New rules allowing certain certification acts via videoconference
The temporary legal regime applicable to the execution of certified acts, authentication of documents and certification of signatures through videoconference before officers of the Registry Offices, notaries, consular agents, lawyers, and solicitors, was published on 30th of December (through Decree-Law no. 126/2021).
The diploma establishes that the Ministry of Justice will provide an online platform to support the execution of the acts, through which access is provided, via the user’s restricted area, to the videoconference sessions, accessible at https://justica.gov.pt.
Access to the user’s restricted area depends on the authentication of the user, which is done through the Citizen Card or through the mobile digital key.
The videoconference sessions are recorded and kept for a period of 20 years and may become available to the parties involved by court order.
Except for wills and certain acts that respect to facts subject to registration within the Land Registry Office, all the acts within the competence of notaries, Portuguese consular agents, lawyers, and solicitors are included in the scope of this regime (e.g. deeds or authentications of documents such as purchase and sale agreements, constitution of usufruct, constitution of mortgages, donations, constitution of horizontal property, division of common property and certification of signatures).
The acts that can be executed by officers of the Registry Offices that fall under this new regime are limited to the special procedure of transmission, encumbrance and immediate registration of buildings in a single service (called “Casa Pronta”), the procedure of separation or divorce by mutual consent and the procedure of certification of heirs with or without registration.
In the case of acts to be performed by officers of the Registry Offices, notaries, lawyers or solicitors, this Decree-law only covers the execution of acts on national territory. As for the Portuguese consular agents, the scope of this Decree-law, includes the execution of acts concerning Portuguese national who are abroad and also acts which must be effective in Portugal.
Decree-law no. 126/2021 shall enter into force on 4th of April 2022 and shall remain in force for two years, at the end of which it will be subject to evaluation by the Government, which shall take into consideration the level of implementation, the scope of application, the technological model to support the execution of the acts and the respective financial sustainability, with a view to its possible definitive consolidation in the legal system.
Click HERE to access the diploma.
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[Photo by: Harry Cunningham, available at unsplash.com]