Notarisation Act


Published: 2010-07-01

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Notarisation Act

Passed 14.11.2001
RT I 2001, 93, 564
Entry into force 01.02.2002, partly 14 December 2001

PassedPublishedEntry into force
05.06.2002RT I 2002, 53, 33601.07.2002
29.01.2003RT I 2003, 18, 10007.03.2003
12.10.2005RT I 2005, 57, 45001.01.2006
15.12.2005RT I 2005, 71, 54901.01.2006
26.01.2006RT I 2006, 7, 4204.02.2006
23.11.2006RT I 2006, 55, 41201.01.2007
21.11.2007RT I 2007, 67, 41328.12.2007
06.05.2009RT I 2009, 27, 16408.06.2009
17.06.2010RT I 2010, 38, 23101.07.2010

Chapter 1 GENERAL PROVISIONS 

§ 1.  Scope of application and meaning of notarial act

 (1) This Act establishes the procedure for the performance of notarial acts which are within the competence of notaries.

 (2) This Act, except subsection 5 (2), also applies to the acts of other officials and administrative agencies if the acts are deemed to be equal to the notarial acts which are within the competence of notaries.

 (3) The forms of notarial acts are notarial certification (hereinafter certification) and notarial authentication (hereinafter authentication).

 (4) In the course of performing a notarial act, a notary records the circumstances perceived by him or her in a notarial deed or notarial certificate.

 (41) A notarial deed and notarial certificate shall be a document on paper unless otherwise provided by law.

 (5) It is presumed that notarial deeds and notarial certificates which are prepared within competence and comply with the requirements for formal validity are correct.

 (6) Notarial acts are void in the cases provided for in this Act.
[RT I 2005, 57, 450 - entry into force 01.01.2006]

§ 2.  Leaving territorial jurisdiction

 (1) A notarial act is not void for the reason that a notary performs it outside his or her territorial jurisdiction.

 (2) A notarial act which a notary performs outside the territory of the Republic of Estonia is void.

§ 3.  Prohibition on participation as notary

 (1) A notary shall refrain from performance of a notarial act if the act concerns:
 1) his or her own interests; a notary shall also refrain from performance of a notarial act if he or she is only a jointly entitled or jointly obligated person;
 2) the interests of his or her spouse or former spouse;
 3) the interests of a person who is the notary's, his or her spouse's or former spouse's direct blood relative, brother, sister, half-brother or half-sister or their descendant;
 4) the interests of a person with whom the notary operates a common office, who is a permanent substitute for the notary or with whom he or she uses common office space;
 5) the interests of a person whose legal representative the notary or a person specified in clause 4) is;
 6) the interests of a person into whose management board the notary or a person specified in clause 4) belongs;
 7) the interests of a person who has authorised the notary in the same matter or whose employer the notary or a person specified in clause 4) is;
 8) the interests of a general partnership, limited partnership or private limited company, foundation or commercial association, of which the notary or a person specified in clause 2) is a partner, shareholder, founder or member;
 9) the interests of a public limited company in which the notary or a person specified in clause 2) holds 5 per cent or more of the votes determined by the shares.

 (11) A notary shall refrain from notarisation of an application for the commencement of succession proceedings if commencement of succession proceedings is requested in relation to the death of a person and the notary has been or is the representative of a petitioner in proceedings on petition for recognition of a document related to the same person’s succession proceedings.
[RT I 2010, 38, 231 - entry into force 01.07.2010]

 (2) A notary shall inform parties of the risk of a conflict of interests and shall ask their consent for performance of a notarial act, if the act concerns:
 1) the interests of a person where the notary is a member of a body without the right of representation of the person;
 2) the interests of a rural municipality or city government if the notary is a member of the council thereof;
 3) the interests of any other legal person in public law where the notary is a member of a body with the right of representation of the person. In such case, clause (1) 6) of this section does not apply;
 4) the interests of a legal person, of which a rural municipality or city is a partner, shareholder, member or founder, if the notary is a member of the corresponding rural municipality council or city council;
 5) the interests of several persons, one of which is a person to whom the notary has provided legal counselling outside the notarisation procedure.

 (3) If a notarial act is performed in the form of certification, a notary shall indicate the consent specified in subsection (2) of this section in the notarial deed.
[RT I 2005, 71, 549 - entry into force 01.01.2006]

§ 4.  Refusal to perform notarial act

  A notary shall refuse to perform a notarial act if the objectives of the act which are applied for are contrary to law, other legislation, or good morals, or are evidently prohibited and dishonest, or it becomes evident that a party to a transaction or other party lacks the necessary passive or active legal capacity, the capacity to exercise will or the right of representation.

§ 5.  Language of document

 (1) Notarial deeds and notarial certificates shall be prepared in Estonian.

 (2) At the request of an applicant for a notarial act, a notary may prepare a notarial deed or notarial certificate in another language if the notary is sufficiently proficient in the corresponding language. At the request of an applicant for a notarial act, a notary shall translate a notarial deed or notarial certificate prepared in another language into Estonian or shall authenticate the correctness of a translation provided.
[RT I 2010, 38, 231 - entry into force 01.07.2010]

Chapter 2 CERTIFICATION OF TRANSACTION 

Division 1 General Provisions 

§ 6.  Certification of transaction and declaration of intent

 (1) In order to certify a transaction, a notary shall prepare a notarial deed pursuant to the procedure provided for in this Chapter. Certification without a notarial deed is void.

 (2) The provisions concerning certification of transactions apply to the certification of a declaration of intent which is a part of a transaction.

 (3) The provisions of Chapter 3 of this Act apply to the certification of resolutions of a body of a legal person.

§ 7.  Participation of notary or persons connected with notary

 (1) Certification of a transaction is void if one of the parties is:
 1) the notary;
 2) the spouse of the notary;
 3) a person who is a direct blood relative of the notary;
 4) the representatives of persons specified in clauses 1) – 3).

 (2) A party is a person whose declaration of intent is contained in the transaction being certified or who submits a declaration of intent which in the name of another person is contained in such transaction.

§ 8.  Certification in favour of notary or persons connected with notary

  Certification of a transaction is void to the extent that the certification is aimed at the creation of legal rights for a person specified in clauses 3 (1) 1)–3) of this Act.

Division 2 Preparation of Notarial Deed 

§ 9.  Content of notarial deed

 (1) A notary shall indicate his or her personal data, the personal data of the parties and information disclosed by the parties in a notarial deed. Certification of a transaction without the specified data is void.

 (2) A document, map, drawing or illustration which is appended to a notarial deed and referred to in the deed and which contains a declaration of intent of a party or is connected with the declaration of intent is deemed to be a part of the notarial deed.

 (3) A notarial deed shall set out the date and place of certification.

§ 10.  Identification of party

 (1) The personal data of a party which the notary indicates in a notarial deed shall be so detailed as to preclude doubt or confusion.

 (2) A notary shall indicate in which manner he or she identifies a party. If the notary knows the party personally, he or she shall indicate the fact in the notarial deed. In the absence of an identity document, the notary shall identify a party under 15 years of age on the basis of state issued documents proving birth and filiation and the statements of the guardian and shall indicate it in the notarial deed.
[RT I 2009, 27, 164 - entry into force 08.06.2009]

 (3) If a notary cannot identify a person or doubts the identity of a person, but certification of a transaction is requested regardless of that, the notary shall indicate such fact in the notarial deed.

 (4) Subsections (1) – (3) of this section also apply to the translators or interpreters, witnesses and representatives involved in certification.

§ 11.  Establishment of active legal capacity and capacity to exercise will

 (1) If a notary is convinced that a party lacks the necessary active legal capacity or the capacity to exercise will, he or she shall refuse to perform a notarial act.

 (2) A notary shall indicate his or her doubt concerning a party’s necessary active legal capacity or capacity to exercise will in the notarial deed.

 (3) If a party is seriously ill, a notary shall indicate such fact together with his or her observations on the party’s active legal capacity and capacity to exercise will in the notarial deed.

 (4) A notary shall indicate the age of a party who is a minor in the notarial deed.

§ 12.  Establishment of right of representation

 (1) A notary shall indicate the grounds of the right of representation and explain how he or she has established it in the notarial deed.

 (2) If the notary cannot establish the necessary right of representation or doubts the right of representation, but certification is requested regardless of that, the notary shall indicate such fact in the notarial deed.
[RT I 2007, 67, 413 - entry into force 28.12.2007]

§ 13.  Reading, approval and signing

 (1) In order to certify a transaction, a notarial deed shall be read out to the parties in the presence of a notary, approved by the parties and signed by the parties and the notary in handwriting. Certification without approval and signing is void.

 (2) Reading includes the reading out of documents appended to a notarial deed. Documents specified in §§ 10 and 12 of this Act shall not be read out. If a notarial deed refers to a map, drawing or illustration, it shall be presented to the parties for review instead of reading. In the case of a blind person, the map, drawing or illustration shall be sufficiently described instead of review.

 (3) Before approval, a notarial deed shall be presented to the parties for review.

 (4) At the end of a notarial deed, a notary shall indicate that the reading, review and approval have taken place. If the parties have signed a notarial deed in handwriting, the deed is presumed to have been read out to them in the presence of the notary, reviewed or described according to subsection (2) of this section and approved by them.

 (5) Upon preparation of several notarial deeds which are partial or full replicas of each other, single reading of their identical parts and presentation for review according to subsection (3) of this section shall be sufficient.

 (6) A notary shall add his or her official title and affix a seal to his or her signature.
[RT I 2003, 18, 100 - entry into force 07.03.2003]

§ 14.  Reference to another notarial deed

 (1) If that declared by a party is indicated in a notarial deed as reference to another notarial deed, the notarial deed which is referred to need not be read out if all parties declare that they know the content of the deed and waive the right to have the deed read out to them. A notary shall indicate such fact in the notarial deed. A notary may certify only if the notarial deed which is referred to is presented to the parties upon certification as an original, first transcript or a notarially authenticated copy.

 (2) Subsection (1) of this section also applies to the review of maps, drawings and illustrations appended to another notarial deed.

 (3) A notarial deed which is referred to need not be appended to the notarial deed being prepared if all parties agree to this. A notary shall indicate such agreement in the notarial deed.

 (4) If another notarial deed can be examined within a reasonable period of time at a notary or elsewhere before certification of a transaction, the notary shall inform the parties thereof. In addition to the duties arising from § 18 of this Act, the notary shall explain to the parties the meaning of reference to the other notarial deed.

 (5) If a notarial deed refers to a map or drawing which is authenticated by signature and seal and which is issued by an administrative agency within the limits of its competence or by a notary, subsections (1)–(4) of this section correspondingly apply.
[RT I 2003, 18, 100 - entry into force 07.03.2003]

§ 15.  Waiver of right to have additional documents read out

 (1) If a notarial deed refers to a document appended thereto, the document need not be read out if all parties waive the right to have the document read out to them. A notary shall indicate a declaration of intent to be subject to immediate compulsory execution in a notarial deed; if indicated only in a document appended to the deed, such declaration is void.

 (2) If a document appended according to subsection (1) of this section is not read out, a notary shall present it to the parties for review and signing; if the document has more than one page, each page shall be signed separately. The duties of notaries arising from § 18 of this Act remain in force unamended.

 (3) A notary shall indicate in a notarial deed that the parties waived the right to have the document read out to them; certification without the above-mentioned notation is void. A notary shall also indicate in a notarial deed the fact that an appended document has been submitted to the parties for examination.

§ 16.  Auction

 (1) Upon certification of an act of auction, only these bidders who maintain their bid are deemed to be parties.

 (2) If such a party withdraws before the end of an auction, subsection 13 (1) of this Act does not apply to the party if a notary indicates the withdrawal of the party in a notarial deed.

§ 17.  Interpretation or translation of notarial deed

 (1) If a party, according to him or her or according to the observations of a notary, is not sufficiently proficient in Estonian or, if a notarial deed is prepared in a foreign language, is not sufficiently proficient in the language, the notary shall indicate such fact in the notarial deed.

 (2) In the case specified in subsection (1) of this section, instead of reading out a notarial deed to a party, the deed shall be interpreted or translated; certification without the interpretation or translation is void. If all parties declare that they are proficient in the language into which the notarial deed is interpreted or translated and waive the right to have the document read out to them, interpretation or translation shall replace the reading out. If the party so requests, a written translation shall be prepared and given to him or her for review. The written translation shall be appended to the notarial deed. The notary shall inform the party that the latter has the right to request a written translation. The notary shall indicate such facts in the notarial deed.

 (3) If a notary does not interpret or translate himself or herself, an interpreter or translator chosen by the party or notary shall be involved. The notary has the right to refuse to involve an interpreter or translator chosen by the party if he or she has doubts concerning the correctness of the interpretation or translation. The notary and the interpreter or translator chosen by the notary shall be solidarily liable for the damage caused by incorrect interpretation or translation, unless a sworn translator interprets or translates. If the interpreter or translator is not a sworn translator, the notary shall warn him or her of the civil and criminal liability for incorrect interpretation or translation. The notary shall indicate such facts in the notarial deed. The interpreter or translator shall also sign the notarial deed.

 (4) Sections 7 and 8 of this Act correspondingly apply to interpreters and translators, whereas both interpretation or translation and certification shall be deemed to be void.
[RT I 2003, 18, 100 - entry into force 07.03.2003]

Division 3 Explanations and Verification 

§ 18.  Notary’s duty to give explanations

 (1) A notary shall ascertain the intentions of parties and the facts which are essential for performance of a legally correct transaction. The notary shall also explain to parties the meaning and legal consequences of the transaction and the different possibilities for conclusion of the transaction. The notary shall enter the declarations of intent of the parties in a notarial deed clearly and unambiguously. At the same time, the notary shall ensure that errors and doubts are precluded and the rights of inexperienced or incompetent parties are not damaged.

 (2) If a notary has doubts concerning the compliance of a transaction with law or the actual intentions of parties, he or she shall discuss it with the parties. If a notary doubts the validity of a transaction, and parties request certification regardless of that, the notary shall indicate his or her explanations and the justification provided by the parties concerning the explanations in the notarial deed.

 (3) A notary shall organise the notarial certification of a transaction such that performance of obligations arising from subsections (1) and (2) of this section is ensured.

 (4) If the law of a foreign state must be applied or there are doubts concerning the law of a foreign state, a notary shall inform the parties thereof and indicate such fact in the notarial deed.
[RT I 2009, 27, 164 - entry into force 08.06.2009]

 (5) A notary is not required to explain the content of the law of a foreign state or the tax consequences of a transaction.
[RT I 2009, 27, 164 - entry into force 08.06.2009]

§ 19.  Permission and consent

  A notary shall call the attention of parties to the permission or consent of a judicial institution or administrative agency necessary for the performance of the transaction and indicate such fact in the notarial deed.

§ 20.  Legal right of pre-emption

  Upon certification of a transaction in the case of which the legal right of pre-emption can be exercised, a notary shall explain such fact to the parties and indicate it in the notarial deed.

§ 21.  Verification of data entered in registries

 (1) If a transaction concerns a real right entered or subject to entry in the land register, ship register, commercial pledge register or other register of public reliability, a notary shall verify the existence of the right of disposal necessary for the transaction beforehand on the basis of data entered in the corresponding register and, if necessary, in the marital property register.

 (2) Otherwise, a notary shall certify a transaction only if the parties unanimously request this regardless of the explanations of the notary concerning the risks involved in certification based on unverified circumstances.

 (3) A notary shall indicate the results of verification of the right of disposal or waiving of verification together with the explanations provided by him or her in the notarial deed.

§ 22.  Establishment of marital status

 (1) If an object of a transaction may be the joint property of spouses or former spouses, a notary shall indicate in the notarial deed the marital status of a party and how the notary has established it and why the object of the transaction may be included in the joint property.

 (2) Upon notarisation of a real right contract, a notary shall indicate in the notarial deed the marital status of the transferee of the object of the transaction and on which grounds the notary has established it. If the object of the transaction will be included in the joint property of spouses, the notary shall also indicate in the notarial deed the circumstances on the basis whereof the notary has established it. In such case the notary shall indicate both spouses as transferees of the object of the transaction.

 (3) The provisions of subsection (2) of this section apply only in case Estonian law applies to the proprietary relations of spouses.
[RT I 2010, 38, 231 - entry into force 01.07.2010]

Division 4 Disabled Parties 

§ 23.  Deaf, dumb or blind party

 (1) If a party, according to him or her or according to the observations of a notary, does not hear, speak or see sufficiently, the notary shall involve a witness in the certification, unless all parties waive the right to have a witness involved. The notary shall indicate such facts in the notarial deed.

 (2) A witness shall also sign a notarial deed.

§ 24.  Specifications for deaf parties

 (1) A notary shall present a notarial deed, which pursuant to subsection 23 (1) of this Act indicates that a party does not hear sufficiently, to the party for review instead of reading; certification without the review is void. The notary shall indicate the presentation for review in the notarial deed.

 (2) If a party specified in subsection (1) of this section has signed the notarial deed in handwriting, the deed is presumed to have been presented to him or her for review and approved by him or her.

§ 25.  Specifications concerning deaf-mute parties unable to communicate in writing

 (1) If a party, according to him or her or according to the observations of a notary, does not hear or speak sufficiently and is unable to communicate in writing, the notary shall involve a representative of the party who is able to understand the party in the certification. Certification without the involvement of the representative is void.

 (2) A notary shall indicate involvement of a representative in the notarial deed. The representative shall also sign the notarial deed.

 (3) A notarial act is void to the extent that it is related to the creation of legal rights for a representative.

 (4) The requirement concerning involvement of a witness provided for in § 23 of this Act remains in force.

§ 26.  Party who is unable to write

 (1) If a party, according to him or her or according to the observations of a notary, is unable to sign, the notary shall involve a witness in the reading and grant of consent. The notary shall indicate such fact in the notarial deed.

 (2) A witness shall sign a notarial deed instead of the party.

§ 27.  Prohibition on involvement as witness

  The following shall not be involved as witnesses:
 1) persons who are parties to the transaction or represent a party;
 2) persons who gain benefit from the transaction to be certified;
 3) a person who is married to the notary;
 4) a person who is the direct blood relative, brother or sister, half-brother or half-sister of the notary or his or her spouse;
 5) employees of the notary’s office;
 6) persons with restricted active legal capacity;
 7) persons who are unable to hear, speak or see sufficiently;
 8) persons who are unable to write;
 9) persons who are not sufficiently proficient in the language in which the notarial deed is prepared.

Division 5 Testamentary Disposition 

§ 28.  Beneficiaries

  Section 8, subsection 17 (4), subsection 25 (3) and clause 27 2) of this Act, correspondingly, apply to a person who obtains legal rights from a testamentary disposition (will, succession contract) or who is an executor of a will.

§ 29.  Establishment of active legal capacity

  A notary shall indicate his or her observations concerning a bequeather’s active legal capacity or capacity to exercise will in the notarial deed.

§ 30.  Witness

 (1) At the request of a party, a notary shall involve up to two witnesses in certification of a testamentary disposition. The notary shall indicate the involvement of witnesses in the notarial deed.

 (2) A witness shall also sign a notarial deed.

§ 31.  Depositing of will

 (1) In order to take a will into deposit, a notary shall, pursuant to this Chapter, certify a person’s declaration that an envelope handed over to the notary contains the person’s will. The notary shall indicate the fact that handing over of the envelope has taken place in the notarial deed. The envelope which is handed over is deemed to be an appendix to the notarial deed.

 (2) If upon handing over the envelope is not closed, a notary shall seal the envelope in the presence of the testator and indicate such fact in the notarial deed.

 (3) A notary shall inscribe on an envelope that the envelope contains, according to a declaration of the testator, the will of the testator. The inscription shall include the personal data of the testator and the date of depositing the will. The notary and the testator shall sign the inscription.

§ 32.  Will of dumb testator

  A bequeather who, according to him or her or according to the observations of a notary, is unable to speak sufficiently, shall indicate the declaration that a document presented to the notary for certification or an envelope submitted to the notary for depositing contains his or her testamentary intention in handwritten form in the notarial deed in the course of certification, write it on a separate sheet appended to the notarial deed or on the envelope submitted for depositing. The notarial deed shall set out that the handwritten declaration has been written.

§ 33.  Bequeather not proficient in language

  If a bequeather who expresses his or her testamentary intention orally to a notary is not sufficiently proficient in the language in which the notarial deed is prepared and such fact is indicated in the notarial deed, a written translation of the deed shall be prepared and appended to the notarial deed. The bequeather may waive the right to have the deed translated and the waiver shall be indicated in the notarial deed; certification without the indication is void.
[RT I 2003, 18, 100 - entry into force 07.03.2003]

Chapter 3 OTHER NOTARIAL ACTS 

Division 1 Other Notarial Acts in Form of Certification 

§ 34.  Preparation of notarial deed

 (1) Unless otherwise provided for in § 38 of this Act, a notarial act the object of which is not a transaction or declaration of intent but another event or fact shall be in the form of notarial certification. For certification, a notary shall prepare a notarial deed pursuant to the provisions of § 35 of this Act. Certification without a notarial deed is void.

 (2) In order to certify a resolution of a body of a legal person, a notary shall prepare a notarial deed pursuant to §§ 35 and 36 of this Act; certification without a notarial deed is void. The provisions of Chapter 2 of this Act do not apply.

§ 35.  Content of notarial deed

 (1) A notarial deed shall include the name and signature of the notary and a report on his or her observations, and certification without the above-mentioned is void.

 (2) Documents, maps, drawings and illustrations which are referred to in a notarial deed and appended thereto are parts of the notarial deed.

 (3) In a notarial deed, a notary shall indicate the time and place of the observations and the time and place of preparation of the notarial deed.

 (4) Subsection 13 (6) of this Act correspondingly applies.
[RT I 2006, 7, 42 - entry into force 04.02.2006]

§ 36.  Resolution of body of legal person

 (1) In order to certify minutes drawn on a resolution of a body of a legal person, a notary shall verify the quorum of the meeting of the body and the identity and active legal capacity of the chair and the secretary of the meeting. If a resolution is adopted without calling a meeting, a notary shall verify the identity and active legal capacity of the person who holds the voting (members of the management board, chairman of the supervisory board) according to §§ 10 and 11 of this Act.

 (2) A notary shall indicate the results of verification, the agenda of the meeting, the content of the adopted resolutions, results of voting and dissenting opinions regarding the resolutions in a report on observations specified in subsection 35 (1) of this Act.

 (3) The chair of the meeting shall be liable for the correctness of the list of parties and the person who holds voting shall be liable for the correctness of the record of voting, and they shall sign the list or record in the presence of a notary in order to confirm the correctness. The list of parties or the record of voting shall be appended to the notarial deed.

 (4) A notary shall indicate any doubts concerning the quorum, legality of resolutions, the correspondence of the list of participants or record of voting to the membership of the relevant body, and the authority of representatives in a notarial deed prepared with regard to the minutes.
[RT I 2009, 27, 164 - entry into force 08.06.2009]

§ 37.  Taking person's oath

 (1) The provisions concerning certification of transactions correspondingly apply to taking a person's oath and certification of a written statement given under oath.
[RT I 2009, 27, 164 - entry into force 08.06.2009]

 (2) Upon taking a person’s oath and certification of a written statement given under oath, a notary shall caution the party about offences stipulated in the Penal Code for intentional submission of false information, and include the respective warning in the notarial deed.
[RT I 2009, 27, 164 - entry into force 08.06.2009]

§ 371.  Declaration of authorisation document as invalid

 (1) A declaration of intention of the principal for declaration of an authorisation document as invalid shall be certified pursuant to the provisions relating to certification of transactions.

 (2) If a notary certifies a declaration of intention of the principal for declaration of an authorisation document as invalid, the notary shall publish the notice on declaration of the authorisation document as invalid in the publication Ametlikud Teadaanded.
[RT I 2006, 55, 412 - entry into force 01.01.2007]

 (3) An authorisation document shall become invalid ten days after publication of the notice.
[RT I 2006, 55, 412 - entry into force 01.01.2007]

§ 372.  Certification of ownership certificate

 (1) On the basis of a joint notarised application of spouses, a notary shall certify a certificate (hereinafter ownership certificate) stating that an object is included in the joint property of spouses.

 (2) The provisions of subsection 1 of this section apply also in case the marriage has been terminated but the joint property of the spouses has not been divided.

 (3) If the marriage has been terminated due to the death of one spouse and the type of proprietary relations between the spouses was joint property relationship, a notary shall certify an ownership certificate stating that an object was included in the separate property of the dead spouse on the basis of the notarised application of a successor of the dead spouse.
[RT I 2010, 38, 231 - entry into force 01.07.2010]

Division 2 Notarial Acts in Form of Authentication 

§ 38.  Notarial certificate

 (1) For the notarial authentication of a fact, a notary shall prepare a notarial certificate which shall include the notary’s statement concerning facts established by him or her, the signature and coloured seal of the notary; authentication without the above-mentioned is void. The notarial certificate shall set out the date and place of making the certificate.

 (11) A notarial certificate may also be issued in digital form. In such case, the digital signature substitutes for the signature and coloured seal of the notary. A digital certificate may be issued only concerning a digital document.

 (2) The following shall be authenticated:
 1) authenticity of signatures and specimen signatures;
 2) determination of the time of submission of documents;
 3) information entered in public registers and the authenticity of printouts;
 4) authenticity of copies;
 5) that a person is alive and the presence of a person at a certain place;
 6) forwarding of petitions and notices;
 7) correctness of translations of documents and
 8) other simple facts.

 (3) A notary shall issue documentation not specified in subsection (2) of this section at his or her discretion in the form of certification or authentication.
[RT I 2005, 57, 450 - entry into force 01.01.2006]

§ 39.  Authenticity of signature

 (1) A notary shall authenticate a signature only if the signature is given or acknowledged in his or her presence. A person who gives a signature shall confirm the acknowledgement of the signature by handwritten and signed notation which is written in the presence of a notary on a corresponding document.

 (2) A notary shall verify a document bearing a signature being authenticated only in order to identify the possible bases for refusal to perform a notarial act.

 (3) In a notarial certificate, a notary shall indicate the information necessary for identification of a person who gives or acknowledges a signature and whether the signature is given or acknowledged in the presence of the notary.

 (4) Subsections 10 (1) and (2) of this Act correspondingly apply.

 (5) A notary shall authenticate a signature without any text accompanying the signature (blank signature) only if he or she has ascertained that authentication of the signature is necessary before determination of the content of the document. In a notarial certificate, a notary shall set out the absence of text and shall specify the circumstances which provide reasons for the need of authentication of the blank signature.

 (6) Upon authentication of a signature of a translator, a notary has the right to refuse to authenticate if he or she does not know the translator or has doubts concerning the correctness of the translation.
[RT I 2003, 18, 100 - entry into force 07.03.2003]

§ 40.  Authenticity of specimen signatures

 (1) Upon authentication of a specimen signature submitted to a registration department of a court, the signature shall be given in the presence of a notary, or otherwise authentication is void. The notary shall refer to such fact in a notarial certificate. The notarial certificate shall indicate that the specimen signature is for submission to a registration department of a court for a register entry to be made. The notarial certificate shall include information concerning the person who gives the signature. Subsections 10 (1) and (2) of this Act correspondingly apply.

 (2) In the case of a specimen signature of a legal representative of a legal person, the name of the legal person and the office the representative holds (member of the management board, general partner etc) shall be additionally indicated on the basis of an application of the representative.

§ 41.  Authenticity of copy of document

 (1) Upon authentication of a copy of a document, a notary shall establish whether the document is an original, first transcript, authenticated or unauthenticated copy and shall refer to such fact in a notarial certificate.

 (11) In the case of a copy of a digital document, the notary shall establish the relevant facts characterising the reliability of the document (whether the document bears a valid digital signature, has been uploaded from a computer network, copied from another data media, etc) and shall make reference to the findings in the notarial certificate.

 (2) If a document contains gaps, strikethrough, insertions, changes or illegible words, or a document contains erased or illegible text, or if a document consisting of several pages has been disassembled or other circumstances refer to changes in the original content of the document, a notary shall indicate these circumstances in a notarial certificate, unless they become evident from the copy.

 (3) If a copy contains only an extract of a document, a notary shall specify the object of the extract in a notarial certificate and shall indicate that the document does not contain information which amends it.
[RT I 2005, 57, 450 - entry into force 01.01.2006]

§ 42.  Authenticity of printout

 (1) Upon authentication of a printout of a digital document, a notary shall indicate in a notarial certificate whether the information printed out bears a valid digital signature and a time-stamp or was copied from a database accessible through a computer network or a network address accessible through a computer network or from another type of data medium.

 (2) Upon authentication of a printout of copied from a database accessible through a computer network, the origin of the registered information, whether the printout contains only valid information or also invalid information and the date as at which information on the printout is presented must be indicated.

 (3) Subsection 41 (3) of this Act correspondingly applies.´
[RT I 2006, 7, 42 - entry into force 04.02.2006]

§ 43.  Determination of time of submission of document

  Subsection 41 (2) correspondingly applies to determination of the time of submission of a document by a person.

Chapter 4 PROCEDURES WITH DOCUMENTS 

§ 44.  Binding with string and embossing press

 (1) If a document consists of several pages, the pages shall be bound with string and embossing press. Original documents and notarially authenticated copies which contain notarial deeds or notarial certificates are deemed to be documents.
[RT I 2010, 38, 231 - entry into force 01.07.2010]

 (2) Subsection (1) of this section also applies to documents, maps, drawings and illustrations which are appended to notarial deeds pursuant to subsection 9 (2), § 15, subsection 35 (2) and subsection 36 (3) of this Act.

§ 45.  Amendments to documents

 (1) A notary shall indicate amendments, except insignificant amendments without any substantive meaning, at the end of a notarial deed or notarial certificate before the signature, or in the margin of a notarial deed or notarial certificate and sign the amendments separately.

 (2) If a document is appended to a notarial deed pursuant to subsection 9 (2), § 15, subsection 35 (2) or subsection 36 (3) of this Act, amendments on the appended document need not be signed if the approval thereof becomes evident from the notarial deed.

 (3) A notary may correct an obvious error after preparation of a notarial deed or certificate with a correction notice signed and dated by him or her. The notary shall write the correction notice at the end of the notarial deed or notarial certificate after signatures or on a separate sheet bound to the document.

 (4) If, after preparation of a notarial deed or certificate, a need for amendments arises, the notary shall prepare a separate notarial deed thereon.

§ 46.  Original of notarial document

 (1) A notarial deed, except an authorisation document, is prepared as one original which shall be deposited with the notary. On the basis of an application and with the notarially authenticated consent of other persons entitled to request a copy, a notary shall issue the original of a notarial deed to a person if required for use in a foreign state.

 (2) An authorisation document is prepared in two original counterparts, one whereof shall be deposited with the notary and other shall be issued to the principal.

 (3) Upon issue of an original, the notary shall seal the original of the notarial deed; the notary shall deposit a copy instead of the original and shall indicate on the copy to whom and why the original is issued. Thereafter, the copy shall substitute for the original.

 (4) A document with a notarial certificate is issued unless deposit of the document with a notary is required.
[RT I 2009, 27, 164 - entry into force 08.06.2009]

§ 47.  Replacement of original document

 (1) If the original of a notarial deed is lost or partially or completely destroyed and replacement of the deed is necessary, a notation may be made on the existing first transcript or notarially authenticated copy of the deed or on the notarially authenticated copy made thereof that it replaces the original document. The notation shall indicate the date and place of issue and shall be signed.

 (2) A person or agency who is competent to issue a copy shall replace the original document.
[RT I 2009, 27, 164 - entry into force 08.06.2009]

 (3) If, according to a document, a debtor must comply with immediate compulsory execution, the opinion of the debtor shall be heard before replacement of the original. Persons with the right to request a copy, if the persons can be identified without considerable difficulties, shall be informed of replacement of the original.
[RT I 2009, 27, 164 - entry into force 08.06.2009]

§ 48.  Legal effect of copies

  With regard to notarial deeds, except authorisation documents, possession of a copy of the notarial deed substitutes for possession of the original notarial deed in legal acts.
[RT I 2009, 27, 164 - entry into force 08.06.2009]

§ 49.  Competence to issue copies

  A person or agency that preserves an original of a notarial deed shall issue a copy.
[RT I 2009, 27, 164 - entry into force 08.06.2009]

§ 50.  [Repealed – RT I 2009, 27, 164 – entered into force 08.06.2009]

§ 50.  [Repealed – RT I 2010, 38, 231 – entered into force 01.07.2010]

§ 52.  Right to receive copies and right to examine
[RT I 2009, 27, 164 - entry into force 08.06.2009]

 (1) The following may request an authenticated and unauthenticated copy and examine an original:
[RT I 2009, 27, 164 - entry into force 08.06.2009]
 1) everyone whose declaration of intent or declaration of intent submitted in his or her name is contained in a notarial deed, in the case of notarial deeds prepared upon certification of transactions or declarations of intent;
 2) everyone who applies for preparation of a deed, in the case of other notarial deeds;
 3) legal successors of persons specified in clauses 1) and 2).
[RT I 2007, 67, 413 - entry into force 28.12.2007]

 (11) If a notarial deed has been prepared in accordance with section 6 or 34 of this Act, an authenticated copy of the notarial deed is issued to the parties of a transaction as a part of the notarial act.
[RT I 2010, 38, 231 - entry into force 01.07.2010]

 (2) Persons entitled to request a copy may agree on restriction of the right, including in such manner that a notary issues the copy only upon fulfilment of a condition to be verified by the notary.
[RT I 2009, 27, 164 - entry into force 08.06.2009]

 (3) Upon existence of the consent specified in subsection 3 (4) of the Notaries Act, also other persons may examine the original and receive copies thereof in accordance with the respective consent.
[RT I 2007, 67, 413 - entry into force 28.12.2007]

 (4) The creditors and debtors of a bequeather and other persons with legitimate interest have the right to receive information about a succession certificate and the substance thereof.
[RT I 2007, 67, 413 - entry into force 28.12.2007]

§ 53.  Forwarding to registration department of court or land registry department

 (1) If a notary certifies a transaction or authenticates an application which is subject to submission to a registration department or land registry department of a court, he or she shall forward the transaction documents or the application and all other documents appended thereto according to law to the registration department or land
registry department.
[RT I 2010, 38, 231 - entry into force 01.07.2010]

 (2) [Repealed – RT I 2010, 38, 231 – entered into force 01.07.2010]

 (3) If a notary certifies a transaction on the basis of which an entry is to be made in a register maintained by a registration department or land registry department of a court, the notary shall communicate the data concerning the state fee payable and the transaction value on the basis of which the state fee is calculated in the application to be submitted for making an entry in the registration department or land registry department.
[RT I 2007, 67, 413 - entry into force 28.12.2007]

§ 54.  Circumstances established later

 (1) In the cases specified in subsection 10 (3), 12 (2) and 21 (2) of this Act, a notary may issue copies of notarial deeds only after the necessary identification of persons or establishment of the right of representation or disposal by the notary.
[RT I 2009, 27, 164 - entry into force 08.06.2009]

 (2) A notary shall preserve the documents submitted for identification or establishment of the right of representation or disposal together with the original of the notarial deed but shall not bind these to the original with string and embossing press.

 (3) After the necessary identification or establishment of the right of representation or disposal, a notary shall make the corresponding notice on the notarial deed pursuant to the procedure provided for in subsection 45 (3) of this Act. A copy can be issued only after the notice is made.
[RT I 2010, 38, 231 - entry into force 01.07.2010]

 (31) If a notary has made the notice specified in subsection (3) of this section, certification shall be deemed to be effected retroactively as of the signing of the notarial deed pursuant to § 13 of this Act. Until such notice is made, the certification is invalid.
[RT I 2006, 7, 42 - entry into force 04.02.2006]

 (4) If, pursuant to law or at the request of the parties, a notary must forward a notarial deed to a competent judicial institution or administrative agency, the obligation to forward arises after the notice specified in subsection (3) of this section is made.

Chapter 5 IMPLEMENTATION 

§ 55.  Notarial acts commenced before entry into force of this Act

  Legislation which was in force prior to entry into force of this Act applies to notarial acts performed or commenced before entry into force of this Act.

§ 56.  Documents issued abroad

 (1) If a public document issued abroad must be taken as the basis for performance of a notarial act, the document shall be legalised or authenticated by a certificate replacing legalisation (an apostille), unless otherwise provided for in an international agreement. The document need not be authenticated by an apostille or legalised if the content of the document is not relevant due to the substance of the notarial act. A public document and an apostille are defined in the Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents.

 (2) A judicial institution, administrative agency and a bailiff may request the legalisation or authentication by an apostille of a foreign public document issued to them, unless otherwise provided for in an international agreement.

 (3) If an official of a foreign state, whose competence has been certified by legalisation or apostil, certifies or authenticates a signature on a document or a copy of a document, notarial authentication is unnecessary if the document or copy is used in Estonia.

 (4) Certification by an official of a foreign state and legalisation or authentication of a document by an apostille shall not be sufficient if notarial certification is requested by Estonian law and an international agreement does not prescribe otherwise.
[RT I 2003, 18, 100 - entry into force 07.03.2003]

§ 57.  Authorisation document certified by official of foreign state

 (1) A list of officials of foreign states in the case of whom it is presumed that the identity of the principal and his or her capacity to enter into a transaction is positively verified shall be established by a regulation of the Minister of Justice. An authorisation document authenticated or certified by such official is equal to an authorisation document certified by an Estonian notary upon compliance with the requirement of legalisation or authentication by an apostille arising from § 56 of this Act.

 (2) A court may recognise the competence of other officials of foreign states upon certification of authorisation documents if the professional training and status of the officials corresponds to the professional training and status of Estonian notaries and the principles of certification of authorisation documents correspond to the provisions of this Act concerning certification of transactions.
[RT I 2003, 18, 100 - entry into force 07.03.2003]

§ 58.  [Repealed – RT I 2009, 27, 164 – entered into force 08.06.2009]

§ 59.  Entry into force of Act

 (1) This Act enters into force on 1 February 2002.

 (2) Sections 56–57 of this Act enter into force on the tenth day following the date of publication of this Act in the Riigi Teataja.

 (3) A notarially authenticated transaction within the meaning of this Act and the Act on Amendments to Acts Related to Implementation of the Notarisation Act is a transaction with notarially certified signatures within the meaning of subsection 92 (2) of the General Part of the Civil Code Act.