Notary Public Vs. Civil Law Notary: How Do They Differ?

If you’ve ever found yourself needing notarization of documents, you’ve probably used a notary public’s services at some point. But, what most people might not be aware of is that there are various kinds of notaries.

That being said, in this post, we’ll be looking at the basics of notary publics and civil law notaries, the differences between them, and how to find a reputable notary in our area.

Notary Public

A public notary is an official appointed by the state with the authority to witness and/or validate legal documents. Typically, notaries are responsible for verifying the authenticity of signatures on various contracts and statements. Additionally, they have the authority to administer oaths and determine the eligibility of those taking them. Notaries can be found in most legal offices and may also work independently from a law office to perform low-level legal tasks, such as renting a car or selling a house. In general, a notary public is crucial in preserving the validity of legal documents and guaranteeing that people follow the law.

Civil Law Notary

Civil law notaries are licensed attorneys able to provide various legal services according to local laws. In most countries, a civil notary’s duties typically include preparing and recording legal documents, such as deeds, mortgages, powers of attorney, contracts, and other documents that involve making certain legal declarations or filings on behalf of other parties.

In addition to their work as witnessing and document authentications, civil law notaries also serve as advisors on various legal issues and play an advisory role during contract drafting.

Difference Between A Notary Public And Civil Law Notary

• Level Of Training

Generally, the major difference is that a civil law notary has extensive training in the legal field. For instance, one can become a notary public simply by taking an online course that usually takes a few hours to complete, paying a fee under $200, completing an application, and submitting the application through a bonding agency.

In contrast, civil law notaries are required to take years of formal training, similar to an attorney. It takes five years of education just to complete the education part. After completing the 5-year program, students must complete two full years of internships before being sworn in as a government-appointed Notaire.

• Services

A notary serves as an impartial witness when signing legal documents and is a publicly appointed official tasked with determining the validity of documents.

The primary role of a notary public is to confirm the legitimacy of legal documents and create trust between the parties to an agreement. To be notarized, legal documents must adhere to certain standards. A clear commitment, the parties’ original signatures, and identifying the signatories’ photo(s) are some prerequisites.

Unlike public notaries, thanks to their extensive legal training, civil law notaries are involved in legal situations regarding documents such as contracts, wills, trusts, and other international or business transaction documents. Some examples include:

  • Real estate deeds: Coordinate and enable the execution of a deed or other document transferring real estate to a foreign jurisdiction.
  • Wills and probate: Coordinate and enable the execution of a deed or other document transferring real estate to a foreign jurisdiction.
  • Power of attorney: Witness and observe a power of attorney is signed.
  • Corporate transactions: draft documents for residents in civil law countries.
  • Wedding ceremonies: Perform wedding ceremonies throughout Florida as well as at sea.
  • Expert testimony: Can testify before a Florida court on the validity of documents from civil law nations.

• Costs

Another major difference between a public and a civil law notary can be seen in its costs. For instance, public notaries are generally much more affordable, as they typically do not have extensive training or certification requirements.

On the other hand, civil law notaries are often quite expensive as documenting and certifying legal agreements can be complex. Additionally, civil law notaries must maintain strict confidentiality when dealing with clients’ private information and documents. This often involves costly annual fees and licenses required by various governing bodies. As a result, these professionals can often charge high fees for their services due to the substantial costs associated with fulfilling their duties effectively and legally.

So, in summary, even though public and civil law notaries can send legal documents like wills or powers of attorney across various states, using a civil law notary is typically more expensive. Only if you need your documents to be validated outside of your home state may using one make sense. If this applies to you, determine what kind of documentation your preferred jurisdiction will require before investing in any pricey notarial seals.

Where To Get Your Documents Notarized?

Looking for reliable mobile notary services nearby but don’t know where to turn to? Consider checking out platforms like United Mobile Notary today!

United Mobile Notary

United Mobile Notary is a remote online notarization platform providing a secure and convenient notary solution that meets state guidelines. Through our mobile notary services, we aim to give individuals or businesses fast, accurate, and secure notarization of their documents.

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