This week I needed to get a document notarized for use back in the US.
I asked around a bunch, and it seems that the only people who can officially notarize documents here in Mexico is the US Embassy or Consulate.
The US Embassy & Consulates in Mexico website has the details on their Notarial Services. The site also has the details on making an appointment. There’s about 20 US embassy/consulate/consular agency locations throughout Mexico. That website has all the locations and details. You have to make an appointment, you can’t just show up.
Overall, the process was pretty easy.
- I called up the U.S. Consular Agency in Cancun to make an appointment. I was able to easily get an appointment within the next couple of days.
- I showed up at the Consulate with my document, my passport, and a credit card to pay the fee.
- Within 20 minutes or so, I walked out with my notarized document. Easy-peasy.
The fees that they charge are pretty expensive in my opinion. They charge $50 US to notarize a document.
I think $50 is pretty expensive for 2 minutes of work. Nothing like getting directly ripped off by your own government!
If you have multiple documents that need to be notarized, it’s $50 every time they use their notary stamp. So for something like a set of mortgage documents that require a bunch of notarized signatures, the fees can add up pretty quickly.
My office admin back in Austin was a notary, and she gladly notarized stuff for me for free – so I was spoiled.
U.S. Consular Agency in Cancun
The Cancun Consular Agency is right in the middle of the Hotel Zone in Cancun, at KM 13.
It’s in the same building as the Europea Wine & Liquor Store. There’s parking directly in front. The Consulate is on the 3rd floor.
Note: they’re only open for business Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm.
One of the options I explored was the use of NotaryCam, or Notarize, which are online notary services. There does seem to be some questions about whether some banks will permit the use of online notaries or not.
I decided not to take the chance with them at this time.
Power of attorney
The genesis of all this is that I’m refinancing a property in the US. When you close on a mortgage back in the US, banks still require a “wet” signature, so you can’t do electronic signatures. (Apparently there are a few counties that are starting to allow this, but not in Texas). In addition, these signatures need to be notarized.
So, my initial plan is to have the mortgage company send me the closing docs to sign, and I would take them all to the US Consulate, and have them notarize my signatures. But, as I mentioned earlier, since I’ll likely have half a dozen signatures that need to be notarized, I’m likely looking at a few hundred $ in fees. Blurg.
My new plan is to have my attorney do the closing for me. But, in order to do that, I need to give him Power of Attorney. So, my attorney crafted a Power of Attorney document that grants him authority for my real estate transactions. But, of course, the Power of Attorney document needs to be notarized. So this was the document I just had notarized at the consulate.
Now that I have my Power of Attorney document signed and notarized, I can get that back to my lawyer, and hopefully the mortgage company will allow all of this to happen. I’ll report back results in the next few weeks.
So, if you need to get something notarized in Mexico, the process is pretty easy. But the fees can be expensive. And you do need to physically go to an actual US Embassy or Consulate.
Update – 7/26/2017
I was able to close on the refinance of the house successfully. I had to send the mortgage company the original notarized Power of Attorney document. So I FedEx-ed it to them, and that allowed my attorney to sign the papers on my behalf. Success!