Spain moves ahead with legal digitalisation and reform of notary proceedings

Published on 24th Jan 2024

A Notaries Act amendment for procedures to be performed online is a crucial advance for business and the legal sector 

Close up view of a laptop and a cup of coffee

The Law 11/2023 of 8 May, which came into force on 9 November 2023, has amended the Notaries Act to comply with digitising notarial procedures as part of the digitisation process proposed by the European Union through Directive (EU) 2019/1151. 

This amendment is a crucial legislative reform aimed at transforming the provision of notarial services through digitalisation. This reform is considered one of the profession's most significant changes in recent years.

Videoconferencing tech 

WWithout having to go to the Notary's Office, citizens and businesses will be able to approve and authorise the following legal acts and transactions through videoconferencing technology:

  • Commercial agreements.
  • Incorporation of companies, appointments, and powers of attorney, as well as any other corporate actions, as long as the shareholders contribute to the share capital in cash).
  • Powers of representation, both procedural and electoral; however, powers of attorney of a general or preventive nature may not be granted through videoconferencing.
  • Powers of representation, both procedural and electoral. However, powers of attorney of a general or preventive nature may not be granted through videoconference.
  • Revocation of powers of attorney, except general powers of attorney.
  • Letters of payment and cancellation of guarantees.
  • Notarial deeds for general meetings and reference deeds in the strictest sense.
  • Documents certifying signatures.
  • Last wills and testaments in the event of an epidemic outbreak, especially when confinement is obligatory.
  • Declarations of new construction without putting an end to the condominium or dividing the horizontal property.
  • Arbitration, unless the notary thinks it should be resolved differently.
  • Legal acts and transactions that have been established by regulation. 

For all these online procedures, the interested party must be registered in the Notary's electronic office  and have an electronic signature when executing an act. If someone does not have this, they will receive a free electronic signature with a specific scope and validity for the task at hand. 

Once the appointment with the notary is confirmed, the meeting will take place through a video conference. During the conference call, the notary will display the document to all the participants so they can sign it electronically and exercise their right to read it.

E-document innovation 

Under this new law, two significant innovations have been introduced: the electronic certified copy and the electronic notarial record

In the future, notaries will only issue paper copies if requested explicitly by the interested party at an additional cost. After the deed is signed, a simple and certified copy will be emailed. The certified copy will contain a unique record number to be kept by the notary electronically through their electronic deposit with the General Council of Notaries. 

On the first page of the certified copy, there will also be a CVS (secure verification code) as proof of the copy's issue. This feature will enable the notary and interested parties to verify the copy's authenticity through the notary's electronic office portal. The electronically certified copy has the same legal validity as a traditionally certified copy.

Osborne Clarke comment

The move towards digitising the legal sector is a positive development. However, it will require implementing new infrastructure, such as investment in servers, cybersecurity and personnel that are dedicated to digitalisation and electronic record-keeping. As a result, it may lead to an increase in the cost of notarial services and fees.


* This article is current as of the date of its publication and does not necessarily reflect the present state of the law or relevant regulation.

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