Power of attorney at the notary: how to sign online?

Updated on Tuesday 6 April 2021

The decree n° 2020-1422 dated 20 November 2020 establishes the remote notarized power of attorney. It prolongs the possibility for notaries to draw up the notarial act through remote appearance for authentic powers of attorney. The notary can now establish the power of attorney via an electronic system that guarantees security and confidentiality, when one or all of the parties cannot be present.


Which are the concerned acts?

Notarized powers of attorney can now be carried out remotely. In other words, these powers of attorney are meant to sign acts.

Your notary will be able to confirm, depending on the nature of the act you wish to regulate, whether or not this is possible through the means of a remote power of attorney.

Necessary equipment and elements

To sign the power of attorney online with your notary, you must have:

  • a relatively recent and up-to-date desktop or laptop computer, Windows or MacOS, equipped with a webcam, microphone, and speakers,
  • an up-to-date Internet browser, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge,
  • a good speed Internet connection, the videoconference session must be of good quality for the notary to receive your consent for the act
  • a personal email address to receive signature notifications sent by the notary,
  • access to the electronic mail application that manages your personal email (webmail),
  • a mobile phone to receive text messages,
  • the scanned front/back color copy or the original of a valid identity document, identity card or passport,
  • if you had to validate your identity online with a certifying agent from IDnow - a mandatory formality if you haven’t seen the notary for less than ten years, see below - the access codes to your IDnow personal account created to store your personal electronic signature (your notary will describe the procedure to follow to you, step by step).

The videoconferencing system used will only be the one offered by your notary. It is a secure system approved by the profession in keeping with the decree. Using general public applications (Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp, FaceTime, etc.) is strictly forbidden.

How does the procedure take place?

Schematically speaking, the procedure takes place in two phases:

Phase 1: Filing documents and checking identities

The documents and elements related to the case are exchanged and made available through a secure digital platform.

  • If you have not been physically received by the solicited notary in the past ten years, or if the copy of your identity document was not maintained on this occasion by the notary at the same time as your mobile number and your personal e-mail address, you will have to have your identity verified remotely through a certifying officer, then create a qualified electronic signature. The service provider that delivers qualified electronic signatures in keeping with level of security which is required by the decree namely DocuSign, authorized by the National Information Systems Security Agency (ANSSI). It relies, for identity verification, on IDnow. Your notary will send you the procedure to follow. This identity verification procedure must always be carried out before signing your power of attorney. It is preferable to do so, the day before signing the power of attorney through a remote appearance with your notary, in order to avoid any last-minute technical issue.
  • If you have been physically received by the solicited notary during the last ten years, and if the copy of your identity was maintained on this occasion by the notary at the same time as your mobile number and your personal e-mail address, all you need is a two-sided scanned copy in color of your identity document or its original, your mobile phone and your personal e-mail address.

Phase 2: Signature of the authentic power of attorney with remote appearance

Your notary sends you an e-mail invitation to a videoconference session for the day of signing your power of attorney and you are asked to connect on this day with the Visio conference software given by your notary.

An uninterrupted video feed is established between you and your lawyer while the act is being read. This means, you’ll be able to see, talk to and discuss with your lawyer live. The notary carries out all of the due diligence remotely under its responsibility.

At the end of reading the act, your personal email address and your mobile phone number are used by the notary to send you a link along with the document, which needs to be signed electronically by you. You confirm by entering a code received via SMS. Your notary then signs the authentic electronic power of attorney which shall allow you to sign the drawn-up act.