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Foreign Notarial Acts Frequently Asked Questions

The following information is from the website of the United States Authentications office of the US Department of State. 

*Disclaimer: The information in this circular is provided for general information only. For questions concerning admissibility of documents executed abroad see appropriate federal and state statutes. Questions involving interpretation of specific foreign laws should be addressed to foreign counsel.*

Question: How do you get a document notarized overseas?
Answer:  Notarizing officers at any US Embassy or Consulate abroad can provide a service similar to the functions of a notary public in the United States. It is also possible to have a document notarized by a local foreign notary and then have the document authenticated for use in the United States. In countries that are party to the Hague Apostille Convention, this is a simplified process.

Question: Do US Embassies and Consulates provide notarial and authentication services for non-US Citizens?
Answer:  Yes. 22 C.F.R. 92.4(b) provides that these services may be performed for any person regardless of nationality so long as the document in connection with which the notarial/authentication service is required is for use within the jurisdiction of the United States.

Question: What are the hours of operation for notarial services at US Embassies and Consulates?
Answer:  Contact the Consular Section, American Citizens Services of the US Embassy or Consulate in advance to determine the hours of operation for notarial/authentication services. Hours may vary for US citizens and foreign nationals. The telephone numbers and addresses of US Embassies and Consulates at travel.state.gov.

Question: What is the legal authority for members of the armed services to perform notarial acts abroad?
Answer: See 10 USC. 936 (Article 136 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice) and the respective Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the US and the foreign country in question. These services are limited to persons coming within the jurisdiction of the US military base abroad, and are not available for the traveling public.

Question: What fees are charged for consular notarial and authentication services abroad?
Answer:  Effective July 13, 2010 there is a $50.00 fee for each notarial service. Also effective July 13, 2010, there is a $50 fee for each authentication service provided by a US Embassy or Consulate abroad. Fees may be paid in cash or by certified check or money order. No personal checks are accepted. Certified checks or money orders should be made payable to the American Embassy or Consulate. (For example, American Embassy Kingston.)

Question:  Can a notarizing officer's seal be further authenticated?
Answer: Yes, the Department of State's Authentication Office can authenticate the seal of a notarizing officer. The Authentication Office is located at 518 23rd St., NW, Washington, DC 20520, tel: (202) 647-5002; 1(800) 688-9889, and choose option 6 after you press 1 for touch tone phones. Walk-in service is available from 8 am to 12 noon Monday-Friday, except holidays. The fee for this service is currently $8.