Notarial and authentication services are one of the oldest traditional U.S. consular functions dating back to 1792.
Consular officials at any U.S. 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 by a U.S. consular officer.
Notarials and Authentications
Like a notary public in the U.S., the consular official must require the personal appearance of the person requesting the notarial service; establish the identity of the person requesting the service; establish that the person understands the nature, language and consequences of the document to be notarized; and establish that the person is not acting under duress. (22 C.F.R. 92.31).
"Notarial" functions relate to oaths, affidavits and acknowledgments. The consular official must be satisfied that the act does not come within the purview of the regulatory bases for refusal to provide the notarial service set forth at 22 C.F.R. 92.9.
An "authentication" is the placing of the consular seal over the seal of a foreign authority whose seal and signature is on file with the American Embassy or Consulate. A consular authentication in no way attests to the authenticity of the contents of a document but merely to the seal and signature of the issuing authority.
The Embassy or Consulate may also provide notarial and authentication services for non-U.S. citizens, 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.
There is a US$50.00 fee for each notarial service (seal) requested.
There is a US$50.00 fee for each authentication service provided by a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad.
Fees may be paid in cash or by money order. No personal checks are accepted. Money orders should be made payable to the American Embassy or Consulate. (For example: "American Consulate, Toronto")
Both the Embassy in Ottawa and the Consulates in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Halifax, Montreal and Québec City require appointments for notarial services. Please consult our Consular Section for the hours and address of each location. To schedule an appointment, please use the American Citizen Services scheduling system.
Authentications of the Canadian Notary's Seal
If traveling to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate is inconvenient, you may - in certain circumstances - sign your documents before a Notary Public in Canada. Most lawyers in Canada are Notaries Public. If you sign before a Canadian Notary Public you should be aware that most states require a U.S. Embassy/Consulate to authenticate the signature of a foreign Notary Public.
- Write or fax the Embassy/Consulate to verify if your Notary's signature and seal are already on file, and to ensure that your situation qualifies for this processing.
- If not, then a sample of the Notary's signature and seal must first be authenticated by the appropriate provincial authority responsible for Notaries Public. You will be provided further instructions.
Authentications of the Consular Officer's Seal
The Department of State's Authentication Office can authenticate the seal of a consular officer. The Authentication Office is located at:
518 23rd St., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20520
(202) 647-5002 or (800) 688-9889
Walk-in service is available from 8AM to 12PM Monday-Friday, except holidays. There is a fee of US$5.00.
If you require further information, please visit the following links: