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Can a copy of an act drawn up by a notary be obtained?

Verified 02 September 2021 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Justice

Documents or documents drawn up by the notary may sometimes be kept in the national or departmental archives. They may also be subject to land advertising, which is a formality that allows the document to be given a certain date.

General case

The notary is bound by professional secrecy. However, he must provide a copy of the document which he establishes to the persons or businesses concerned and their heirs or right holders. If you participate in the signing of an act, or if you are the heir or the person entitled to the signing of the act, you can request a copy from the notary.

Copies of a notarial document (marriage contract, will, inventory after death, etc.) may be issued to the parties involved in the case, to the heirs or to their successors in paper or electronic form.

You must apply directly to the notary who drew up the deed, in writing.

The notary can charge you a fee.

In case of refusal or lack of response, you can formulate a query to the president of the court where the notary is located. This magistrate may order the notary to issue you a copy of the deed.

Who shall I contact
Act preserved in national or departmental archives

If you did not take part in the signing of the deed or if you are not the heir or the person entitled to it who took part in the signing of the deed, the notary will refuse to issue you a copy. But if the document is kept in the national or departmental archives, you can request a copy from this service. The procedure varies according to the place of installation of the notary who signed the deed, and the conditions of issuance depend on the date of his signature. You may be charged a fee from the departmental or national archives.

General case

If the deed is under 75 years of age (100 years if it concerns a minor), a copy of the deed will be delivered to you with the agreement of the notary from whom the document emanates, or of his successor.

Act of less than 75 years (or less than 100 years if it concerns a minor)

A copy of the document will be delivered to you with the agreement of the notary from whom the document emanates or of his successor.

You must make the request in writing and the Archives Department must respond within 2 months of your request.

Who shall I contact
Older act

A copy of the document will be issued to you. The agreement of the notary from which the document emanates is not necessary in this case.

You must make the request in writing and the Archives Department must respond within 2 months of your request.

Who shall I contact

Act produced by a notary of Paris

If you wish to obtain a copy of a notarial document that has been written by a notary in Paris, you must contact the department of the Central Minutier des notaires in Paris, which is under the jurisdiction of the national archives.

Act of less than 75 years (or less than 100 years if it concerns a minor)

A copy of the document will be delivered to you with the agreement of the notary from whom the document emanates, or of his successor.

You must make the request in writing and the Archives Department must respond within 2 months of your request.

Older act

A copy of the document will be issued to you. The agreement of the notary from which the document emanates is not necessary in this case.

You must make the request in writing and the Archives Department must respond within 2 months of your request.

Act subject to land advertising

You can also ask the land advertising a copy of an act that has been subjected to this formality, even if it does not concern you. This service can also provide you with information about real estate (identity of the owner, existence of a mortgage, etc.).

The request for a copy of documents or information is different depending on whether the act or information sought was transcribed into the mortgage records before or after 1to January 1956. In both cases, you must pay a tax called real property security contribution.

The amount of this tax is 0.1% the value of the property concerned.

The procedure is different depending on whether the act was published before 1956 or after 1956.

Acts published since 1956

You can send 3 types of requests to the Land Advertising Service.

First of all, the request for information allows us to know the situation of a property.

Second, the Supplementary Request for Information is used to update information that has been obtained for some time.

Finally, the request for a copy of documents provides a copy of the documents concerning the property which have been the subject of a land advertisement.

Applications must be sent to the Land Advertising Office at the location of the building.

Request for information

You can request information from the Land Advertising Service:

  • on one or more immovable property,
  • on one or more immovable property on which one or more persons designated in the application have real estate.

The information provided shall take the form of a copy of one or more handwritten sheets or a computer response report from the date of computerisation.

Information on the legal status of real property and the real estate of persons (after 1956)

Additional Request for Information

If you have already obtained information and would like to have it updated, you can request additional information.

Additional information after 1956

Request for copy of documents

You can request a copy of the following documents:

  • Acts declaring the transfer of the property of a built or unbuilt property (sale, donation, sharing, transmission by death...)
  • Current mortgage registration forms
  • Condominium and Division Descriptive Regulations

Copy of documents (deed of sale, donation, settlement of co-ownership...) registered after January 1, 1956

Acts published before 1956

You can send 2 types of requests to the Land Advertising Service.

  • First of all, the request for a record of formalities before 1956 makes it possible to obtain the references of the acts listed in the name of a person.
  • Next, the request for a copy of the document allows a copy of the documents whose references were received via the request for a record of formalities before 1956.

Applications must be sent to the Land Advertising Office of the location of the property.

Request for pre-1956 records

If you do not know the references to the publication of a document, you can request the issuance of a statement of the formalities listed on behalf of a person.

Record of formalities before 1956

Request for copy of documents

You can request a copy of the following documents:

  • Acts declaring the transfer of the property of a built or unbuilt property (sale, donation, sharing, transmission by death...)
  • Current mortgage registration forms
  • Condominium and Division Descriptive Regulations

Copy of documents (deed of sale, donation, condominium settlement...) registered before 1 January 1956