Notary Mexico – what is the NOTARY PUBLIC’S ROLE IN A REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION?
The position of Notary Public is that of a Government commissioned (appointed) officer who can perform activities such as document authentication and event certification (take oaths, file depositions, certify acknowledgments, etc.).
A Notary Public in Mexico must be an attorney at law. Upon application, after passing rigorous examinations, he is commissioned by the Government as a Notary Public. A Notary Public in Mexico holds office for life, unless either he or she resigns or is removed for a cause. The Notary Public in Mexico fulfills a civil service delegated upon him by the Government.
By Government appointment, a Notary Public in Mexico oversees the legal compliance of any and all aspects of any and all parties involved in any given civil cause provided under Civil Code. (take for example, a rental agreement or a purchase/sale agreement or setting up a corporation or executing probate)
Even though a Notary Public in Mexico is a licensed Attorney at Law and member of the Bar, the Notary Public in Mexico will not take part representing neither one of the parties involved in the civil cause. The Notario’s role is to oversees the legal compliance of ALL the parties involved in the civil cause. (including the Government, acting as one of the parties involved in such cause at time of collecting taxes as a result of such civil cause)
When doing real estate transactions in Mexico, it is the buyer who usually selects the Notary Public to protocolize (register) the transaction.
The Notary Public´s legal responsibilities in a real estate transaction in Mexico include:
- serves as an independent and neutral counsel to the buyer, the seller and the lender, as to their respective rights and obligations
- drafts legal documents (contracts, powers of attorney, promissory agreements, acknowledgments of payment, etc)
- certifies (verifies) the facts therein
- identifies any inconsistencies that may impede the proper execution of an agreement, seeks that such inconsistencies are cured before proceeding with the execution of the agreement and ensures that all parties have taken all necessary steps to execute a valid contract according to the mutual instructions of the parties involved.
- attests to all involved parties are in agreement by having those parties sign such agreements before his presence
- records documents in the Notarial Register Book (notarial protocol)
- records the documents with the Public Registry
- on behalf of the Government the Notary ; calculates, withholds and pays to Government agencies the fees, rights and taxes due by each party involved in the transaction and as a result of it. All payments of fees, rights and taxes paid by all parties are attached to the executed agreement as proof of compliance.
Upon paying the Notary Public, ask him to provide you with an official Receipt (FACTURA) for the service fee he has charged for performing his Notarial services for you.
Article written by Riccardo Garcia – Real Estate Broker License 5978642