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Attestation and Notarization: Find Out their Differences

Attestation and Notarization: Find out their differences blog by S & S Lawyers that is the leading law firm in sharjah, UAE consisting of experienced lawyers and advocates in Sharjah that provides high quality legal services to groups and individuals to help them with legal matters, including arbitration, civil, criminal law and crimes, real estate, personal status, and as well free legal consultation.

In the realm of legal documentation, terms like "attestation" and "notarization" often come up, particularly in international contexts. While both processes are essential for validating documents, they serve different purposes and involve distinct procedures. This article will explore the differences between attestation and notarization and guide how residents of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can obtain these services, either independently or through legal offices such as "S & S Lawyers."

Understanding Attestation and Notarization

What is Attestation?

Attestation is the process of verifying the authenticity of a document so that it is accepted in a foreign country. This is particularly important for documents like educational certificates, marriage licenses, and business agreements that need to be recognized internationally. The attestation process typically involves multiple steps, including verification by local authorities, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and finally, the embassy or consulate of the country where the document will be used.

Document attestation is required especially when you are moving in the United Arab Emirates. Many people are just familiar with obtaining notarisation or an apostille certificate for documents before they are presented to another country. Take note that apostille certificates are recognized between member countries under the provisions of the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents Act but since the UAE is not a member of the said treaty, an attestation from embassies are required for foreign documents, after obtaining legalization or an apostille certificate in your country.

What is Notarization?

Notarization, on the other hand, is a more straightforward process usually conducted by a notary public. The notary's role is to verify the identity of the signatories and witness the signing of the document, ensuring that it is executed correctly. Notarization is often required for legal documents such as affidavits, powers of attorney, and real estate transactions.

In the United Arab Emirates, the hassle tied to in-person notarizations has been eliminated, with the help of online entities where you can get your documents notarized in less than five minutes, providing convenience through a more verifiable form of legal notarization.

What Are The Key Differences of Attestation and Notarization?

1. Purpose:

Attestation: Ensures international acceptance of documents.

Notarization: Ensures the authenticity and proper execution of documents within a jurisdiction.

2. Process:

Attestation: Involves multiple authorities and often includes local, national, and international steps.

Notarization: Typically a single-step process performed by a notary public.

3. Usage:

Attestation: Necessary for documents to be recognized in a foreign country.

Notarization: Required for documents to be legally valid and enforceable within the issuing country.

Obtaining Attestation and Notarization in the UAE


Residents of the UAE can obtain document attestation by following these steps:

1. Initial Verification: Have the document verified by the relevant local authority (e.g., educational institutions for certificates).

2. Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA): Submit the document to the UAE MOFA for further verification. This can be done at MOFAIC service centers or through their website.

3. Embassy/Consulate: Finally, present the document to the embassy or consulate of the country where the document will be used for final attestation.

It is advisable to get your documents attested in your home country as it will be a lot quicker and less expensive but if you’re already in the UAE then it is possible to use the attestation services provided in the government customer happiness centers, which will involve using an international courier services, as the documents will need to be sent to the country where they were issued. And these centers are designed to assist with various bureaucratic processes while guiding you through the steps needed for document attestation.


For notarization in the UAE:

1. Locate a Notary Public: Notaries can be found in public notary offices or through private legal offices like "S & S Lawyers."

2. Document Preparation: Ensure all parties involved are present with valid identification.

3. Execution: The notary will witness the signing of the document and affix their seal and signature, completing the notarization process.

Using Legal Services like "S & S Lawyers"

⚫️ Expert Guidance: Experienced lawyers who understand the nuances of the processes of notarization and attestation. Making sure that all necessary steps are correctly followed and that all required documents are properly prepared and submitted, this level of professional insight can be invaluable, particularly for individuals who are unfamiliar with legal procedures.

⚫️ Efficiency: One of the key advantages of using “S & S Lawyers” is their already established relationships with relevant authorities which can often result in faster processing times, as the firm can navigate bureaucratic channels more effectively than individuals working on their own.

⚫️ Convenience: The firm can handle all steps from document preparation to final verification, reducing the need for multiple trips and potential errors, allowing clients to focus on other important matters, confident that their documents are in trustworthy hands.


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