Public Notary Office (Chinese: 公证处 Pinyin:gōng zhèng chù ) is a subordinate agency of the Ministry of Justice of the People's Republic of China. It is responsible for certifying documents according to Chinese legal system. Examples of services offered are :
- certification of Birth Certificates,
- identification cards,
- Household Registration documents,
- Driver's License,
- Police Records,
- Health Records,
- Property title,
- power of attorney,
- guarantor documents,
- authorization documents,
- declaration documents,
- lottery tickets certification and
- business licenses.
The functions of the Public Notary Office is classified into 4 functions.
- To safeguard the smooth process of the state economic restructuring and economic construction, maintain the order of socialist market economy.
- To protect lawful rights and interests of citizens, legal persons and other organizations, prevent disputes and minimize litigation.
- To develop notary standards and promote the process of the international civil and economic activity. To protect lawful rights and interests of citizens, organizations, overseas Chinese and foreigners.
- To inform and educate the legal knowledge, improve legal sense of the people, maintain the legal system and guarantee the correct implement of state laws.
Notarization is increasingly used by the ordinary people in civil and economic fields, such as the notarization of ante-marital properties and notarization before surgery. In fact, a full range of notary services are offered at the request of both domestic and foreign parties, covering every kind of civil activities and business transactions, from adoption, school application, marriage, inheritance, contract, real estate transactions to public bidding. In addition, many laws have already provided on notarization in their respective fields. In many situations, such as in the cases of the transfer of real estate, notarization has become a must. The development of the notary system has provided the basis for a law on notarization.
The National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislation organ, has included the notarization law on its agenda. The new law is expected to define the profession's nature, functions, business scope and responsibilities of public notary offices, so as to provide a legal insurance for the work of notarization.