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notary public services in costa rica

Notary Services in Costa Rica

Costa Rican law requires most common contracts and legal processes be carried out before a public notary. Notary services in Costa Rica are an important part of most legal transactions. In Costa Rica, a lawyer is not necessarily a notary, however a notary public must have a law degree and be a registered attorney authorized by the Costa Rican National Office of Notaries. Like most places around the world, a certified notary public is required to carry out many legal procedures. 

These may include:

• Incorporation

 • purchase and sale of real estate

• purchase or selling of vehicles

• powers of attorney in the Public Registry

Bar Association Fees for Notaries

In Costa Rica the Bar Association establishes by legal decree the minimum fees that the Attorney members of the legal Bar Association and Notary Public’s must charge to the general public. It is mandatory for all legal professionals to adhere to this fee schedule and they may not charge less than the amounts stipulated law. They may of course charge more than the amounts stipulated in the decree by way of mutual agreement with the client. However, if they charge less they are subject to disciplinary proceedings before the Bar Association or the Notary Directorate. The law also covers the Bar Association stamps that must be adhered to legal documents and notary certifications. The law is found in Decreto Ejecutivo No. 41457-JP available to you in English.

The full text of the law begins here:

In use of the faculties conferred to it by paragraph 3) of article 140 of the Political Constitution; Articles 25 (1), 28 (2)) section (b) of the General Law of Public Administration, No. 6227 of the 2nd of May of 1978 and their reforms; Article 22 (15) of the Organic Law of Costa Rica’s Bar Association n ° 13 of the 28th of October of 1941 and its reforms and article 166 of the Notarial Code Law n ° 7764 of the 17th of April of 1990 and its reforms.


I. It is the responsibility of the Board of Directors of the bar and Lawyers, to draw up the fees and conditions applicable to the collection of professional services provided by lawyers and notaries, and to submit them to the Ministry of Justice and Peace for approval. For promulgation by the Executive Branch.

II. That the last revision of the fees of lawyers and notaries and their respective executive decree, was made on August of 2015 being that the numeral 113 of the tariff, issued by Executive Decree 39078-JP published in the Newspaper Official Gazette N ° 157 of August 13, 2015, indicates that the fees fixed in the same will be increased every two years, according to the price indexes indicated in the Index of Consumer Prices (CPI), however this increase may not exceed ten per Hundred.

III. That by ordinary session number 23-2018, held on June 18, 2018, the request for revision of tariffs was known by the Board of Directors of the Bar Association, being that by Office DFyP 050-2018, the Directorate of Finances of that entity He indicated that inflation reflected in the price index per month of April 2018 is 10%. Therefore, an increase of 10 ten per cent in the tariffs indicating a fixed amount is approved and the tariffs of the articles that set fees in percentage form are not increased, because they are automatically adjusted with the increments that generally experience The prices.

IV. That this tariff was approved and recognized by the Board of Directors of the Bar Association, in the ordinary session number 23-18 held on June 18, 2018, according to agreement 2018-23-011. THEREFORE:


General Provisions


Object, obligation and definitions

1 ) -Object and obligation. The purpose of this Tariff is to establish the amount and forms of payment of the Attorneys ‘ and Notaries ‘ fees for the provision of their services, in accordance with the provisions of this Regulation. This regulation is mandatory for Attorneys and Notaries, individuals in general and public officials of all kinds. By reason of the foregoing, against this Executive Decree may not oppose agreements or provisions of public or private entities that in any way contravene, vary or modify the situations regulated here. Violation of the provisions governed by this Tariff shall be punished by the Board of Directors of the Bar Association, the notarial jurisdiction, or any other administrative or judicial authority as appropriate.

2 )-Concepts and definitions. For the purposes of applying and interpreting this Tariff, the following concepts shall be understood as follows:

(a) Attorney: A Professional with a university degree in Law and incorporated to the Costa Rican Bar Association.

(b) Tariff: This “Fee for Legal and Notary Services”.

(c) Associate (s): Professionally Linked In fact or right with another Attorney to provide professional advocacy services.

(d) Members (AS): Members of the Bar Association of Costa Rica.

(d) School: Bar Association of Costa Rica.

(e) Commission: Tariffs Committee of the Bar Association of Costa Rica.

(f) Client: Natural or legal Person who requests or benefits from the services of Legal professionals.

h) Address: National Directorate of Notaries.

(i) Fees: Remuneration or payment for Legal and Notary services.

(j) Board of Directors: Board of Directors of the Bar Association.

(k) Notary: A Notary public duly registered and empowered before the National Directorate of Notaries.

(l) General Rate: That established in article 16 of this same tariff, for and article 74 of the same tariff, for the service of the legal services Notarized According to the provisions of this Tariff.

(m) User: Natural or legal Person applying for Notary services.

3 ) – The calculation for all notarial services is set by categories, by the Bar Association depending on the documentation or matter. Any Notary public can show you what the fees involved are by looking at the list of fees put out by the Bar.

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