Notary public vs. civil law notary: A civil law notary is distinct from a notary public. On the one hand, a Florida notary public requires very little training, payment of a small fee, and very few duties and responsibilities. On the other hand, a civil law notary requires extensive training, has a tremendous amount of responsibility, and owes a fiduciary duty to clients.
In Florida, one can become a notary public simply by taking an online course that usually takes a few hours to complete, paying a fee under $200, complete an application and submit the application through a bonding agency.
A civil law notary (aka “notaire”) must go through years of formal training much like an attorney. The education component alone requires five years of school. In addition, those who complete the 5-year degree program must then complete two full years of internships before being sworn in as an official Notaire.
A Florida notary public has the limited role of administering oaths, attesting to copies of certain documents, solemnizing marriage.
A civil law notary has the expansive role of drafting and preparing legal documents, authenticating documents and transactions, and advising clients in certain legal matters.
Civil law notaries are found in many civil law nations outside the United States. Most European nations and Latin American nations have civil law notaries. However, in Florida, there is the Florida Civil Law Notary appointment program for Florida Attorneys that practice international law and who have a need to authenticate an act or attest to the validity of a document.
Attorney Francis Boyer of Boyer Law Firm is one such attorney. If you believe you need any document notarized by a civil law notary or a Florida public notary, contact Boyer Law Firm today for a free consultation and to schedule a notarization session.