Authentication of documents and consular notarial services [fr]

Authentication of documents

Present yourself in person at the Consulate along with a proof of identity and sign the document in the presence of the consular authority. If you are already registered, you will be liable for the payment of a fee corresponding to the rand exchange value of 11 € per signature. If you are not registered or if you are not a French national, this amount will increase to the rand exchange value of 18 €.

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Consular notarial services

The consular notary has jurisdiction to receive deeds relating to French nationals residing in or passing through the district, as well as for foreigners with respect to acts that may have an impact on French territory.
Unlike notaries in France, the consular notary:
- Is not remunerated: fees are collected on behalf of the Treasury
- May not receive a specific mandate from a client
- While he/she does receive documents, he/she is unable to conduct the proceedings that follow
- Does not have to take into consideration the specific interests of the claimant or to counsel him/her with respect to investment of funds, transactions involving movable or immovable property, family issues, etc.
He/she must, however, inform claimants of the legal consequences of their commitments.

Documents received by diplomatic and consular agents providing notarial services are similar to those drawn up in France by notaries with regard to their impact. Both have probative force and enjoy the same enforceability.
A consular notary may thus be requested to draw up or receive:
- proxies (approve or accept a donation, buy, sell, borrow, mortgage, succeed to or waive an estate, etc.),
- marriage contracts,
- consent documents for the adoption of a French child (minor or adult),
- legacies,
- endowment documents between spouses,
- affidavits

The consular notary is not intended to give advice as a notary, but to act in partnership with French notaries. Prior to the signature of a notarial document in the presence of the consular notary, applicants must email a template of the document issued by the French notary, to consulat.le-cap@diplomatie.gouv.fr.

A legal guide for French nationals living abroad is available (in French) on the Notaires de France website. This guide provides specific information on different aspects of expatriation (matrimonial regime, marriage contract, PACS, donation, legacy…).

Notaires de France - Guide des Français de l’étranger

Those seeking advice or information are urged to get in touch directly with a French notary and to consult the following websites:

Ministère des Affaires Etrangères.
Notaires de France
Notaires de Paris

publié le 11/03/2016

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