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What is An International Notary?

By OPLawSocialMedia on News & Media

Video: What is An International Notary?

FAQ’s With Roy Oppenheim

Full Transcript: Recently, people have been asking us, what is an international notary, or what is an International Civil Law Notary? And I want to distinguish between the regular notary, where there are millions of people who basically just need a high school education, they take a small test, they post a very nominal bond for a few hundred bucks. And they can then notarize documents within their state.

And so they become a notary in any state in the union. And they get notarize documents within their state, and they can’t really go offshore very far because once you’re near international waters, they’re no longer in the state that’s controlled by the laws of their state. And so, in a typical real estate transaction, sometimes a banking transaction, sometimes legal documents, you have a notary could be an assistant, the secretary, could even be a lawyer who then looks at your driver’s license and determines, “Yes, that’s who you are,”and they, in fact, witness the transaction and that’s what a regular notary does.

But the question is, what is an International Civil Law Notary and what is a civil law notary? And that is a very unique, unusual type of notary that you have in the United States. In Florida, they’re only about 100, Louisiana, there may be as many and there’re very few of us, really in the world.

And to become an International Civil Law Notary in Florida, you have to be a lawyer for at least five years, you have to take a rather difficult course. And then you have to take a test that less than half the people pass, and more importantly, they only give the test 2 or 3 times every 10 years. But what an International Civil Law Notary can do is that they can notarize documents anywhere in the world where the United States has diplomatic relations.

International civil law notary services

International civil law notary services

And so, typically when you are here in the United States and you need a document notarized for your home country, a regular notary does not have the capacity to do that, but an International Civil Law Notary does and therefore, you have no reason to actually go to a foreign consulate. Same thing, you have no reason to really go back to a foreign country to get the document notarized in that local country because an International Civil Law Notary here in the United States can execute that document for you.

They also can marry people. They also can witness various documents. They also can help you effectuate powers of attorneys that typically would require notarization back in a foreign country here in United States. And so, typically, wherever you need a foreign notary for a document, either here or abroad, you can use an International Civil Law Notary.

And what you can also do, which most people don’t realize, if you’re buying a piece of real estate and you live abroad, typically you’d have to come to the United States to have your documents notarized. Or the alternative, you’d have to go to the United States consulate, or maybe you’d be able to go to a notary in your foreign country. The alternative is you can also use an International Civil Law Notary that may be in your country or that you may be able to arrange to visit with or to meet somewhere to have these documents executed.

For example, I’m in Florida but sometimes I’m in New York and I’ll meet clients around the world in New York to have documents executed as a Civil Law Notary so they don’t have to go home, back to Europe or South America or wherever they have to go to have documents. I could execute it and we’ll actually do that with them right here in the United States. So, International Civil Law Notary is very unusual.

Probably, it could be very helpful if you’re in the real estate business, if you’re in the investment business, if you typically are requiring documents to have various notarizations that are not the type that are typical that you would normally have a regular notary execute.


Oppenheim Law | International Civil Law Notary
2500 Weston Rd #404
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33331