How to Use a Notary in Colombia

Notaría 19 in Belén

It is common to use notaries in Colombia for many types of documents that are used for a number of things, including Visas, apartment rentals, and marriages and divorces.

Since living in Medellín for nearly four years, I have needed to use notaries in Colombia each year. I have needed to notarize documents to use for both of my Colombian student Visas as well as each of my apartment rental contracts in Medellín.

Notaries in Medellín

In each city in Colombia you will find several Colombian notaries. In Medellín there are 31 notary offices and they are numbered Notaría 1 to Notaría 31. El Poblado has seven notaries: 2, 12, 17, 20, 22, 25 and 26.

A complete list of notary offices in Medellín with addresses is found here.

Costs for notary services in Medellín depend on the service. Here’s a partial list of costs:

  • Signature with fingerprint – 3,320 pesos ($1.39)
  • Authentication of signature – 1,624 pesos ($0.68)
  • Marriage – 116,036 pesos ($48.65)
  • Divorce – 49,000 pesos ($20.54)

You will need identification to use notaries in Colombia – either a passport or cédula (Colombian ID) will work.

I normally have used Notaría 19 in Belén, which is close to where I live. This notary office is also conveniently located close to the Migración Colombia office in Medellín.

Notaría 19 in Belén is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

When I have gone to the Notaría 19 I haven’t yet met any staff that speaks English. But I understand from some other foreigners in Medellín that some of the notary offices in El Poblado do have a few English-speaking staff.

When I have used notaries in Medellín, the process has been painless:  show up at the office, stand in line for a few minutes, sign the document, pay for the notary service and receive the notarized document.

If you use a notary for marriage in Medellín, you will find that each notary may need different documents, so it is important to confirm the list of required documents with the Notary.

Notary for documents for use in the United States

While in Colombia it is also possible to get documents notarized for use in the United States. You can’t use a Colombian Notary for a document to be used in the United States.

However, notary services are available at the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá as well as the U.S. Consular Agency in Barranquilla.

Both the Embassy and Consular Agency provide notary services regardless of citizenship for documents for use in the United States that need a U.S. notarized signature.

At the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá, notary services are provided by the American Citizen Services (ACS) Unit. They are open from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday (except holidays), without an appointment.

For the Consular Agency in Barranquilla, call first at (5) 353-2001 or (5) 353-2182 to make sure a consular is available for the notary service. The Consular Agency hours are 8 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday (except holidays).

The cost for notary services at the embassy or Consular Agency is $50 per consular signature. Fees are payable in cash (U.S. dollars or Colombian pesos) or by credit card.

NotaryCam website – online U.S. Notary Service

NotaryCam website – online U.S. Notary Service

NotaryCam, the Online Notary Service

To avoid traveling to Bogotá or Barranquilla for U.S. Notary Services it is also possible to use an online notary in the United States.

I did this recently for a notarized document I needed to set up a new mailbox at US Global Mail, which is located in Houston.

U.S. Postal Service 1583 form needs to be notarized, which is required by the U.S. Postal Service for a mailbox service to receive mail in the United States.

The online Notary Service I used was NotaryCam. This service uses a webcam, which enables you to talk live to a notary and signing is done electronically. This was a painless process that follows these steps:

  1. Upload your document and identification
  2. Schedule a live eNotary
  3. eNotary confirms your identification
  4. Sign your document electronically
  5. eNotary will eNotarize the document
  6. Notarized documents are sent via email

The NotaryCam cost is $25 if you are in the United States (verified by IP address) or $79 if you are overseas.

I initially encountered a problem when NotaryCam tried to notarize my document via webcam session as my scanned Medellín apartment lease used to verify my address was too long for their system.

NotaryCam fixed their system problem and rescheduled a webcam session with me and because of the encountered problem they didn’t charge me. This was a painless process that avoided the need to travel to Bogotá or Barranquilla.

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About Jeff

Jeff first discovered Colombia back in 2006 and has traveled to all the major cities in Colombia. He is fortunate to have lived over seven years in Medellín. He is also studying Spanish to become fluent.

Comments

  1. Thanks this is helpful and I didn’t know about NotaryCam, which is good to know about.

  2. Lol… i’ve been a notary for a few years now and had NO idea NotaryCam was a thing. Great informative post…going to look into NotaryCam to see how I can get in on the action ;).

  3. Is it possible to get an apartment contract notarized in Colombia, while still in the U.S.? Maybe a
    power of attorney? Would appreciate it if you know of an apostille or attorney that can handle this. Thanks
    P.S. your blog has been helpful to me in the past. Moving permanently to Medellin on October 1st.

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