signature of a public official or Notary Public. Without the correct certification a document cannot be legalised.
Many original documents have the required signature or stamp and do not need further certification. For example birth certificates, marriage certificates normally do not need to be signed by a Notary Public
Other documents and copies of documents need to be notarised or attested by a Notary Public. These documents are not typically signed by a recognised public official.
In simple terms a Notary Public will check a document and then add a statement why they are certifying or attesting the document and then add their signature, red seal and notarial stamp to an separate page. The whole set of documents are then bound an sealed and legalised by Apostille or Authentication Certificate.
The type of certification added to a document will depend on what the document is and why it is being certified. In many circumstances a document may simply be certified as a copy, or as an original. If you are having your signature witnessed then the Notary will add an attestation certificate signed in my presence’ or ‘witnessed by’ to confirm they saw the document being signed and the identity of the signatory.
Certification on documents needs to be done correctly. It is important to use the services of an experienced Notary Public as getting the notarisation and legalisation of your documents wrong can be costly and frustrating.