Guidance

Portugal: notarial and documentary services

How someone in Portugal can get documents legalised, witnessed or certified and obtain informative notes.

Overview

The British Consulate Lisbon and the Vice Consulate Portimão can provide a limited number of notarial and documentary services for UK nationals in Portugal. Where local notaries can provide services, the British consulate will not provide them. In many cases, local notaries or lawyers can provide services more cheaply, quickly and conveniently.

The services we do provide are available at the British Consulate Lisbon and the Vice Consulate Portimão. You must make an appointment for each service.

Before booking, make sure you have selected the correct service and that the document will be accepted by the relevant authority. This could be the local town hall, registry office, tax authorities, immigration office or another authority either in Portugal, the UK or a third country.

Services we provide in Portugal

Consular staff in Portugal can:

  • certify copies of British passports
  • issue transfer of residence certificates for vehicle importation
  • provide informative notes on name change

For information about documents relating to marriage, see getting married abroad and our Notice on marriage in Portugal (PDF, 177KB, 1 page)

If you can’t find what you’re looking for on this page, see the other services provided by the British consulate in Portugal.

What to bring to your appointment

See the individual services below for details of supporting documents to bring. Make sure you have acceptable proof of address and identity, and payment for consular fees.

Payment

We accept payment by Visa or MasterCard in sterling. Fees cannot be refunded if the service you have requested is incorrect or the document provided is not acceptable to the requesting authority.

Proof of address and identity

For all appointments for notarial services you will need to bring acceptable proof of your identity and address.

We accept passports as proof of identity. We accept utility bills, bank statements, residence certificates and permits and driving licences as proof of your address in Portugal.

Obtain a certified copy of a British passport

This service is for customers who need certified photocopies of their British passports. This service is only available at the British Embassy in Lisbon. The holder of the passport is required to be present for this service.

What you will need to bring with you:

If you find that there are no appointments available, please check the following day as appointments are released on a daily basis.

Obtain a transfer of residence certificate to import your vehicle tax free to Portugal

This service is for customers who are transferring their residence to Portugal and are applying for tax exemption on the importation of a vehicle.

Before you proceed, make sure you understand the requirements for obtaining tax exemption on the importation of your vehicle (in Portuguese) as set out by the Portuguese Tax and Customs authority.

Get advice from your local Customs Office and see our guidance on the importation of motor vehicles into Portugal before you start your application for a transfer of residence certificate.

Check the fees for this service (2ii and 4).

Obtain an informative note on change of name

An informative note from the consulate is occasionally required for notarial and bureaucratic procedures in Portugal. These include the sale of a property when the property was bought and registered in a previous surname, or for remarriage when a divorcee has taken on her first husband’s surname and has not reverted back to her maiden name which appears on her birth certificate.

It is not possible to change your name and/or surname by deed poll or declaration in Portugal, and a married woman will usually retain their own surname. If you submit a legalised and translated version of your British name change document, or other documentary evidence to prove the change, the Portuguese authorities may require confirmation from the consulate that this is a legal process in the UK.

You may like to print out the free version of the informative note and ask the Portuguese authorities whether the website copy is acceptable:

Services provided elsewhere

We no longer provide life certificates for UK nationals claiming a British pension abroad. Refer to the list of people working in a recognised profession who can do this for you.

Data protection

Her Majesty’s Government holds and uses data for purposes notified to the Information Commissioner under the Data Protection Act 1998. Such personal data may be disclosed to other UK government departments and public authorities.

Disclaimer

This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the consulate by the relevant authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice. Accordingly, neither the UK government nor the British Consulate will be liable for any inaccuracies in this information. For all notarial and legalisation services it is the responsibility of the customer to ascertain the precise requirements of the person requesting the notarial or legalisation service and to satisfy themselves that the service provided by the consulate will be accepted.

Published 5 April 2013
Last updated 16 June 2021 + show all updates
  1. New procedures on booking an appointment and applying to obtain a transfer of residence certificate to import your vehicle tax free to Portugal - June 2021

  2. Certified copies of British passports available only at the British Embassy in Lisbon.

  3. Updated information on how UK nationals can book appointments for notarial services at the British Embassy in Lisbon and the British Vice Consulate in Portimão.

  4. Changes to provision of notarial services at the British Consulates in Portugal: end of remote notarial services and return to face-to-face appointments.

  5. Information update on booking appointments

  6. Update to the availability of notarial appointments

  7. Amendment made to notarial services in Portugal during coronavirus (COVID-19).

  8. Change of wording to clarify the exact consular fees charged for notarial services, following feedback from a customer.

  9. Revised car importation leaflet due to the changes in the law.

  10. Updated February 2018

  11. Amended November 2017

  12. Amended November 2017

  13. Update July 2017

  14. Updated June 2017

  15. Updated list of documents required for issue of car importation certificate - 20/10/2016

  16. Please note update on the Informative Note regarding change of names, as Deed Polls now need to be enrolled at the Royal Courts of Justice.

  17. Online appointment booking process changed as all notarial services are now provided from British Consulate Lisbon

  18. Removed Clickbook link for British Consulate Oporto

  19. Downloadable versions of the informative notes added for change of name

  20. added to notarial services document series

  21. First published.