What is a notary public and when do I need it?

A Notary Public is a state-appointed official who is authorized to authenticate certain legal documents, such as declarations, acknowledgments, deeds, mortgages, and other contracts. Swearing or signing in front of a Notary Public is better evidence that the document or contract was signed by that person.

Dealing with Hungarian authorities, some documents (e.g. business related papers, like set up/dissolve corporation in particular) may need to be legalized by a foreign (non-Hungarian) notary public. Then those documents need to be “superlegalized” by a Hungarian official (consuls, honorary consuls, etc.,) to be valid.

In most of the private dealings (pension transfers, opening bank accounts, power of attorneys to buy/sell real estates) with Hungarian institutions, there is no need to use a foreign lawyer/notary public. They only require a Hungarian official to authenticate documents; to verify signatures and to identify a person.