Any US notaries around Stuttgart?

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We moved to Stuttgart before the sale of our house was finalized in the US and now we need to sign the closing documents. The title company says we have to go to the US embassy to have them notarized, which seems excessive (because that would be a pain in the ass). Has anyone had a similar situation? Would there be a US notary at one of the local military bases that would do it? I'm not military or a government employee, though. Can a German notary do it?

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Perhaps an Apostille would work? Where would I go to get that done locally? We had to do it for our marriage license while still in the US and I had to mail it to the secretary of state.

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7 hours ago, AlexCLE said:

We moved to Stuttgart before the sale of our house was finalized in the US and now we need to sign the closing documents. The title company says we have to go to the US embassy to have them notarized, which seems excessive (because that would be a pain in the ass). Has anyone had a similar situation?

 

Not me but then I'm not an American citizen. ;) I'm sure thousands of your fellow citizens have to do this every year.

 

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Would there be a US notary at one of the local military bases that would do it? I'm not military or a government employee, though.

 

Major US Military bases do have legal assistance (JAG) offices operated by staff of the Judge Advocate General but access to their services is strictly limited to service members, DoD and DoDDS staff, government employes and their dependants. They may also service TESA contractors and their dependants too but their services are definitely not available to other US citizens. However AFAIR they do not employ notaries anyway so would likely refer their own clients to the U.S. Consul General in Frankfurt

 

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Notarials

Opening Hours: 7:30-11:30, Monday to Friday
Email: GermanyACS@state.gov
Telephone Numbers:
Tel: (069) 7535-2102 (No visa related information available at these numbers)
Fax: (069) 7535-2252

Source: U.S. Citizen Services at U.S. Consulate General Frankfurt

 

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Can a German notary do it?

 

If your title company would accept notarization by a German Notar (and I can't see why they shouldn't) then that may well be the path requiring the least investment of time and effort. Albeit they are bound by statutory law and odinance wrt their chargeable fees you might want to ask them for a cost estimate first to avoid any surprises.

 

You can find a German Notar using this search tool > BNotK - Notar suche - Notar search for Germany

 

Select one of the 8 Stuttgart district entries under 'Ort' then Notarkammer Baden-Würtemberg under 'Bezirkskammer' and Englisch under 'Sprache' then click on 'Suche'. I found 18 in Stuttgart city who claim to offer their services in English.

 

7 hours ago, AlexCLE said:

Perhaps an Apostille would work? Where would I go to get that done locally?

 

In theory you might get an Apostille certified by a public official at any town hall in most German towns but ...

i) they are mostly used to issuing Apostilles for personal documents relating to births, marriages, deaths, etc..

ii) they would probably require you to first get the relevant documents translated by a publicly sworn court appointed translator and produce both the original and a copy of each (in English and German) with translator's seals prior to their certification as Apostilles.

 

Verwaltungsleistungen Ämter - Dienstleistungen Stadt Stuttgart | City of Stuttgart - Administrative Service Offices – Services I tried searching for Apostille (4 results) and Urkünde (= authentification / certification) 14 results mostly relating to personal documents, education or migration isssues but you might get better info if you call one of those offices which do issue such Urkünde/Apostillen.

 

Federal Justice Ministry - (publically sworn-in) Translators & Interpreters- Search & Help pages in 5 languages

 

HTH

2B

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As far as I know most US notaries (ie, notaries appointed by the various US states) cannot notarize documents in other states, much less overseas.  The notaries at the embassy have some kind of federal notarial status so are allowed to do so (presumably the same on military bases).  So I doubt you'll find another US notary other than at the embassy or consulate.  

 

You can try using an apostilled document notarized by a German notary, but I have had (unsophisticated) US parties refuse to accept these as well.  One "trick" I've used succesfully is to give someone I know in the US an unnotarized power of attorney to sign the notarized document, then they go to a US notary and sign the document before them to get a US notarized document...

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Thanks for the tips. I spoke with the title transfer office and they said they'd take a German notary stamp with Apostille. Hopefully they don't require a certified translation because we're really pressed for time on this.

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You should also make an appointment with the consulate at Frankfurt just in case as a backup. Appointments from either side might takes a week or two anyhow. 

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I think I got it sorted. I found a local German notary (31 euro per document) then took the documents for an Apostille stamp at the Notar's affiliated Landgericht in Stuttgart (20 euro per document). I should have the documents back Monday.

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https://www.nixonpeabody.com/en/ideas/blog/trusts-and-estates/2020/04/29/massachusetts-allows-virtual-notarization-during-the-covid-19-state-of-emergency

23 states have enacted a permanent "remote online notarization" law. These laws generally purport to allow a notary licensed in that state to notarize documents that are being signed by a person who is located in another state (or country). Several companies have sprung up to provide this service.

 

https://www.dlapiper.com/en/us/insights/publications/2020/03/coronavirus-federal-and-state-governments-work-quickly-to-enable-remote-online-notarization/

UPDATE [June 30] – On June 26, Colorado became the 26th state to enact remote notarization (SB20-096). The RON provisions of the bill take effect December 31, 2020. Notably the bill prohibits the use or sale of personal information of a remotely located individual by a remote notary and the provider of a remote notarization system except in limited circumstances.

The basic components of each state’s RON law are to:

  • Allows notarial acts to be completed using audio-video communication, including acts where the signer is located outside the state in which the notary is authorized to operate;

  • Require that the notary authenticate the person signing; and

  • Require recording of the audio-video communication.*

The state RON laws are very detailed and vary with respect to, among other things, authentication, journaling and retention periods. 

In states that have yet to enact RON or otherwise make their RON law effective, emergency short-term measures are being issued. The below chart reviews each state and any RON law and/or emergency order enacted in such state:

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