Estonia paves the way for digitised remote notary services

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At the beginning of the year, Estonia launched the new e-Notary service, a platform that enables us to carry out a set of remote notary services using digital ID and video bridge. The new system makes it possible to provide a set of notary services remotely without visiting Estonia in person, thus removing a major hurdle for people who are unable to travel to Estonia for the notary appointment or unable to issue a valid Power of Attorney in their country of residence.

Who can use the service and what notarial deeds can be done remotely?

The e-Notary system can be used by all individuals who have been issued a digital ID of Estonia, which also includes more than 130 000 e-Residents of Estonia. The system is accessible with an Estonian ID-card, e-residency card, mobileID or SmartID.

The person still needs to visit the Estonian embassy on the day of the appointment unless the attesting notary has allowed digital verification outside of the embassy. At the moment, e-Notary service points have been set up in Estonian embassies in Helsinki, Stockholm, Brussels, Riga, and London.

Currently the system enables to digitally notarize the following transactions and/or documents:

  • Transfer of shares agreement
  • Power of Attorneys’
  • Certifying marriage, divorce or inheritance applications
  • Deleting or assigning commercial pledges

How do remote notary services work work?

The notary appointment is set through the e-Notary’s self-service portal, which available at the Estonian Chambers of Notaries website. The portal will display suitable transaction dates for both the notary and the embassy, which are given in the time zone of the chosen embassy. If the remote appointment takes place outside of the designated embassy, then the time for the appointment is set in Estonian time (GMT +2).

On the day of the appointment, you will need to visit the designated embassy, unless the attesting notary has agreed to use the verification system outside of the embassy. You need to identify yourself at the embassy by presenting your passport and log in to a self-service computer at the embassy. The notary will be notified by the user that he/she is ready to start the remote appointment. In some cases, the parties involved in the transaction will be redirected to Veriff’s face recognition page for additional verification.

The notary initiates the appointment through the video bridge and the video is recorded by the system. The parties to the transaction can communicate directly with the notary who will introduce the content and legal implications of the document being attested.

When a notary initiates document sharing to review the details of a document, the self-service portal will display the documents instead of the notary’s video image, enabling the parties to read through and review the document. The document will be signed digitally by all parties and will be accessible to all at the Notary system at any given time.

The additional fee for the remote notarization in the embassy is 30 euros and 20 euros if the person is verified digitally outside of the embassy. The additional fees will be added to the notary fees of the transaction. The notary has the right to charge 50% of notary fees of the transaction if the person fails to visit the embassy or log in to the system at the time of the scheduled appointment.

How will Incorporate in Estonia take full advantage of the new system

We at Incorporate in Estonia will integrate the new digital notary system with our services which helps our clients to lower the cost and most importantly save their time on transactions that require attestation by the Estonian notary.

Although the current state of the system only allows a limited number of notary services, it enables us to acquire valid Power of Attorneys’ more quickly and cost effectively as the digitally attested document by the Estonia notary does not require any additional formalisation (i.e. apostille/legalization) to be used in Estonia. This is especially helpful to our clients who reside in the countries whose Power of Attorneys’ are not accepted by the Estonian notaries.

The transfer of shares does not require visiting Estonia or issuing a notarized Power of Attorney as it can be done directly at the designated embassies or in the comfort of your own home. Our experienced advisors will make all the necessary preparations so that on the day of the appointment, you will only need to visit the embassy or log into the system on your computer.

As the number of remote notary services that can be carried out will expand, we will continue to look for ways that will allow additional implementation of the new system in order to offer our clients more convenient solutions to administer their businesses in a fully digitalised manner.

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Incorporate Team