Lithuania: Remote notary services become possible

On 1 July 2021 Amendments to the Law of Notariats will enter into force in Lithuania, allowing many notarial acts to be performed remotely.

The Lithuanian parliament has adopted amendments to the Law on Notariats, which from 1 July 2021 will allow many notarial acts to be performed remotely. Until now, notarial acts are performed in notary’s offices, but the need for uninterrupted notarial services has led to the decision to transfer the majority of notarial services to electronic space, thus increasing the accessibility, convenience and continuity of notarial services.

Once the amendments enter into force, it will be possible to carry out all notarial acts remotely, except for certification of wills and their acceptance for safekeeping, and certification of the fact that a natural person is alive and present in a given place. However, it is worth noting that notaries have a discretionary right to decide on the manner of performing a notarial act – even if there are necessary conditions for performing a notarial act remotely, in order to ensure protection of someone’s legitimate interests or to ensure performance of acts regulating performance of notarial acts, a notary may refuse to perform a notarial act remotely: a refusal that is non-appealable. Nevertheless, even if a particular notary refuses to provide services remotely, it will be possible to apply to another notary for remote performance of notarial acts.

It should be noted that notarial acts can be performed remotely if the proper identification of persons is ensured, as well as if notaries are able to ascertain the meaning and consequences of notarial acts remotely, and to ascertain the person’s wishes. In order to obtain remote notarial services, persons will have to express their will by means of a qualified electronic signature.

Before the amendments to the Law on Notariats enter into force, notaries will have to ensure the introduction of technological measures to ensure compliance with the above requirements when providing remote notarial services (for example, reliable identification of a person’s image). This functionality should be implemented in the information system of the Lithuanian Chamber of Notaries “eNotaras”.

Remote notarial services will undoubtedly help those using these services to save and plan their time more efficiently and to save money, as in many cases there will be no need to physically go to the notary’s office. Thus, businesses will be able to work more efficiently and use notarial services even when abroad, as the amendment to the Notarial Act will also allow notaries to perform notarial acts remotely for persons located abroad.

Law on amendments to Articles 28, 36, 50 of the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Notariat No. I-2882 and Supplementation to Article 28-1 of the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Notariats.

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