Paul Burkhart offers worldwide international Civil Law Notary services

As a Civil-Law Notary, Paul Burkhart can authenticate legal documents involving transactions between parties in different countries. In his commission as a Civil-Notary, he will verify the authority of individuals to act on behalf of companies and real estate transactions internationally. The benefit of using a Civil-Law Notary is the ability to not only notarize international documents but also to legally certify the entire legal document, not just the signatures. Civil-Law Notaries are required to complete extensive training and pass a State-administered examination. The state of Florida commissions both common law and civil law Notaries. But to become a civil law notary, you must be a qualified attorney with a good standing membership in the Florida Bar and at least five (5) years or more practicing.  It is not a commonly held commissioned position but is a major asset to those involved with Florida real estate who reside overseas or individuals with businesses held and conducted in different countries.

A Civil-Law notary is authorized to issue authentic acts and thereby may authenticate or certify any document, transaction, event, condition, or occurrence. The contents of an authentic act and matters incorporated therein shall be presumed correct. A civil-law notary may also administer an oath and make a certificate thereof when it is necessary for execution of any writing or document to be attested, protested, or published under the seal of a notary public. A civil-law notary may also take acknowledgments of deeds and other instruments of writing for record, and solemnize the rites of matrimony, as fully as other officers of this state. A civil-law notary is not authorized to issue authentic acts for use in a jurisdiction if the United States Department of State has determined that the jurisdiction does not have diplomatic relations with the United States or is a terrorist country, or if trade with the jurisdiction is prohibited under the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917, as amended, 50 U.S.C. ss. 1, et seq. (From Florida Statute §118.10(3))

Save for Louisiana, Puerto Rico, and Quebec, a civil-law notary should not be confused with a notary public in the United States and Canada, who has none of the legal powers’ notaries enjoy at civil law. Rather, notaries public only have the power to administer oaths, take affidavits, declarations, or depositions from witnesses, acknowledge, and attest signatures, and certify copies, usually in conjunction with some legal process. The same does not apply to notaries public in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and many other Common Law countries. There the notary public is a lawyer and often holds a secondary legal qualification, such as solicitor or barrister. The aspiring Notary Public usually must take additional exams or undertake post graduate study to become a notary public. In Louisiana, Puerto Rico, and Quebec, private law is traditionally based on the French and Spanish civil codes, giving notaries greater legal powers, including the right to prepare wills, conveyances and generally all contracts and instruments in writing. For this reason, immigrants from civil-law countries where civil-law notaries exist, particularly those from Latin America, are often confused by the office of notary public and have been defrauded by dishonest notaries misrepresenting themselves as having legal powers. Thus, in some states, there have been ongoing efforts to prohibit notaries public from listing themselves as notario público. Such a law has existed for more than fifteen years in California. Similar laws now exist in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Tennessee, and Texas.

Florida (1997) and Alabama (1999) have enacted statutes and regulations, based on the Model Civil Law Notary Act, allowing for the appointment of Florida or Alabama attorneys as civil-law notaries with the power to authenticate documents, facts, and transactions. This is not the same as a notary public appointment. Acts of Florida and Alabama civil-law notaries are given both domestic and international effect under their enabling statutes.

Here are some of the services a civil law notary can offer:

  • Power of Attorney – Supervise the execution of a power of attorney to provide ability to those in and out of the country to act on behalf of another or to be used to transfer property.
  • Real-Estate Deeds and documents – Oversee the execution of a deed or real estate transactions to be transported to a foreign jurisdiction; drafting, attesting, certifying, and authenticating deeds and other documents including real-property transfers.
  • Wills and Probate – Facilitate the transfer of probate from a foreign country to Florida; drafting wills and other testamentary documents and certifying documents for overseas estate claims.
  • Expert Testimony – Can offer expert testimony to a Florida court concerning the legality of documents from a civil-law country.
  • Corporate Transactions – Prepare business/corporate documentation for residents and business owners for valid use and to be accepted has legally valid in civil law countries.
  • Proof of Private Records – Certify the existence and authenticity of private records such as; school transcripts, insurance, and financial documents.
  • Pension Claimants – Provide authority for the payment of benefits to Florida residents receiving monthly benefits from foreign governments.
  • Proving identity and relationship for spousal or family pension and survivorship benefits
  • Marriage Ceremonies – Can perform wedding within Florida and upon the High Seas.
  • World Records – Supervise and attest to completion of acts or events accepted by the Guinness World Records.
  • Take any and all oaths and declarations regarding the truth of material statements in foreign documentation.
  • When appropriate, may verify and confirm the applicable law and include verification in the authentic act needed, for example, for proof at trial in a civil-law jurisdiction.
  • Probate documents to authentic ownership of property or heirship of any individual in and out of the country.
  • Authenticate documents for use in foreign litigation to prove litigation and/or arbitration is occurring in the United States.
  • Certifying transactions relating to negotiable instruments and bills of exchange for domestic and foreign use.
  • Incorporating, modifying, and dissolving corporations for domestic and foreign use.
  • Proving representations made in business contracts for domestic and foreign use.
  • Drafting formal papers relating to the carriage of cargo and international trade.
  • Authenticating school transcripts and work records.
  • Authenticating certified copies of United States federal and state court judgments for domestication in a civil-law jurisdiction.


If you have any questions, or if you or someone you know might benefit from Paul’s services as a Civil Law Notary, please contact the Law Office of Paul J. Burkhart at 561-880-0155 or email him at