How to get your documents notarized for U.S. real estate closings while in Israel

Notarizing Documents in Israel at the U.S. Consulate

How to get your documents notarized for a U.S. real estate closing while in Israel

A question that often arises is “I have a real estate closing on a property in the United States, the title company is asking me to sign a few documents in front of a Notary, but I am in Israel, so what do I do?”

What you cannot do

A common error that attorneys, title companies and real estate buyers and sellers make is that they think a U.S. Notary located in Israel can simply notarize the documents for a U.S. real estate closing while in Israel.  Unfortunately, that is not the case. As of the date of this writing, American notaries cannot legally notarize in Israel.  In fact, I had at least one client who had to start from scratch to the loss of significant money because he had illegally used a U.S. Notary to notarize in Israel.

What you can do

There are 2 options for notarizing American documents for a U.S. real estate closing while in Israel:

  • Doing it at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate
  • Doing it with an Israeli Notary and Apostille.

Option 1 – U.S. Embassy/Consulate

The U.S. Embassy in Israel offers notarization services to its citizens in Israel. One must book an appointment and then arrive on the scheduled date with his documents and passport.

As of the date of this writing, the U.S. Embassy has been closed for notarizations due to Covid-19.

Many clients have reported hassles associated with notarizing at the U.S. Embassy. For instance, many often have urgent closing deadlines and simply cannot wait for an appointment date to open.

Others have complained about long lines and other inconveniences associated with scheduling and attending at the U.S. Embassy.

Further, whereas I do not offer legal advice on the substance of the real estate transaction, I have often spotted typos and other errors that could have prevented closings had I not been vigilant.  The U.S. Embassy will not do this for you. More on my value added service on notarizing here.

Finally, notarizing at the U.S. Embassy can be more expensive. For instance, the U.S. Embassy charges $50 USD per signature.  Even if there are 2 signatures on the same document, for instance, husband and wife, each signature is still $50 USD.  Conversely, notarizing with an Israeli Notary (see below) is similarly priced as of this writing at 165 NIS + VAT (17% value added tax for Israeli citizens) for the first signature, but the second signature on the same document is only 66 NIS + VAT.

Option 2 – Israeli Notary with an Apostille Stamp

Many people do not realize that they can notarize their U.S. documents with an Israeli notary. The only difference in this instance is that one must obtain an Apostille stamp from the Magistrate Court on the notarization.

Allow me to explain.

There is a treaty between many countries, including Israel and the U.S., known as the Apostille Treaty which, essentially, allows for notarizing documents in one country which is a signatory to the treaty  to be accepted by another country which is a signatory to the treaty.

In Israel, notarizing documents does not just include a stamp.  In fact, the Israeli Notary, whom incidentally must be a licensed attorney in Israel for at least 10 years to become eligible to become a Notary, prepares a Notary covering page which gets affixed to the document being signed and notarized.  Essentially, it states the Notary’s license number and contact information and confirms that the signor has been identified, including what i.d. what used for identifying the signor.  This Notary cover page is affixed to the document with a red ribbon and sealed with the Notary’s seal. The notarization is brought to the Magistrate Court where the Apostille stamp is affixed on the inside of the Notary cover page.

To see how I assist my clients on real estate closings, visit this blog post.


Fluent English Speaking Notary Public in Jerusalem. Quick, Efficient and Effective!

Notary in Jerusalem

Notary in Jerusalem

Notary in Jerusalem


Notary in Jerusalem

Notarized Signature Authentication 

Arguably, the most common form of notarization is the signature authentication.  The client meets the Notary in Jerusalem with his/her identification (either a Teduat Zehut or Passport – any passport from any country is fine as long as it is not expired and the name matches the name on the document).  The client signs on the document, and the Notary notarizes it.  Below are some common examples of signature authentication notarizations:

  1. Authentication of signature notarizations for real estate closing in America
  2. Irrevocable Power of Attorney Notarizations to the bank for Mortgages
  3. Irrevocable Power of Attorney Notarizations to a Building Contractor
  4. General Power of Attorney Notarizations
  5. Authentication of signature for the purposes of one parent travelling with minor.

Notarized Translations

One of the most common needs for a Notary in Jerusalem are for notarized translations.  At Mister Notary, we make things very simple by having our clients simply email us their documents that require translating.  We then translate the document and notarize it, such that by the time we meet, all the work is completed.  We translate to and from virtually every language including Hebrew, English, Spanish, Portuguese, German,  Dutch, Flemish, French, Chinese and more!  Below are some common types of notarized translations:

1. Notarized Translations of marriage certificates
2. Notarized Translations of Divorce certificates and “Get”
3. Notarized Translations of Matriculation Certificates (“Bagrut”)
4. Notarized Translation of Academic Transcripts
5. Notarized Translation of Population Registry Documents (“Tamzit Rishum”)
6. Notarized Translation of Certificate of Name Changes
7. Notarized Translation of bills/invoices for proof of address
8. Notarized Translation of driving/driver’s licence

Notarized Copies

Individuals and Businesses commonly require the services of a Notary in Jerusalem to certify copies of documents for a variety of purposes.  In order to certify, also known as notarizing, a document as a true copy, you must present the original of the document to the Notary in Jerusalem.  Notarized true copies often go hand in hand with notarized translations and, in Israel, can usually be accomplished in the same notarization.  Below are some common examples of notarizing/certifying copies.

  1. Notarized true copy of a Passport
  2. Notarized true copy of a bill or invoice or some other document to confirm an address
  3. Notarized true copy of an academic degree or transcript

How Much Does a Notary in Jerusalem cost?

The most common question we get asked is “How much does a Notary in Jerusalem cost?”

Fortunately, the answer is not complicated because the fees for notarizing in Israel are fixed by the Ministry of Justice.  For example, say you need a Notary in Jerusalem to authenticate your signature.  Well, as of 2019, the fee for one signature on one document is 167 NIS + VAT (17% Value Added Tax) for a total of 195 NIS.

To see the entire fee schedule, click here.  Note, the fee schedule is in Hebrew, but feel free to contact us for a specific quote.

Why use the services of Mister Notary?

The next most common question based on the above is, “If all Notary fees are fixed by the Ministry of Justice, then why use Mister Notary”?

While this is a very fair question, the very simple answer is that there are at least 5 good reasons:

  1. Mobile Service – Mister Notary offers a mobile notarization service.
  2. Fluent English – Our Notary in Jerusalem is Anglo-Born and fluent in English.
  3. Efficiency – Mister Notary prides itself on fast, effective and efficient service. Our average meeting is 10 minutes max.
  4. Expertise – We are the only firm dedicated exclusively to notarizing and translating only.
  5. Perfect Record – Check out our Google Maps 5 Star rating here!

What do I need to bring to the Notary in Jerusalem?

The answer to this depends on what type of notarization you are seeking from the Notary in Jerusalem.  If it’s a signature authentication, you will need to bring the document, of course, as well as your Identity Booklet (Teudat Zehut) or Passport.  A Driver’s Licence is NOT accepted in Israel.  If a certified copy, you only need to bring the original document.  If a translation, you can simply email us the document to get started on the translation, and when completed, you can then come in with the original document.

Notarized Power of Attorney in Israel - Quick, Easy and Convenient!

Notarized Power of Attorney

Notarized Power of Attorney

What is a Notarized Power of Attorney?

A Notarized Power of Attorney  is a document, authorizing one to represent or act on another’s behalf in private affairs, business, or some other legal matter signed in front of a Notary.  It is used often in Israeli society.

What can be done with a  Notarized Power of Attorney?

A Notarized Power of Attorney can be used for all sorts of purposes. For instance, say John Smith wants to get information about his bank account and needs the assistance of Sam Jones. John has granted agency to Sam to act on his behalf in a Power of Attorney which he signed in front of a Notary. Now, Sam can go to the bank for John and get all the necessary information as if John himself as at the bank.  Of course, Sam will have to present the Power of Attorney to the bank clerk.

Why get a Notarized Power of Attorney?

A Notarized Power of Attorney can be used in many circumstances. For example, consider the aging parent who can no longer attend the various government offices or banks necessary for the normal conducting of his affairs.  With a Power of Attorney to his son or daughter, his child can handle the process for him. Or, consider the case where one’s child is travelling to the United States. It would be impossible for him to manage his affairs in Israel while he is abroad.  So, he gives a  Power of Attorney to his parents so that they can handle matters for him while he is away.  (Note, another common use of a Notarized Power of Attorney is for use in obtaining mortgages from the bank or when purchasing property from a real estate developer.  This will be the subject of a separate article.)

How Does One Obtain a Notarized Power of Attorney?

It’s really quite easy. Simply call a licensed Notary to schedule an appointment.  Mister Notary is an example of such a notarial service. Bring the Power of Attorney, your i.d. and payment to the Notary, and he will then witness you signing the Power of Attorney.  Afterwards, he will bind it together with his official stamp and seal to make it a Notarize Power of Attorney.  If you do not have the Power of Attorney Form, you can ask your Notary to prepare it, though he will ask for an additional fee for his time in preparing the form.

Does a Power of Attorney always have to be notarized?

No.  If you are giving a Power of Attorney over to your own lawyer, you need not have it notarized.  Your lawyer can stamp the Power of Attorney, and he can then use it to manage your affairs. However, in any other instance, you would have to have a notarized Power of Attorney in order for it to be effective.

Need a Notarized Power of Attorney?  Contact us to schedule your appointment now!


Notarizing U.S. Documents in Israel at the U.S. Consulate

Notarizing Documents in Israel at the U.S. Consulate

U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem

Notarizing Documents at the U.S. Consulate in Israel

A very common question I get asked is “How do I notarize a U.S. document at the U.S. Consulate while in Israel?”  Alternatively, “Are you a U.S. Notary Public”?

The answer to the latter question is that I am not a U.S. Notary Public.  I am an Israeli Notary. However, a U.S. Notary public cannot notarize documents outside of the jurisdiction where he/she has his/her notary license.  So, whether or not I am a U.S. Notary public is irrelevant.

However, the first question is relevant.

The answer is that there are two ways to notarize a U.S. document in Israel.

1 – Using the Notary Public services of the U.S. Consulate; or

2 – Using the Notary services of an Israeli Notary with an Apostille.

This article discusses the first option.  Option 2 is discussed here.  In a head to head comparison in an article here, you will see that option 2 is the better option.

Scheduling an Appointment to notarize documents at the U.S. Consulate

There is no other way to say this other than to say that scheduling an appointment at the U.S. Consulate is a hassle.

For starters, it cannot be done by telephone. In other words, no human to speak to.

I attempted to visit the Consulate in Jerusalem’s website, and got an error message.

I next tried Tel Aviv.  The first available date (today’s post is July 27, 2017) which you can see at the screenshot here is August 15, 2017!

Time it takes to notarize at the U.S. Consulate

Once you’ve managed to schedule your appointment at the U.S. Consulate, you then have to schlep there with all your documents and identification.  You must clear an arduous security process and then wait your turn to be called which can be a while, depending on how many documents the other people there have with them.  In short, I’ve been told that it takes several hours and much aggravation to notarize even one document at the Consulate.

Cost of notarizing at the U.S. Consulate

Each signature costs $50 USD.  Even two signatures on one document will cost $50 USD each for a total of $100 USD.

If you’re still interested in notarizing at the U.S. Consulate, you can learn more on the U.S. Consulate website.

However, if you’d like to see a better option, visit my blog post about Notarizing and obtaining an Apostille here.


Notarizing Authentication of Signatures ("Aimoot Chatima")

Notarizing Authentication of Signatures (“Aimoot Chatima”)

notarizing authentication of signatures

What documents require notarizing authentication of signatures in Israel?

There are certain documents which signing requires authentication of an Israeli lawyer. In Hebrew, this is referred to as an “Aimoot Chatima”.

For example, consider the case of an individual who requires a mortgage for the purchase of a property in Israel. One of the documents the mortgage bank requires is an irrevocable power of attorney in favour of a mortgage bank. This is a document that allows the bank to register the subject property in the mortgagor’s name (as well as register the mortgage itself, in the event of a failure by the mortgagor to do it).   In this way, the bank secures its ability to be paid under the mortgage.

Another instance in which a document’s signature will require authentication is in connection with a purchase of a new property. In this case, the individual purchasing the property signs a Power of Attorney in favour of the building contractor to do what is necessary for the purposes of registering documents with the Israel Land Registry in connection with the purchase

What is the role of the notary when authenticating signatures?

Well, at it implies, the notary serves the function of authenticating the signatures to confirm that the signatory is actually the person signing. Without this, there is nothing that stops one from forging these documents. In light of the significance of these documents in that it grants powers to the holder of the documents to take certain legal actions, it is important that there be a mechanism in place to authenticate signatures. Hence the need for the notary’s notarization.

What is required for the notary to verify the signatory’s signature?

In order for a notary to authenticate the signatures, the signatory must be present with the notary at the time he signs the documents. He must also provide the notary with a valid form of identification such as a National identity Card for Israelis (known in Hebrew as a “Teduat Zehut”) or a passport for non-Israelis.

Contact Mister Notary today to have a notary notarize your authentication of signatures document.