Notary public offices are a vital part of Brazil’s legal system, since they legalize and register many essential documents. In this article, we will learn more about notary public offices in Brazil.
What is a Notary Public Office?
According to an estimate by Anoreg, the Association of Notaries and Registers of Brazil, a regular Brazilian person is expected to go to a Notary Public Office at least 10 times in their lifetime. But, why are they so important?
Notary Public Office, or Cartório, are offices that assist the Judiciary power in Brazil, and can be viewed as branches of it. In every cartório it is possible to perform the following activities, concerning documents and facts of civil or daily life:
More specifically, notary public offices render the following services:
- Give legal certainty to parties, ensuring public trust and probative value
- Make public acts presented by the parties
- Materialize the will of the parties, translating it to the legal language, with impartiality and full respect for the law
- Guide those who consult them, warning them of the consequences of their actions, in order to avoid future litigations
Even though cartórios exercise their activities privately, they are supervised by the Judiciary power in Brazil, since it is the Judiciary power that accredits them to perform the services mentioned above.
Different types of Notary Public Office
First of all, it is important to mention that there are two different categories of Notary Public Offices: judicial and extrajudicial.
Judicial notary public offices are those located within a Court. Cases waiting to go to trials are are held at these notary offices, waiting for scribes to forward them to judges, prosecutors and lawyers.
However, most notary public offices in Brazil are extrajudicial. This implies that they can be found in almost every major city in Brazil. These, in turn, are divided into several different types. It is important to mention that each extrajudicial Notary Public Office has its own area of coverage.
The Cartório de Registro Civil das Pessoas Naturais, which is Portuguese for Notary Public Office of Individuals Registration. At this cartório it is possible to register:
- Emancipation of civil rights from parents or tutor
- Ban of civil rights due to absolute or relative inability
- Declaratory judgment of presumed death
- Nationality legalization
The Cartório de Registro de Imóveis, which is Portuguese for Notary Public Office of Real Estate Registration. These are responsible for the following activities related to real estate:
- Provide information certificates on real estate
The Cartório de Registro de Títulos e Documentos, which is Portuguese for Notary Public Office of Deeds and Documents Registration. They are responsible for registering the following documents and deeds for goods here described:
- Private instruments, for proof of conventional bonds of any value
- Pledge of assets / goods
- Security deposit of personal credit notes; and public debt securities of federal, state or municipal to its holder
- Partnership agreement of agricultural or livestock activities
- Judicial warrant for renewal of lease contract
- Extrajudicial notices
The Cartório de Registro Civil das Pessoas Jurídicas, which is Portuguese for Notary Public Office of Legal Entities Registration. Their competencies are to register:
- Contracts, articles of association, bylaws or commitments
- Articles of association and bylaws of political parties
The Cartório de Registro de Contratos Marítimos, which is Portuguese for Notary Public Office of Maritime Registration. In these Notary Public Offices, it is possible to:
- Register documents related to the negotiation of vessels
- Notarize documents for the purposes of maritime law
The Cartório de Protesto de Títulos, which is Portuguese for Notary Public Office for Registry of Deeds. The competencies of this Notary Public Office are:
- Register securities and other debt documents
- Register trade and service bills
- Summon debtors
The Cartório de Notas, which is Portuguese for Notary Public Office of Notes. These are responsible for:
- Drawing up scriptures and power of attorney
- Drawing up wills
- Drawing up notarial minutes
- Notarize signatures
- Notarize copies
There are currently around 21.000 Notary Public Offices in Brazil. Brazilian law also states that each municipality must have at least one Notary Public Office of Individuals Registration. In larger municipalities, each district must have at least one of these Notary Public Offices.
Costs of services
It is the responsibility of the Judiciary power of each state, for example JUCESP in São Paulo to determine the costs for all services rendered by the Notary Public Offices in Brazil. Likewise, the Judiciary power will also establish a certain share of the cost that will be collected by Public Legal Entities, such as the State Treasury Office and the Public Ministry.
In the state of São Paulo, for example, 37,5% of the amount of each service rendered by the Notary Public Office is collected by the state.
How to become a notary
In order to become a notary, several requirements have to be met:
- Brazilian citizenship
- Civil capacity
- Be compliant with the electoral and military obligations
- Have a Law degree
- Pass a concurso público. These are held by the Judiciary Power in Brazil, who announces them in an edital
Although notaries are not public servers, they are recognized as delegated agents of the Government. Thus, they do not benefit from any employee benefits.
Some Notary Public Office services may be requested online. Thanks to a project by Anoreg and the Brazilian Network of Notary Public Offices, it is possible to request online copies of every certificate that can be issued by a Notary Public Office on this website. This service is available in all Brazilian states.
When requesting copies, it is necessary to inform them where the certificate was originally issued.
Notary Public Offices abroad
Although there are no Brazilian Notary Public Offices abroad, individuals can register some events in Brazilian Consular offices abroad like births, deaths and marriages. However, this is only providential, and for these events to be duly recognized as legal, you must register them in a Notary Public Office in Brazil located in the district where the individuals home is located in Brazil. If an individual does not own a home in Brazil then you must register in Brasília.