Official notary

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Office notaries are notaries , in a civil service are, not - as usual and most other States that in Germany Latin notary know, usual - freelancers are. In addition to some cantons in Switzerland , the official notary in Europe is particularly characteristic of Portugal .


Former notary's office in Wangen im Allgäu

Official notaries within Germany only existed in Baden-Württemberg until December 31, 2017 . Their position was last taken into account as a historical peculiarity in Section 114 of the Federal Notary Code (BNotO). The constitution itself prohibits in Art. 138 GG “changes to the institutions of the now existing notary's office in the states of Baden, Bavaria, Württemberg-Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern” without the consent of the governments of these states. The notary's office in Baden-Württemberg is regulated in the "State Law on Voluntary Jurisdiction" (LFGG).

The official notary was a remnant of a privatization process that was already more advanced in other federal states . In the new federal states, after reunification in 1990/1991, official notaries were replaced by freelance notaries. In Württemberg (as of December 31, 2017) there were also some notaries at lawyers (lawyers who also carry out the business of a notary) and so-called notaries-only (full-time notaries who only exercise the notary's office), and in Baden, In 2006, 25 positions for full-time notaries were advertised for the first time.

The difference between civil servant and freelance notaries in liability cases was relevant. Section 19 (1) sentence 3 BNotO excludes the liability of the state according to Section 839 BGB in conjunction with Article 34 GG ( official liability ) for errors made by the notary. This regulation did not apply to civil servant notaries in the Baden-Württemberg state service, § 20 LFGG: the state may be liable for their errors. Because of the obligation of the notary to take out professional liability insurance specified in Section 19a BNotO , the practical differences for the injured party were small. When the notarial reform in Baden-Württemberg came into force on January 1, 2018, the difference in liability also became obsolete.

In Baden-Wuerttemberg the employed notaries were as office notaries designated. The official title in the Baden part of the country was judicial councilor , senior justice councilor and notary's director. In the Württemberg part of the country, civil servants who were not fully qualified lawyers were nevertheless entrusted with notary activities. In contrast to the classic notaries with 2 legal state exams, they had to call themselves a notary representative or a district notary .

In their coalition agreement of May 9, 2006, the governing parties of the CDU and FDP had already agreed on a fundamental structural reform of the notary's office for the 14th legislative period of the state parliament of Baden-Württemberg, with a nationwide change to the freelance notary's office throughout Baden-Württemberg. After the decision to implement the notary reform by the Baden-Württemberg Council of Ministers was made on December 17, 2007, no new training course for so-called notary trainees to become a district notary was offered on September 1, 2008. A 10-year transitional arrangement saw u. a. a change of status, an integration into the judicial administration or the jurisdiction for the previous Baden official notaries and Württemberg district notaries. The last notary candidates in the 2007 training year should preferably be included in a “candidate service to secure the next generation of notaries for full-time office exercise”.

On January 1, 2018, the full-time freelance notary's office was introduced throughout Baden-Württemberg. In order to continue working as a notary, the notaries had to resign from the civil service on January 1, 2018. Those notaries who decided to remain in the civil service lost their certification authority on January 1, 2018 and were assigned to other tasks.

Württemberg (until 2017)

Officials in the state service without qualification for judicial office led in the so-called Württemberg jurisdiction (district of the higher regional court of Stuttgart and the district of the district court of Maulbronn, the districts of Schwenningen, Mühlhausen and Weigheim of the city of Villingen-Schwenningen and the area of ​​the municipality of Tuningen ( Section 1, Paragraph 4 LFGG) ) until December 31, 2017 the official title "District Notary". You acquired the qualification for this office after five years of training at the Baden-Württemberg Notary Academy and the final notary examination. According to the state law on voluntary jurisdiction, the district notaries were entrusted with the notarial authority as well as the duties of the estate and land register judge and certain areas of the supervisory judge. With the entry into force of the notarial reform on January 1, 2018, the responsibilities were also reorganized.

Preparatory service

In view of the notarial reform that came into force on January 1, 2018, no new notary candidates have been hired since 2008. With the notary's examination last carried out in 2012, the previous notary-specific training and study form was ended.

The previous preparatory service was divided into the following sections:

  • Study I (10 months)
  • Study practice I to III (27 months)
    • Study practice I at a notary's office (11 months)
    • Study practice II at a local court (3 months)
    • Study practice III at a notary's office (13 months)
  • Studies II (20 months)
  • Study internship IV of your choice with a lawyer, tax advisor, auditor, sworn accountant, commercial enterprise or another domestic or foreign body where appropriate training is guaranteed (3 months)

Studies I and II took place at the notary academy. They convey the theoretical basics and should also promote the candidate's understanding of legal, social and political issues and deepen his general education. The candidates are also obliged to study on their own.

In the practical training, the candidate should apply the theoretical knowledge and deepen his knowledge.

The intermediate examination took place after the section Study Practice I. It consisted of four exams from civil law and land register law, each with a processing time of four hours.

The notary examination was carried out by examiners from the State Judicial Examination Office , who had to be either fully qualified lawyers or district notaries. The exam consisted of a written and an oral part. The written part took place at the end of Studies II and consisted of eight tasks with the following focuses

  • Notarization in real estate law (with relevant tax law issues)
  • Notarization in inheritance and family law including the associated international private law (with relevant tax law issues)
  • Notarization in commercial and company law (with relevant tax law issues)
  • Land register law and foreclosure on land
  • three tasks from civil law with relevant procedural law and from foreclosure law (including foreclosure law and bankruptcy law)
  • a task in two parts, part I with a focus on constitutional and administrative law including European law and part II with a focus on criminal and criminal procedural law.

The oral exam lasted 45 minutes and covered the following areas, including the associated tax law and cost law and private international law, if applicable:

  • Family and inheritance law,
  • Commercial law, law of partnerships and corporations, securities law and basics of business administration
  • Real estate law, land registry law and foreclosure law on real estate
  • Law of obligations, furniture law; Civil procedural law; Constitutional and administrative law; Criminal law and criminal procedure law; European law

During the preparatory service, the candidate used the title "Notaranwärter", after passing the examination the title "Württembergischer Notariatsassessor".


The former district notaries were paid according to the state salary order A.

  • Notary representative (entrance office), salary group A 12
  • District notary, grade A 13
  • District notary (as head of a notary's office with five or more posts for district notaries and notary representatives), salary group A 14

The notary trainees received a candidate's salary for the entrance office A 12 in accordance with the provisions of the federal pay regulations

Baden (until 2017)

In the district of the Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court - with the exception of the areas assigned to the Württemberg legal area (see above) - public notaries were fully qualified lawyers with the usual two state examinations . They carried the title of judicial councilor , senior judicial councilor and director of notaries. Before becoming a notary, they often worked in other professional fields of the Baden-Württemberg judiciary , in particular as judges , public prosecutors or in the administration of justice. This is where the term judge notary comes from . The Baden official notaries also acted as estate and land register judges.


  • Judicial Council (entrance office), grade R 1
  • Senior Justice Council (as head of a notary's office with up to three posts for notaries), grade R 1 with official allowance
  • Notary director (permanent representative of the head of a notary's office with 8 or more posts for notaries), grade R 2
  • Notary director (as head of a notary's office with 4 to 7 notary posts), grade R 2
  • Notary director (as head of a notary's office with 8 or more posts for notaries), grade R 2 with official allowance

The official allowance (as of December 2005) was € 175.45 each.


Official notary and district court Werdenberg ( Canton St. Gallen )

There are also official notaries in many cantons in Switzerland . The legal situation - also with regard to costs and fees - differs from canton to canton. In some cantons there are only official notaries , while in other cantons there are both official notaries and private notaries or lawyer notaries .

A legal proposal in the canton of Zug says:

“A comparison with the regulations of other cantons shows that very different solutions exist. Many cantons are familiar with the freelance notary's office, with the cantons with partial or predominant notarial lawyers (LU, AG, UR, OW, ZG, SO, GL, BS, SG, GR, TI, VS, JU) in the majority being the cantons with exclusive or predominantly notarial services (BE, FR, VD, GE) are in the minority. The cantons ZH, SH, AR, AI, and TG have an actual official notary, while the cantons LU, BL, OW, NW, SZ, ZG, SO, SG, GR, AG and NE have both official notaries and freelance lawyers know. Contracts for real rights to land can be publicly notarized by lawyers-notaries in the cantons of UR, LU, AG, BS and NW. In the canton of Valais, an extra-parliamentary commission recently proposed the statutory anchoring of an incompatibility of the legal profession with the notarial work. "

- NZZ of November 20, 2000.


In addition to Baden, Portugal was the only member state of the European Union with a Latin notary office to have a purely state notary's office: notaries are state officials, notaries' offices ( Cartório Notarial, sometimes also translated as “ Notarial Office ” or “Notary Office”) are authorities. They can be found in all districts and are numbered consecutively within their district. As is customary in the Latin notary's office, the core area of ​​notarial activity consists of the notarization of legal transactions in order to ensure that the legal form is maintained and to attest to the authenticity of legal acts carried out out of court. Negotiations are usually not notarized by the notary (the head of the authority) himself, but by an employee (office manager or secretary) who acts on his behalf. Advice from the notary has only been regulated by law since 1995. In practice, however, it is at least unusual today to ask a notary for advice, especially since the notaries' offices in the country are chronically overloaded. Freelance notaries did not even exist in Portugal until recently, although their introduction has been discussed for years. In the meantime - as in Baden - there are the first private notaries' offices and concrete plans by the Ministry of Justice, which amount to a complete privatization of notarial activities. With the accession of Portugal to the International Union of Notaries (UINL) , this step was also documented externally.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Justice in Baden-Württemberg: Notarial Reform , accessed on November 14, 2014.
  2. Information on the notarial reform in Baden-Württemberg
  3. Cantonal notary fees , as of August 14, 2007.
  4. Motion by Heinz Tännler and Hans Dürrer regarding authentication competence for notaries from December 3, 2002, PDF document ( Memento from September 28, 2007 in the Internet Archive )