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How you can now carry out notary processes online in Spain

The Local Spain
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How you can now carry out notary processes online in Spain
Notary processes can now be done online in Spain and documents digitised. Photo: Marek Levak / Pexels

A new law has come into force in Spain allowing both notary processes to be carried out electronically and notarised documents to be digitised, making dreaded Spanish bureaucracy a lot more straightforward.


Anyone who has lived in Spain for some time will be very familiar with the country’s love for paperwork – so many forms to sign, copies of documents you need, and files to store everything in, as well as the need to go everywhere in person. 

So much paperwork has been generated over the years in fact that the Colegio Notarial de Cataluña (College of Notaries of Catalonia) has a whopping 13km of documents stored underneath its headquarters in Barcelona.

While the whole bureaucratic process may not be changing, one thing that is set to get easier is the fact that all notarised documents can now be digitised and notary processes can be carried out online. 

A new law recently came into force that allows for the creation of the electronic notarial protocol, which will speed up the exchange of information and almost immediately generate millions of electronic copies of notarial documents.

What is a notary?

Notaries advise and oversee the signing of contracts, notarial deeds and acts of legalisation. They are typically used for one specific purpose, such as signing and exchanging the deeds when you buy a property. They act on behalf of the law rather than a private client. 

READ ALSO: What’s the difference between a gestor, a lawyer and a notary in Spain?

Up until now, you will have most likely only received a physical copy of your property deeds, but this could all be about to change.

The new law means that those living in Spain will now be able to locate the notaries who have originals of their deeds and ask for digital copies of them. They will also be able to hold secure video conferences with them, and consult and exchange documentation prior to signing the public deed.


The General Council of Notaries estimates that digital requests from citizens and companies could exceed 13 million a year.

Notaries will also be able to provide some notarial services online such as the creation of online companies, in response to the requirement of the European Union directive to allow any citizen to establish a limited company in another member country without the need for physical presence.

Notarial videoconferencing will also be able to expedite urgent corporate procedures for companies or resolve corporate situations when it’s difficult to bring all the parties together. This could include capital increases, appointment of administrators, changes of company address or the minutes of a general meeting.


The new Citizen's Notarial Portal

All these services will be provided at the Notarial Electronic Headquarters – a space equipped with the highest security measures obtained by the National Security Scheme (ENS).

The Citizen's Notarial Portal is the gateway for citizens and companies to be able to access the Notarial Electronic Headquarters. During the first three hours of the new electronic portal being online, 1,000 people had already signed up and now more than 300,000 individuals and legal entities have registered.

How to register yourself on the Citizen's Notarial Portal?

If you are an individual, rather than a company you can register yourself on the portal, by following these steps.

From the homepage, select 'Regístrate' or 'Register'. Once you've clicked on this you will be taken to a  separate page to complete a registration form with all your personal information. This will include details such as your NIE number, the expiry date on your residency card, name, birthday and address. 

Once this form is completed and sent, you will receive an email and an SMS with a code to verify that the registration has been completed successfully.

When this is done, you can access your personal profile and carry out the procedures you want. For all types of procedures via the Notarial Portal, a digital certificate is needed to identify yourself and digitally sign all the documents that are required.

Which processes can I now carry out online?

From now on, the following can be signed electronically:

Corporate acts
Payment letters
Creation of limited companies
Cancellation of guarantees
Legitimation testimonies
Commercial policies
Power of attorney

It’s important to keep in mind, however, that not everything will change at once and that many processes will still be carried out in person and require physical documents.

“Digital services are an option for citizens and companies. Notaries will continue to provide their services mostly in person, throughout the country, avoiding any digital divide,” explains José Ángel Martínez Sanchiz, president of the General Council of Notaries.

“The provision of a quality, agile and friendly service, with the maximum guarantees of security and legal protection, continues to be the main objective of notaries. The legislator has opted for prudence, recognising the value of the notarial service in person,” he adds.


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