Federal Notary Code

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Basic data
Title: Federal Notary Code
Abbreviation: BNotO
Type: Federal law
Scope: Federal Republic of Germany
Legal matter: Professional law
References : 303-1
Original version from: February 13, 1937
( RGBl. I p. 191)
Entry into force on: March 1, 1937
New announcement from: February 24, 1961
( Federal Law Gazette I p. 97 )
Last change by: Art. 12 G of November 30, 2019
( Federal Law Gazette I, p. 1942, 1946 )
Effective date of the
last change:
December 6, 2019
(Art. 16 G of November 30, 2019)
GESTA : C076
Please note the note on the applicable legal version.
Title page of the Reich Law Gazette Part I of February 15, 1937 with the Reich Notarial Regulations, the original version of today's Federal Notarial Regulations

The Federal Notarial Code ( BNotO ) regulates the official activities of notaries across the country and contains legal provisions on the appointment of notaries, the exercise of office, notarial duties, the rules for the absence and prevention of a notary, notary representatives and notary administrators (formerly notary administrators), and also about the institution and the tasks of the Federal Chamber of Notaries and the State Chamber of Notaries and the disciplinary procedure for notaries.

Due to the special design of the notary's office in the former Baden , the BNotO did not apply in the Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court district until 2009 in accordance with Section 115 sentence 1 BNotO . In 2009, the paragraph was dropped, and the application process for lawyer notaries was reorganized. This was preceded, among other things, by the Tired Theses .

Since the notary exercises official powers, § 19 BNotO provides for a separate official liability claim for incorrect activities / omissions of the notary. This notary's liability includes both damage caused by negligent action on the part of the notary and damage based on willful action on the part of the notary. However, the public liability claim for negligently caused damage is usually subsidiary to overriding claims, e.g. B. those that cover a professional liability insurance of the notary, or claims against other polluters.

An important official duty of notaries is regulated in § 32 BNotO. According to § 32 BNotO, notaries have to “hold” the Federal Law Gazette , the Law and Ordinance Gazette of the relevant federal state in which the notary's office is based and the information sheet of the state justice administration. Originally, this meant the purchase and availability of the paper editions of the announcement sheets mentioned. In 2003, however, the Federal Chamber of Notaries already stipulated in a circular that the electronic purchase of the corresponding announcement sheets can also meet the requirements of Section 32 BNotO if it is guaranteed that the notary can save the announcement sheets and keep them permanently available in electronic form.

The regulation of § 5 BNotO, according to which a notary in Germany must be a German citizen, was declared illegal by the ECJ on May 24, 2011 .

Imperial Notary Ordinance from 1937

On February 13, 1937, the National Socialists formally put the so-called Reich Notarial Order into force. It was a racist professional code that is part of the numerous provisions issued by the National Socialists against the Jewish minority since 1933 , by formulating an apparently biological exclusion criterion as a further requirement for professional practice in Paragraph 3:

Section 3 (2) Anyone who does not meet the requirements for blood purity for himself and his spouse may not be appointed as a notary.

The profession is defined therein as an office whose holder owes loyalty to the leader. It is not a trade. (both in § 2)


  • Schippel / Bracker, Bundesnotarordnung (BNotO). Commentary , 9th edition, Munich 2011, Verlag Vahlen, ISBN 978-3-8006-3802-4
  • Herbert Arndt / Klaus Lerch / Gerd Sandkühler, Bundesnotarordnung (BNotO). Commentary , 6th edition, Cologne 2008, Verlag Heymanns, ISBN 978-3-452-26338-4
  • Helmut Weingärtner (Ed.), Notarrecht , 9th edition, Cologne 2009, Verlag Heymanns, ISBN 978-3-452-26926-3
  • Hans Gerhard Ganter, Christian Hertel, Heinz Wöstmann, Handbook of Notarial Liability , 2nd edition, 2009, LexisNexis publishing house, ISBN 978-3-89655-440-6
  • Wolfgang Kuntz: Does § 32 BNotO prevent the digitization of the notary's library? In: JurPC . No. 13 , 2008 ( online ).
  • Dominik Gassen: The entry into the electronic compulsory purchase? In: Notary . No. 1 , 2008 ( online [PDF]).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Communication from the Federal Chamber of Notaries
  2. ^ RGBl I, pp. 191-202