How can I find a notary in France to certify a signature? How much does it cost?

How can I find a notary in France to certify a signature? How much does it cost?

Last week I needed to have a signature certified by a notary. I’ve had this done before, but I’m in France and wasn’t sure how it would work here or how much it would cost.

When I asked the internet what to do, it told me all sorts of things like “notaries in France don’t certify signatures” and “you need to get an appointment at the US embassy and pay $50” or “city hall will certify signatures but not without an official translation of the document”.

Guess what? After stressing out about the internet’s misinformation for two hours, I finally just used Google Maps to find the notary (“notaire”) nearest me and called them.

I asked if they could certify a signature (“certifier une signature”). They said sure, stop by anytime.

I showed up 15 minutes later, saw the notary immediately, showed him my passport & signed the document in front of him.

I said, “I hope it’s not a problem that the document is in English”. He said, “why would it be a problem? I’m certifying your signature, not the contents of the document”.

So. Much. Common. Sense. He stamped & signed the document and sent me on my way.

Bonus: Guess how much he charged me? Nothing. (Also: They had really nice AC and it was SO HOT outside)

Lesson of the day: Sometimes the internet doesn’t have all the answers. Sometimes real life is surprisingly straightforward.

PS: I’m 95% sure that the process for a certified copy (of a passport, etc) would be equally straightforward. Don’t worry about what the internet is telling you. Just find the nearest notary.

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