The State Court Judicial Review Boards are issuing guidelines for the provision of extrajudicial services, notary publics, and registry offices due to the covid-19 pandemic.


This movement stems from Recommendation No. 45, issued by the National Judicial Review Board (CNJ) on March 17, to guide local review boards to suspend or reduce the operation of their services temporarily and always with attention to the evolution of the disease in Brazil. In response, some review boards, especially in the locations most affected by the new coronavirus, have already altered the functioning of extrajudicial registries and notary offices.

We have compiled below the changes identified thus far:


São Paulo

The General Judiciary Review Board of the State of São Paulo issued its position through GC Ordinance No. 7/2020 and GC Communiqué No. 231/2020, of March 17.

According to its understanding, the extrajudicial services of notary publics and real estate registries are considered indispensable for the exercise of fundamental rights of citizens, including the circulation of property and obtaining of credit with collateral. For this reason, termination of such services shall not be authorized.

As a way to contain the spread of the disease, each office may choose to encourage teleworking or remote work of its employees and change their working hours, respecting the minimum limit of at least four hours per day of service to the public. Because of the changes, the new opening hours and the peak hours of people on site must be reported to citizens in advance (posted in the office itself or on its website).

For services where there is a reduction in the employees' working hours or shifts of more than 1/3 of professionals, it is established that the validity of the deadlines for filing of notarial acts will be counted in double, except in cases expressly provided for, namely:

  1. birth and death records;
  2. marriage procedures and licenses;
  3. records of contracts covering real guarantees on real and personal property;
  4. the purging of arrears in contracts in which real estate is provided as collateral and in those contracts subject to Law No. 6,766/79;
  5. the offering of objections in land boundary rectification procedures, out-of-court adverse possession, recording of urban land parceling. 

The measures mentioned in the ordinance shall be valid for 60 days.

General Judiciary Review Board Ordinance No. 7/2020 was regulated by Ordinance No. 8/2020, and CG Communiqué No. 240/2020, dated March 22, observing the quarantine established by State Decree No. 64,881, of March 22. This regulation established the possibility of suspending the operation of extrajudicial services in the state, and, in the event of suspension of activities, the running of deadlines will also be suspended.

However, there will be time on call, for a minimum period of two hours per day, either in person or virtually, still within the period of suspension of activities. The person responsible for the service should clarify to citizens the means by which the time on call will occur. For birth and death records, there will be remote time on call for at least four hours per day. The time on call may be in-person, virtually, or by other means of remote service, including electronic means of communication such as WhatsApp and Skype.

This arrangement is established as mandatory for services in which the responsible person, or his or her agents or staff, are infected by the coronavirus causing covid-19.

In addition, those responsible for the services may establish modules for the sending of documents via digital means during the period of suspension of activities; the interested parties must be physically present to present the document within 15 days from the end of suspension of the services.

Specifically for services in the municipality of São Paulo, according to Communiqué No. 1/2020 of the 1st Public Registry Office of São Paulo, suspension of the activities of 18 real estate registry offices, 10 registry offices of deeds and documents and legal entities, and 10 notarial protest offices, was ordered (and not only authorized) on March 23 and 24, with in-person time on call dispensed with.

Rio de Janeiro

The state has allowed for a reduction in the functioning of extrajudicial registry offices, respecting a minimum operating time of four hours, according to Ordinance No. 20/2020 of the Rio de Janeiro Judicial Review Board, published on March 17.



Federal District

Similarly, the Federal District decided to maintain the activities of extrajudicial services, as decided by the Judicial Review Board of the Federal District and Territories on March 17.

Thus, the notary offices will also remain open. In order to avoid crowding, it was defined that real estate registry offices will only accept requests for the issuance of certificates of encumbrance and filings of public deeds for recording by electronic means. The fulfillment of any requirement may also occur via e-mail.

This same rule on issuing documents in digital format will apply to the issuance of second copies of marriage, death, and birth certificates by local notary offices.


The state disciplined the issue on March 18, through Ordinance No. 08 of the Judicial Review Board, which establishes the normal functioning of the services, including the maintenance of its operating hours. Notary offices, however, should take measures to prevent the spread of the disease among citizens.

Santa Catarina

The decision rendered on March 18 by Judge Dinart Francisco Machado, in case 0013013-32.2020.8.24.0710, was to maintain the activity of extrajudicial registry offices, but to suspend deadlines for a period of 7 days.


In Circular Letter 120/2020, of March 18, the state maintained extrajudicial services, but recommended that all acts be electronic. Filing of documents, by digital means, was authorized, according to the best convenience of the notary public or the registrar.

Notary offices with suspended activities

Other states have temporarily closed notary services. This is the case of Rio Grande do Sul, which, through Act No. 09/2020 of its Judicial Review Board, ordered the closure of all services until March 31. Minas Gerais, via Joint Ordinance 950, published on March 18, mandated that in-person services in the state be suspended until March 27.

Explanatory table

 To facilitate reference, we have summarized below the guidelines on extrajudicial services in each state:


Situation of notary offices

Federal District

Reduced operation - part of acts will be done only digitally


Normal operation - some acts may be done digitally

Minas Gerais



Normal operation

Rio de Janeiro

Operation with reduced hours of operation

Rio Grande do Sul


Santa Catarina

Operating with time limits suspended for 7 days

São Paulo

Suspension of normal working hours may be authorized through the establishment of on-call or virtual services; time limits may be suspended during the suspension of normal hours of operation