Notary in Central Hanover:  FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

In what way is the profession of a notary different from that of a licensed lawyer?

A notary is not an "upgraded" version of a practising lawyer. In the State of Lower Saxony, the law requires membership in a bar association for the appointment as a notary. The profession of a notary is completely separated from the lawyer's activity. Lawyers appointed as notaries may form partnerships with their colleagues only within that capacity. However, their notarial remit and office remain free, independent and unaffiliated at all times.

How to become a notary?

In the Northern parts of Germany most notaries also work as practising lawyers. In order to be appointed as a notary, the candidate must be a licensed lawyer and have been working at the respective location over a certain period. For several years, the German legislature has been demanding that the candidates ought to pass a specialist examination equivalent to the level of the Second State Examination for lawyers. Notary positions are publicly advertised and awarded to the best applicants.

How to find employment in a notary's office?

Notaries and lawyers rely on skilled employees supporting their work.  Many offices offer own vocational training for legal and notary's assistants. Working in a notary's office is a challenging job. Candidates for these positions need to work with great commitment and accuracy, and have good skills in dealing with people. There are various development opportunities and prospects of promotion.

What is the difference between a notarisation and certification?

The German legislators have made it necessary for certain contracts and declarations to be notarised in order to be legally effective as they are of such great importance. The notary assumes responsibility for the contents of a document and explains in full detail any risks to the parties. Certification on the other hand is deemed sufficient where it is necessary to merely confirm the identity of a person making a particular statement.

Why must documents be read aloud during the notarisation?

In practical terms, reading out a deed makes it possible for the notary and the parties to reflect about the entire contents of the same immediately before the document is signed. This way, any mistakes or missing provisions can be spotted more easily. This is why the German legislature has made it mandatory for a notary to read the document aloud during the notarisation in each and every case. The notary may not be exempt from that responsibility.

Who appoints a notary?

It is a popular belief that the person who commissions a notary with the notarisation work is responsible for settling the notary's fees. This is not quite correct. In general, all parties must assume the incurred costs in favour of the notary. However, the parties may decide among themselves about who is to pay which amount. In many cases there is an established practice governing the usual distribution of costs.

Is it possible to conclude a contract in Hannover that will be valid in Munich?

Yes, this is possible without any problem. Because of professional regulations, a notary based in Hannover may not travel to Munich and conduct notarisations on a regular basis there. Therefore, it is essential that the deed in question is notarised in Hannover. The legal effects of it will be valid everywhere in Germany and even worldwide.

Dr. Urban & Emmerich

Rechtsanwälte & Notare

Bahnhofstraße 5 · D-30179 Hannover

Bahnhofstraße 5
D-30159 Hannover