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Old 27th June 2011, 01:40 PM
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I'm living in La Paz and need my signature notarized for a US pension application. Where can I get such a thing here in Baja?

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Old 27th June 2011, 02:05 PM
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I'm living in La Paz and need my signature notarized for a US pension application. Where can I get such a thing here in Baja?
As far as I know, the only place to get a signature notarized on a US document that will be accepted in the US is at the US Embassy in DF or at one of the US Consulate offices.

There is a Consular Agent in Cabo. It is an extension of the Tijuana Consular office. You could try them.

Consular Agent in Cabo San Lucas
(An extension of the Consulate in Tijuana)

Blvd. Marina Local C-4
Plaza Nautica
Centro
Cabo San
Lucas, B.C.S. 23410

Monday-Friday: 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

Phone: [52] (624) 143-3566,
Fax: [52] (624) 143-6750

E-Mail: usconsulcabo@yahoo.com

Consular Agent: Trena Brown Schjetnan

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Old 27th June 2011, 02:11 PM
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We've used a 'notario' for such things, including real estate located in the USA; no problem.

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Old 27th June 2011, 02:18 PM
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Okay. I had to have a bank document notarized and they would not accept anything other than the Consular notarization. It cost about $450 mxn incidentally.

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Old 27th June 2011, 10:42 PM
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Okay. I had to have a bank document notarized and they would not accept anything other than the Consular notarization. It cost about $450 mxn incidentally.
The closest authorized US Notary is at the US Consular in Cabo. Someone on another Baja forum had something notarized there & he said the charge was $70-75 (USD equiv). VVChuck, you might explain to the powers-that-be at the pension company that Mexico doesn't have US type notary services & that it'd entail a 6-hour round-trip drive on your part to Cabo & back, so could they possibly see their way clear to accept the Branch Manager of your local bank witnessing your signature....a friend did that in lieu of notary requirement once.

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Old 28th June 2011, 02:32 PM
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A 'Notario', in Mexico, is a specialized attorney who is licensed by the state to deal in property matters, wills and other important documents. Regular attorneys aren't allowed to do that, and there is certainly no 'notary public' without any special education, as we had in the USA. There are a few retired here; some of whom have signed documents for other expats, but that is quite illegal because the US notary has no standing outside of his home jurisdiction; certainly not outside of the country. Nevertheless, they do like to charge the same high fees as a 'notario' as they wink and suggest that you are magically transported to a certain US county for a moment.

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Old 28th June 2011, 03:08 PM
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A 'Notario', in Mexico, is a specialized attorney who is licensed by the state to deal in property matters, wills and other important documents. Regular attorneys aren't allowed to do that, and there is certainly no 'notary public' without any special education, as we had in the USA. There are a few retired here; some of whom have signed documents for other expats, but that is quite illegal because the US notary has no standing outside of his home jurisdiction; certainly not outside of the country. Nevertheless, they do like to charge the same high fees as a 'notario' as they wink and suggest that you are magically transported to a certain US county for a moment.
Well, here at Lake Chapala as RV states, there are a number of U.S. licensed notary publics and since going into the Guadalajara consulate is such a pain these days with all the security surrounding the building, we decided to use a U.S. licensed notary resident here for some durable powers of attorney we were executing and she signed as a notary in her home state and county in the U.S. documents clearly stating the documents were signed in the State of Jalisco, Municipality of Chapala. and neither my attorney back in Alabama nor my investment banker in Phoenix AZ had any problem with that. In fact the estate planning department of that investment house which deals with many thousands of international customers where no U.S. notary is easily found, says on their web site that there are alternatives they can suggest if that access is a problem. This major international investment house deals with clients with IRA accounts living all over the world and they expressed no problem with using a U.S. notary on their official documents so it may be illegal as RV says but it seems to be a widespread practice.

Of course, ours was not a real estate transaction or a Mexican will and here in Mexico you would need the services of a Mexican notario for those types of transactions for sure.

Our notario at Lake Chapala charged us $250 Pesos per document or about the equivalent of $23 USD. That is cheaper than the Guadalajara U.S. consulate and I shudder at the thought of going anywhere near there for any reason.


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Old 28th June 2011, 04:23 PM
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Just to clear up the, only partly mistaken, impression that it is a pain to visit the US Consulate...

It is easy. You just have to leave everything except your ID at the paqueteria across the street. No lipstick, keys, computers, food, or just about anything else you can imagine. The list of forbidden items is very long. The paqueteria used to be a block away. Now it is very convenient.

In contrast, I once had occasion to visit the German consulate in Guadalajara. It is on the second floor of a building. On the lower floor there is an auto repair shop. There is no security or any kind of check. We walked straight into the building and were waited on by the German Consul General herself. She was a very nice lady who has lived in Guadalajara forever and speaks German, English and Spanish fluently. It turns out her father runs the auto shop and owns the building. The German government rents space from him. The contrast between the US and German consulates could not be greater.

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Old 23rd July 2012, 04:40 PM
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Old 23rd July 2012, 05:44 PM
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We've used a 'notario' for such things, including real estate located in the USA; no problem.
For documents to be valid and enforceable in the USA, a Notary Public legally appointed for the USA is required. That's why people go to the consulate. A Notario Publico is different and unacceptable for those purposes, from what I'm recalling. I don't know about Mexico-only documents. I'm assuming an attorney or Notario Publico (which is also an attorney) may be, as you say, the route to go. A U.S. Notary wouldn't have much weight in Mexico.

Regarding the comment from someone that he/they used a local resident who was a registered Notary in the USA: I'm a Notary Public in Illinois and my authority does not travel beyond the state in which I'm licensed and there are residency requirements for persons appointed a Notary. Maybe other states have different laws. But I don't think so. For an important document such as a Will/Trust/Power of Attorney I would never cut corners. I probably wouldn't even cut corners on a relatively unimportant document. I believe going to the Consulate is the best course of action.
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Old 23rd July 2012, 05:49 PM
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Old 23rd July 2012, 08:47 PM
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For documents to be valid and enforceable in the USA, a Notary Public legally appointed for the USA is required. That's why people go to the consulate. A Notario Publico is different and unacceptable for those purposes, from what I'm recalling. I don't know about Mexico-only documents. I'm assuming an attorney or Notario Publico (which is also an attorney) may be, as you say, the route to go. A U.S. Notary wouldn't have much weight in Mexico.

Regarding the comment from someone that he/they used a local resident who was a registered Notary in the USA: I'm a Notary Public in Illinois and my authority does not travel beyond the state in which I'm licensed and there are residency requirements for persons appointed a Notary. Maybe other states have different laws. But I don't think so. For an important document such as a Will/Trust/Power of Attorney I would never cut corners. I probably wouldn't even cut corners on a relatively unimportant document. I believe going to the Consulate is the best course of action.
Longford:

You are correct that a notary residing in Mexico cannot meet the legal standard required to be a notary public recognized in the United States. However, when one considers the obligation of going to the dreadful and degrading Guadalajara U.S. counsulate from Lake Chapala or going to the nearest U.S. consulates from Chiapas ,where we live much of the year, in Mérida or Mexico City, a significant journey in either case, you must think twice about those alternatives. The last time I needed a truly significant document notarized to U.S. standards, I had an old attorney friend in the U.S. notarize my signature for me and there is nothing cheesy about that. The SSA and U.S. banks and the U.S, government treat those of us living down here in retirement as if we could not be trusted for no other reason than that we live in Mexico. It´s disgraceful.


Last edited by Hound Dog; 23rd July 2012 at 08:52 PM.
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