5.26.2019

Notaries In The Philippines

Notaries In The Philippines


At Some Point You Will Need A Notary


If you decide to live in the Philippines or just visit for an extended period of time, then you may find sometime that you require the services of a notary. 

During our time living in the Philippines we have used notarial services for many purposes. The US Postal Service accepted our Delivery of Mail Through Agent form 1583 that was notarized by a notary in the Philippines. We also had some real estate documents from the US that needed to be notarized and the US real estate agent accepted the documents with the Philippine notarization. We have had dozens of documents notarized in the course of buying land here in the Philippines.

Not Just Anyone Can Be A Notary In The Philippines


Be advised that according to the Philippines 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice Rule III Section 1 a notary public:
(4) must be a member of the Philippine Bar in good standing with clearances from the Office of the Bar Confidant of the Supreme Court and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines source
The best way that I have found to verify that a person is "a member of the Philippine Bar in good standing" is this website: Philippines Supreme Court Law List

You can even type in the name of the municipality where you are and that database will give you a list of all of the attorneys in that place.

It is best to find a lawyer you can trust through a referral from a trusted friend or family member if possible. Make sure that the attorney you pick is listed in the Supreme Court database above. 


I need to emphasize "go to their office" because you may be approached by people outside of various government offices that will offer their notarial services. I would not trust my documents with these individuals. To be safe always go to a fixed location law office. 

I have used the same attorney for many years and that is the kind of relationship that I encourage everyone to cultivate if possible. The notarial fees for most documents has been 200-300PHP. A Deed of Sale on real property may run 2000PHP or more. If you Google the fees it will be confusing because the answers vary.

Alternatives For Notarial Services 


If you have a document that requires a US notary to notarize it, then you can make an appointment to have the notarization done at the US embassy in Manila. This link can be used for that purpose. 

Alternately, US Embassy personnel perform outreach services in various cities across the Philippines, as noted here. You can receive email notification regarding upcoming US Embassy outreaches by signing up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. The US Embassy charges $50 for each document notarized. The website states that it can be USD or PHP or credit card. If you go to an outreach you will need to read the outreach flyer very carefully to determine if you must bring a specific currency. Make sure that you have the exact amount for payment and I doubt they can take credit cards when doing an outreach.

If you are near Cebu you can contact the US Consular office there to confirm whether that office can perform notarial services. The link to contact info is here.

Another option is to have your documents notarized online. Yes, if you have never heard of the concept it's actually valid. You can search for an online notary and pick the one you trust and that works for you.

The best option, IMHO, is to go with a Filipino notary if it will work for whatever document you are creating. They are ubiquitous, charge reasonable fees and I have never had any problems with numerous documents. It is up to you and the specific circumstance and document. As always, discretion is advised.



3 comments:

Anonymous said...

So a notary has to be an attorney?

Philippine Destiny said...

Yes.

Philippine Destiny said...

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