Spain Explained

The Spanish Notary: What it is, role and fees

Last updated on February 1st, 2024 at 02:16 pm.

Not all countries have a notary to verify documents as they do in Spain. Here the Spanish notary is a very much respected individual whose office carries a clearly recognised ‘Notary’ sign and who trains for several additional years to qualify for the title. Most people associate the notary with Spanish power of attorney but their activities go much further than that.

What is a Notary in Spain?

The notary is a professional within the Spanish law system and his/ her main function is to certify Spanish documents ensuring that private agreements fulfil certain legal criteria. The Spanish notary participates in the process of legalizing agreements and contracts, employing a stamp and signature for their endorsement.

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The main difference between a Lawyer and a Notary in Spain is that the Lawyer deals with private documents such as contracts and might represent a client, for example in a law-suit. A notary, on the other hand, brings a document into the public domain.

The notary has a strict code to abide by and the Law for Notaries defines his function and the extent of his or her authority. The notary is qualified to a very high level and must pass some very strict exams to achieve this status. They study for four years to achieve the ‘Grado de Derecho’ which is the general law qualification that you need in Spain. They then study for a further period of time of between four to eight years  in order to pass the public examination  for Notaries and obtain the authorisation to take placement as a Notary.

The role of a Spanish notary

The role of the notary includes:

  • Advising parties of the formalities and procedures involved
  • Drafting the required documents
  • Certifying publicly the facts, acts and agreements that take place in front of him/ her

In the majority of cases individuals can choose their notary, although the notary can only act within his/her own district. The number of Notary offices within each town depends upon the population and the actual placing of the office itself.

Why do you need a notary?

Notaries are an important regulator who can guarantee that the documentation in Spain is correct and would be considered authentic and proven in court. Any document requiring entry into a registry, such as the land registry, must be signed in the presence of the Notary.

Documents that can be signed before a notary include:

  • Marital status documents
  • Last wills and testaments
  • Marriage settlements
  • General contracts and agreements
  • Inheritance declarations and requests from heirs
  • The foundation, modification and separation of companies and partnerships
  • Loans, mortgages and other debts
  • Acquittals and the discharge of obligations
  • Any kind of power of attorney
  • Declaration of heirs where there is no will
  • Any kind of declaration or statement

The notary isn’t always stuck in the office. They will sometimes be called out to complete a particular service such as being called to hospital to enable a seriously ill person to make a will. They are often present at some very important times in people’s lives. An example would be in cases of property transfer or the formation of a company that requires a constitution.

It might not be a role that we are familiar with in other European countries but the notary carries a great  deal of respect in Spain.

What notary fees must I pay when buying property in Spain?

If you are buying a property in Spain then you will have to pay notary fees. The notary fees when you are buying property in Spain are one of the legal costs that you must pay. There are other such as land registry fees and solicitor’s fees, for which you should obtain a quote before you begin the purchasing process.

The amount the notary charges is prescribed by law and depends on numerous factors such as value of the property, number of pages of Title Deed as well as attachments incorporated in the deed, and generally could be between 700 € and 1500 €. The Title Deed is inscribed at the Spanish Land Registry and the fee for this is usually around 300 € to 500 €, depending the exact amount on numerous factors.

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Spanish notary: Conclusion

Many people have found that taking out a power of attorney has been a useful action to take when buying their property in Spain. It can be difficult to combine ensuring that you are in the country as a non-resident with the date when all the documents are ready to sign. Taking out a power of attorney removes any uncertainty around this and can save some flight costs too.

Ábaco clients are taken to the notary office by their contact person at Ábaco. However, people acting independently can locate a notary by the notary emblem that they must display.

The notary fees when buying property in Spain through Ábaco are clearly indicated on the final fee sheet. This ensures transparency and clients can be clear exactly how the final bill has been reached.

If you have any queries regarding the Spanish notary or property purchase and management in Spain, you can fill out this form and we will contact you as soon as possible, with no obligation.

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Astrit Jahaj

8 January, 2019 3:42 am

My name is Astrit Jahaj. I
My name is Astrit Jahaj. I was married to a Spanish citizen in Paris on 14/08/1999 to Raquel Sanchez Camara.
We were divorced on 07/09/2007 in Majadahonda # 616/01 number 2. I now live in New York, USA and need a copy of my divorce certificate. Are you able to retrieve this document for me and send to me in New York?
Can you please let me know if it is possible and what is the timeframe?
Thank You!

Suzanne O'Connell

14 January, 2019 2:11 pm

Hi Astrit

Hi Astrit

We do not deal with these issues but the documentation can be obtained from the solicitors who dealt with the divorce proceedings or directly at the Family Court where it was issued. 


25 February, 2019 3:33 pm

Me gustaría hacer un loan agreement con una amiga que le he prestado un dinero y ella me quiere pagar por mes durante dos años

Suzanne O'Connell

4 March, 2019 12:29 pm

Signing a loan agreement

Signing a loan agreement before a Notary is quite a simple process. This is a contract that the parties negotiate so that terms can be freely agreed between them. You just need to provide information relating to the parties involved and also to the loan itself. The provisions that need to be included in the Deed are the amount lent, the interest if applicable, the regularity of the payments (monthly, weekly) and the repayment term. It should also be clearly stated who is going to bear the costs arising from the signing of this Deed. 

Other provisions that could be included in the agreement are the payment deferral, interest on arrears, the early repayment or the consequences in case of a breach of contract. 

Beatrice Soto-Martinez

24 April, 2019 2:28 pm

How can I make a complaint
How can I make a complaint against a Notary, who is their governing body so to speak? Thanks, Beatrice

Suzanne O'Connell

28 April, 2019 7:46 pm

Hi Beatrice

Hi Beatrice

Thank you for your query. You can go to the consumer office or the Notary College of the region where the notary is located. 


25 June, 2019 10:13 am

My ex wife and I signed
My ex wife and I signed divorce papers in front of a Spanish notary on April 4th 2019.We were married in the UK and have both been resident in Spain for over 2 years.I believe that the notary should then have registered the divorce.As 2 and a half months have passed and I have heard nothing I emailed him 2 days ago and have had no reply.My lawyer says she “assumes” the divorce has been registered and does not appear to be interested in following up.What is a reasonable amount of time that should pass between signing and registering?Thanks.

Suzanne O'Connell

1 July, 2019 7:32 pm

Hi John

Hi John

The divorce should be registered in the Civil Registry immediately after the signing of the deed. However, its registration in the land registry when there are real properties involved could take some more time, even a few months, depending on the Land registry and its workload. The easiest way to confirm whether it has already been achieved or not would be to contact the Land Registry directly or to request a nota simple from it. 

John Dixon

26 July, 2019 9:23 am

I have lost a notarised
I have lost a notarised document re a property purchase in Spain but I do have the name of the notary who notarised the document approximately 30 years ago. As I no longer live in Spain is it possible for me to authorise a Spanish friend to visit the Notary’s office to search for the missing document. If not how can I get a copy of this document?

Oscar Paoli

24 June, 2020 11:15 pm

Hi John,
There is a possibility but most likely you will have to give them power of attorney to collect this document for you.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers


8 November, 2020 10:01 am


I am Irish and my ex wife is American. She currently lives in Spain for 1.5 years now. It is a mutual agreement. Are we able to divorce in front of a Notary with a power of attorney as I do not live in Spain anymore.

Oscar Paoli

9 November, 2020 10:06 am

Thank you for your message. Someone from our legal department will email you as soon as possible with information regarding your possibilities.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Notary Services

4 February, 2021 7:48 pm

This is really Helpful Content That you share with your audience and Thank you So Much With This Useful Information.

Oscar Paoli

11 February, 2021 10:43 am

Thank you for your nice commment.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Nuala Grace

3 April, 2021 5:57 pm

I have paid the final payment on my mortgage in Feb 2021 .How do I go about acquiring the title deeds of the property.What kind of costs are involved

Oscar Paoli

5 April, 2021 6:41 pm


Once paid you will have to cancel the mortgage at the notary with assistance of your bank so they can then cancel the mortgage at the Land Registry. The cost will depend on the notary, land registry and possible admin fees for the registration, but somewhere around 500 € to 700 € more or less.

Should you need any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact us.

With kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers


17 June, 2021 4:22 pm

Can you please advise an approx price to get
a Power of Attorney certified at the Notoria in Spain.
As the Document is in Bulgarian and English would it need to be translated into Spanish

Oscar Paoli

17 June, 2021 10:22 pm

Hi Fiona,
This depends on the notary and location and what the purpose of the notary is for. Should you wish to contact us at with more details we are happy to give you an estimate for the power of attorney.
Unfortunately we do not understand the second part of the comment, could you please clarify?
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Smith Patrick

29 November, 2021 8:22 am

I found this to be a really helpful article. It’s given me a number of ideas to write about when i eventually get my planned new blog up and running. Thanks for sharing such a good information with us , I hope you will share some more info about What is a Notary. Please keep sharing.
notary public

David Fawcett

19 December, 2021 11:44 pm

I am thinking of buying a property in Spain in Malaga province which may be for as much as 1million euro
According to this advertisement it states notary fees can be as high as 900 euro and registration another 400 euro
If I use one of your approved Notaries can this amount be assured

Oscar Paoli

20 December, 2021 4:31 pm

Hi David,
Not always, but surely you can be informed in advance on the signing an approximate amount to have in consideration for the notary and land registry fees.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers


21 January, 2022 12:08 pm

Hello there, i am about to enter into a financial loan agreement worth millions of euros, can you please advise on the notary fee for document certification. For example 3 million euros loan agreement in spain.

Oscar Paoli

23 January, 2022 12:14 pm

Hi Michael,
If you are going to enter a financial agreement with a loan in Spain the bank will let you know in advance of the notary fee as it depends a bit on the notary as well, but most likely will be above 1500 €.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Steven Hayes

18 March, 2022 4:34 pm

My wife and I recently retired and moved from the United States to Bilbao, Spain. In order to access a pension payment from the company I previously worked for, my wife has to sign a consent form in the presence of a Notary Public, which then must have an official stamp attached. Can you direct me to such a firm in the Bilbao area if it’s not too much to ask,
Kind regards, Steven Hayes.

Oscar Paoli

18 March, 2022 11:06 pm


Here are a few notaries you may find in Bilbao:

Notaría Ignacio Alonson Salazar
Address: Alameda de Recalde, 34, 1º, 48009 Bilbao

Notaría Ramón Múgica Alcorta
Address: Urkixo Zumarkalea, 9, 48008, Bilbao

Notaría Heros 28 – Miguel Ángel Martínez & Nicolás Almarza
Address: Heros Kalea, 28, 1º izq, 48009 Bilbao

Hope these can assist you with your case.

With kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers


23 March, 2022 7:55 pm

We sold our house in Spain on Mar 3rd 2022. At the notary he brought up an old mortgage on the escitura which although had been paid it had not been registered as so. It had nothing to do with us.
This was only highlighted on the day of sale, our lawyers gave us no prior warning and witheld our payment even though we handed over the house keys. We then contacted our solicitors with the details of estate agent and solicitors involved with this mortgage and we are now chasing around to get the matter resolved.
To date we have traced the old mortgage and have the zero certificate which was sent to the notary on Mar 21st now we are told we may be liable for the cost involved.
The solicitors acting for us do not appear to have done due diligance on this sale as they were in posession of all the documents since April 2021. They only gave us 9 days notice to complete the sale. We still have not been paid.
Any thoughts on how to proceed..thanks

Oscar Paoli

23 March, 2022 8:33 pm

Hi David,
As seller you are responsible to register the mortgage cancellation at the notary and land registry and the cost of this process should be paid by the seller. Depending on the area these cost may vary, we usually estimate around 700 € to cover notary fees, land registry and administrative fees for the cancellation process.
It might be normal that if the matter is noticed at the notary the day of the sale they keep a certain amount to cover these mentioned costs, but the rest of the sale price should be transfered/paid to you as sellers.
Hope this information is useful for you.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers


9 April, 2022 12:51 am

How can I verify a Notary’s credentials – do they need to belong to a governing body in order to practice. Is there a central register of qualified notaries in Spain?

Oscar Paoli

11 April, 2022 8:46 am

Hi Jennie,
You can do so by contacting the Consejo General del Notariado via the following link:

You can then check in your specific region if the notary is registered or not.

With kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers


27 May, 2022 6:58 am

Hi, I need to swear an affidavit in Spain for legal use in Hong Kong. Can I swear the affidavit before a notary in Spain? Are Spanish notaries authorised to witness the swearing of affidavits for overseas legal proceedings? If so, can you direct me to a firm in Zaragoza? Many thanks!

Oscar Paoli

27 May, 2022 3:23 pm

Dear Maureen,

Thansk for your query. All documents granted by a Spanish Notary can be used abroad if they are legalised with the apostille of the Hague Convention. We would recommend you that you confirm this information with the Hong Kong Authorities before proceeding to make sure they will accept it. We also invite you to send us copy of the Affidavit so we can confirm if it can be sweared in front of Spanis Notary or if you need any additional documentation for that purpouse.

Many thanks,

Ábaco Advisers

Ronnie H. Minnick

8 August, 2022 7:29 pm

Can a US Citizen who has a law degree in the US qualify as a notary in Spain if he were to move to Spain and otherwise pass the required examinations ?

Oscar Paoli

9 August, 2022 7:06 am

Hi Ronnie,

It is not an easy task but not impossible, you would first have to validate your degree in Spain, pass the exam to become a notary in Spain and you have to be of Spanish nationality or be a national of any member state of the European Union.

With kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers


4 January, 2023 2:10 pm

Good day!

I would be so thankful for answering if it is required to notarise such agreement.
The law of agreement will be the law of Spain.

The citizen of Ukraine plans to purchase a joint-stock company that was incorporated in Spain. Thus, agreement of purchasing shares will be provided. Could you kindly tell me if it is required to notarize such an agreement?

The citizen also plans to buy shares in limited liability companies. Please tell me if it is mandatory to notarize agreement in that case?

The relevant agreement will be between Ukrainian individual and the Spanish company.

Could you kindly provide your answer using reference to Spanish legislation?
I just want to know if there are any legal rules on that issue.

Please look at the attached document. It is a template that shows the UK company as the counterparty. But it is just a template for more understanding. The relevant agreement these days will be between Ukrainian individual and the Spanish company.

I would be so thankful!

Oscar Paoli

10 January, 2023 10:19 am

Dear Sirs,

Many thanks for your query in relation to purchase of shares in a Spanish registered legal entity by a natural person with Ucranian nationality.

In regards to formalities of this purchase contract, we have to consider different legislation as well as jurisdiction. The question therefore is, whether a private purchase contract is sufficient or in turn a Notarial Act is required in order to have legal effect.

Artícle 106.1 of the “Ley de Sociedades de Capital (LSC)” establishes the share transfer should be reflected in Public document, so Notarial Act.

Nevertheless, as general applying law, article 1.278 of the Spanish Civil Code “Código Civil” requires for validity only a contract , without any further formalities, as long as the essential aspects (agreement, object, parties) are included.

There is numerous jurisdiction in regards to interpretation of these articles and therefore formalities required, which summarizing dictates, it is no essential requirement to transfer (purchase/sell) company shares in Notarial Act.

On the other hand, it is highly recommended to proceed via Notarial agreement or confirm a private agreement furtheron in Notarial Act, as only the Notarial Act has public faith (so validity against third persons ) and would be acceopted as definitive proof of ownership (of shares).

We hope this information is clear and helpful, but please do not hesitate to let us know, should you have any further queries.

With kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers


25 April, 2023 1:51 pm

Hi , does the Spanish law allow “remote online virtually Notary service? e.g signing a granting of a power of attorney?
Looking forward to hearing from you . Can you recommend a Notar in Valencia who has that service ?

Kind regards
Mrs Evans

Oscar Paoli

27 April, 2023 2:51 pm

Hi Sabine,
This is a project that has been started but not officially in place as we know it yet.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers


1 August, 2023 10:53 am

Hi, we are looking to buy an aparment in Marbella. A Spanish lawyer has asked that we have every page of our passport notarised rather than just the main detail page. Is this really necessary?
We have been asked to pay £990 for notarisation, this was originally £670 before they asked for every page to be done, we have 2 x 48 page passports.
Thank you

Oscar Paoli

3 August, 2023 10:34 am

Hi Dale,
It is correct that if you are a non-EU resident you will need to notarise all pages of the passport. The cost of this service may vary from one notary to another.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers


9 August, 2023 12:11 pm

I’ve recently moved back to the UK after living in Spain for 12 years, but my new job requires a Spanish police check (antecedentes penales) before starting. I have looked everywhere and spoken to a friend who said I’d need to appoint a power of attorney in spain to be able to do this for me. Do you have any information or advice on the topic please? Thanks

Oscar Paoli

9 August, 2023 2:24 pm

You may obtain a certificate via the following link:
Hope this link is useful for you.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Loubna Aissaoui

8 May, 2024 4:00 am

Dear Sir / Madam
We need to notarize the declaration from a friend in Spain that he will be responsible for our daughters while they are minor studying in Spain. This document is required for their study visa. Could you please help us to do this document.
Loubna Aissaoui

Oscar Paoli

10 May, 2024 1:07 pm

Dear Loubna,

Thank you for contacting us.

Of course, we can help you to get the document you need.

The person who will be the representative of your daughters, will have to go to the notary to sign the document and will have to bring their original passport or identity card of their natiponality.

We will accompany you to the notary and check the document beforehand.

We will need the name and other identifying details of your daughters.

Also a brief description of where they will be studying in Spain.

If you are interested to go ahead with this matter, please, let us Know and we will be happy to help you.

With kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers