FAQ

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Notarization?


The notarization procedure means that your documents are notarized (certified) by a licensed notary public in the United States. Many foreign countries may have Notary Offices. However, there is no administrative department in the United States that specialize in notarization. A notary is a person who has received legal training and a government-issued license and often signs it as a witness. Notaries need to be trained to pass exams and be licensed. A complete notarized document shall include the signature and stamp of a notary public, along with a proper notarial wording. A notary public has the power to perform various official acts such as: Taking acknowledgments; Certifying “true copies” of documents; Certifying affidavits and statements; fact verification. Notarial acts may differ by state, check the rules of your state. Traditional notarization means you must appear in front of a notary. The notary will ask for identification to verify that you really are who you say you are, and signs and stamps on the document to complete the notarization with a proper notary wording. But now Electronic Notarization and Remote Notarization have been legally available in many states for environmental friendliness and convenientness. Electronic notarization is just the electronification of documents, signatures, and seals. There is no actual paper and pen, but the notary and the client still need to face to face and confirm their identity on the spot. Remote notarization is when documents are notarized in an electronic form where the signer uses an electronic signature and appears before the notary using online audio-video technology. The client can connect with a notary anywhere, anytime, without physically needing to meet them. This is the first step for most documents that require Apostille/Authentication and Embassy legalization. Click here to learn how notaries complete the notary process, which is instructive for preparing your documents.




What is Consular Authentication?


The Consular Authentication means the diplomatic and consular organs of a country certifying the last signature and seal by the relevant authorities of another country on the notarized document.
The purpose of consular authentication is to ensure that notarized documents issued in one country can be acknowledged by relevant authorities in another country, and the documents can have its due legal effect, which shall not be affected by doubts on the authenticity of the seal or signature on the documents. Generally speaking, any documents issued in the United States for use by non-Hague Convention member countries (such as China) must be authenticated by the embassy or consulate. The Chinese Embassy in the United States can authenticate notarial deeds and other documents issued by relevant authorities of the United States for use in China. The deeds or documents should be certified by the Authentication Office of the U.S. Department of State first. The Chinese Consulates in the United States can authenticate notarial deeds and other documents issued by relevant authorities of the United States for use in China. The deeds or documents should be certified by the Secretary of State first. Consular authentication by the Chinese Embassy in the U.S. is not required for relevant documents to be used in Hong Kong SAR or Macao SAR of China. As long as these documents are notarized by a local notary public of the U.S. and apostilled by the Secretary of the State or the Authentication Office of the U.S. Department of State, they can be used in Hong Kong or Macao. Click here for tips and common mistakes of notarization, authentication, and legalization.
Click here to see if the country where your documents are used is a member of the Hague Convention.




Why do I need to get documents authenticated?


When you are going to use the documents issued in the US (Birth Certificate, Power-of-Attorneys, etc.) in another country, you need to get the documents authenticated in the US first. At this time, the competent authorities in the US (the Secretary of State/the US Department of State) will Apostille the documents or the foreign embassies and consulates in the United States will authenticate the documents to make them acceptable by foreign authorities. The purpose of consular authentication is to ensure that notarized documents issued in one country can be acknowledged by relevant authorities in another country, and the documents can have its due legal effect, which shall not be affected by doubts on the authenticity of the seal or signature on the documents.




What is the process of Authentication?


The whole process may include Notarization, Secretary of State Apostille/Authentication, Department of State Apostille/Authentication, and Embassy/Consulate Legalization. Notarization Notarization is the official fraud-deterrent process that assures the parties of a transaction that a document is authentic and can be trusted. It is a three-part process, performed by a Notary Public, that includes vetting, certifying and record-keeping. notarization is the assurance by a duly appointed and impartial Notary Public that a document is authentic, that its signature is genuine, and that its sig ner acted without duress or intimidation, and intended the terms of the document to be in full force and effect. Apostille and Authentication Apostilles and authentication certificates validate the seal and signature of a Notary on a document so that it can be accepted in a foreign country. Apostille: An Apostille is simply the name for a specialized certificate, issued by the Secretary of State or the Department of State. The Apostille is attached to your original document to verify it is legitimate and authentic so it will be accepted in one of the other countries who are members of the Hague Apostille Convention. Authentication: Documents certified by the State and destined for countries who are not members of the Hague Apostille Convention require State authentication, U.S. Department of State authentication, and Embassy or Consulate legalization. Also, documents issued by the U.S. Federal Government can only be processed through the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. before being presented to the Embassy or Consulate office for legalization. The requirements and processing time for authentication certificates will vary from country to country. Once your documents have been authenticated at the State level, the next step is to have your documents certified at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. The federal-issued documents (such as FBI – Background check, Certificate of Pharmaceutical/Export, Trademark, etc.) and documents issued by the District of Columbia do not need apostille or authentication of the Secretary of State. They may directly be sent to the office of the Department of State. Embassy or Consulate Legalization Once your documents have been authenticated at the State level or at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., the next step is to have your documents legalized at Consulate or Embassy. All documents in a foreign language must include a certified or notarized English translation. In short, as follows:




What kind of documents can be Apostilled/Authenticated?


Documents that may require authentication for use abroad include: Personal documents ➤ Government Issued Documents:
▪ Birth Certificate
▪ Death Certificate
▪ Marriage Certificate
▪ Divorce Certificate
▪ Life Certificate
▪ Court Decisions
▪ FBI – Background check
▪ Background check of the local police department
▪ Overseas Resident Certificate
▪ Name Change Certificate
▪ Driver's License ➤ Affidavits:
▪ Single Status Affidavit
▪ Gift Affidavit
▪ Waiver of Inheritance ➤ Powers-of-Attorneys:
▪ Power of Attorney of Real Estate Transaction
▪ Power of Attorney of Divorce Proceedings
▪ Other Power of Attorney ➤ Study and Immigration related documents:
▪ Income Verification
▪ Employment Certificate
▪ Bank Savings Statement
▪ Diploma
▪ Transcript
▪ Health Certificate
▪ Family Circumstances Statement
▪ Child Adoption Documents ➤ Notarization:
▪ Certifying “true copies” of documents
▪ Certifying affidavits or depositions
▪ Taking acknowledgments
▪ Verification of fact​ Business documents ▪ Company registration documents
▪ Articles of Association
▪ Company license
▪ Good standing Certificate
▪ Financial documents
▪ Tax Documents
▪ Business Contracts
▪ Company Resolutions
▪ Board Resolutions
▪ Meeting Minutes
▪ Bank Credit Certificate




What documents are needed for consular authentication?


Oder Form of our center 1. Completed Application Form of Consular Legalization. (The application form MUST BE TYPED in CAPITAL LETTERS and completed in its entirety. The document must be signed by hand.) 2. The original and photocopy of the completed documents to be authenticated.
3. A photocopy of the applicant's valid passport (the page with photo) and a photocopy of the US driver's license or ID.
4. A photocopy of the applicant's legal identity document in the United States (such as a green card, work permit, I-20, H1B, I-797 receipt, etc.).
5. For the authentication of the company license, a photocopy of the passport or the driver's license of the company's legal representative is needed, and company documents that can prove the identity of the company's legal representative should also be submitted.
6. A photocopy of supporting materials related to documents to be authenticated.




What is Apostille?


An Apostille (pronounced "ah-po-steel") is a form of authentication issued to documents for use in countries that participate in the Hague Convention of 1961. Since October 15, 1981, the United States has been part of the 1961 Hague Convention abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. About 60% of the countries in the world are currently parties to the Hague Certification Convention. There is a list of countries that accept apostilles. If the country of intended use does not participate in the Hague Convention, documents being sent to that country can be "authenticated" or "certified". Mainland China and Taiwan have not yet acceded to the Convention, so documents obtained from mainland China and Taiwan cannot be used for Apostille, and they need to go through the consular authentication process (ie, notarization → the Secretary of State Authentication → the Department of State certification → Embassy Legalization). Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR are signatories to the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961. So documents issued locally or will be used in Hong Kong and Macao can get the Apostille. Click here to learn about Apostille.




Does the Secretary of State Office provide expedited authentication service?


No, most states do not offer expedited services. It usually takes 10-15 business days (excludes shipping time) to process the documents, but it may change depending on the resources available at the Secretary of State's Offices. Some states provide walk-in services (drop-off and pick-up services) which could be faster but do not apply to everyone.




What payment methods do you accept?


We accept the following payment methods:
1.【Order Online
Debit/Credit Card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover)
2.【Paypal】
Payable to: info@usnotarycenter.com
3.【Cashier's Check】
Money Order, Cashier's Check.
Payable to: American Notary Service Center Inc.
4.【E-mail Invoice】
The center will send an Invoice (request) to your email address, which can be directly clicked to complete the payment.




Who can issue an Apostille in the USA?


In the United States, all 50 states and the Federal Government (US Department of State – Office of Authentication) can issue an Apostille. It may vary by the issuing authority of the document. The U.S. Department of State only issues apostilles for federal documents to use in countries that are members of the 1961 Hague Convention. State-issued documents for use in countries that are members of the 1961 Hague Convention must be authenticated by the competent authority (mostly it's the Secretary of State Office) in the state where the document was executed. A state-issued document with an apostille does not require additional certification by the U.S. Department of State or legalization by a U.S. embassy or consulate overseas to be recognized in a participating country. The U.S. Department of State will not issue an apostille for state-issued documents. Click here to learn about Apostille.




What is the difference between Apostille and Authentication?


In fact, both are forms of authentication and both are given by the same government agencies. The difference lies in whether the country where you will use your documents is a member of the Hague Convention or not. If it does, your documents will receive an Apostille, and if not, they will need Authentication and may need further legalization from a foreign consulate or embassy. Click here to learn about Apostille.




Will there be a Chinese translation along with the US-issued documents after its consular legalization by the Chinese Embassy?


No. In all steps of authentication, no organization will translate your original English documents into Chinese. The principle of their authentication is the authenticity of the document. They will not change, add or delete (also translate) any information in the original documents you submitted. We do not recommend translating the English original documents in the United States. A better choice is to translate in the country where the document is used (China) because some authorities may require you to get them translated by a designated translation agency.




Should the documents prepared by myself be drafted in English or foreign language (Chinese)?


Documents prepared by yourself may include statements, powers of attorney, agreements, and contracts, etc. If the country where the document is issued and the country where the document is used does not use the same official language, please draft it in multiple languages. (for example, English-Chinese) Notes:
1. If you choose to draft it in multiple languages, "one paragraph in English and one paragraph in a foreign language" is acceptable.
2. For a document in two languages, it is better to draft it with one place (instead of two) for signature and one place (instead of two) for writing the date. The drafting of statements, powers of attorney, agreements, and contracts requires legal and professional background. The experience and information we provide cannot be interpreted in any way as legal advice. If necessary, consult your lawyer.




I am from another state rather than the DC area, can you provide Notarization/Authentication/Apostille/Legalization services for me?


For documents that require notarization only, we suggest you find a local notary public near you. For notarization services for the documents that need to be authenticated/apostilled/legalized subsequently, we suggest you find a local notary public near you and have them notarized in a traditional way (paper and pen). Some government authorities cannot authenticate/apostille/legalize an electronic notarization. For Authentication/Apostille/Legalization services, no matter which state you are from, we are pleased and capable of providing services for you. You only need to mail us the documents (have been notarized by a notary public) that need to be authenticated. Then leave the subsequent process to us. It's quite simple! Click here to see the difference among traditional, electronic, and remote notarization.
Click here to fill out the Service Order Form.





 

热点问题

What is Notarization?


The notarization procedure means that your documents are notarized (certified) by a licensed notary public in the United States. Many foreign countries may have Notary Offices. However, there is no administrative department in the United States that specialize in notarization. A notary is a person who has received legal training and a government-issued license and often signs it as a witness. Notaries need to be trained to pass exams and be licensed. A complete notarized document shall include the signature and stamp of a notary public, along with a proper notarial wording. A notary public has the power to perform various official acts such as: Taking acknowledgments; Certifying “true copies” of documents; Certifying affidavits and statements; fact verification. Notarial acts may differ by state, check the rules of your state. Traditional notarization means you must appear in front of a notary. The notary will ask for identification to verify that you really are who you say you are, and signs and stamps on the document to complete the notarization with a proper notary wording. But now Electronic Notarization and Remote Notarization have been legally available in many states for environmental friendliness and convenientness. Electronic notarization is just the electronification of documents, signatures, and seals. There is no actual paper and pen, but the notary and the client still need to face to face and confirm their identity on the spot. Remote notarization is when documents are notarized in an electronic form where the signer uses an electronic signature and appears before the notary using online audio-video technology. The client can connect with a notary anywhere, anytime, without physically needing to meet them. This is the first step for most documents that require Apostille/Authentication and Embassy legalization. Click here to learn how notaries complete the notary process, which is instructive for preparing your documents.




What is Consular Authentication?


The Consular Authentication means the diplomatic and consular organs of a country certifying the last signature and seal by the relevant authorities of another country on the notarized document.
The purpose of consular authentication is to ensure that notarized documents issued in one country can be acknowledged by relevant authorities in another country, and the documents can have its due legal effect, which shall not be affected by doubts on the authenticity of the seal or signature on the documents. Generally speaking, any documents issued in the United States for use by non-Hague Convention member countries (such as China) must be authenticated by the embassy or consulate. The Chinese Embassy in the United States can authenticate notarial deeds and other documents issued by relevant authorities of the United States for use in China. The deeds or documents should be certified by the Authentication Office of the U.S. Department of State first. The Chinese Consulates in the United States can authenticate notarial deeds and other documents issued by relevant authorities of the United States for use in China. The deeds or documents should be certified by the Secretary of State first. Consular authentication by the Chinese Embassy in the U.S. is not required for relevant documents to be used in Hong Kong SAR or Macao SAR of China. As long as these documents are notarized by a local notary public of the U.S. and apostilled by the Secretary of the State or the Authentication Office of the U.S. Department of State, they can be used in Hong Kong or Macao. Click here for tips and common mistakes of notarization, authentication, and legalization.
Click here to see if the country where your documents are used is a member of the Hague Convention.




Why do I need to get documents authenticated?


When you are going to use the documents issued in the US (Birth Certificate, Power-of-Attorneys, etc.) in another country, you need to get the documents authenticated in the US first. At this time, the competent authorities in the US (the Secretary of State/the US Department of State) will Apostille the documents or the foreign embassies and consulates in the United States will authenticate the documents to make them acceptable by foreign authorities. The purpose of consular authentication is to ensure that notarized documents issued in one country can be acknowledged by relevant authorities in another country, and the documents can have its due legal effect, which shall not be affected by doubts on the authenticity of the seal or signature on the documents.




What is the process of Authentication?


The whole process may include Notarization, Secretary of State Apostille/Authentication, Department of State Apostille/Authentication, and Embassy/Consulate Legalization. Notarization Notarization is the official fraud-deterrent process that assures the parties of a transaction that a document is authentic and can be trusted. It is a three-part process, performed by a Notary Public, that includes vetting, certifying and record-keeping. notarization is the assurance by a duly appointed and impartial Notary Public that a document is authentic, that its signature is genuine, and that its sig ner acted without duress or intimidation, and intended the terms of the document to be in full force and effect. Apostille and Authentication Apostilles and authentication certificates validate the seal and signature of a Notary on a document so that it can be accepted in a foreign country. Apostille: An Apostille is simply the name for a specialized certificate, issued by the Secretary of State or the Department of State. The Apostille is attached to your original document to verify it is legitimate and authentic so it will be accepted in one of the other countries who are members of the Hague Apostille Convention. Authentication: Documents certified by the State and destined for countries who are not members of the Hague Apostille Convention require State authentication, U.S. Department of State authentication, and Embassy or Consulate legalization. Also, documents issued by the U.S. Federal Government can only be processed through the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. before being presented to the Embassy or Consulate office for legalization. The requirements and processing time for authentication certificates will vary from country to country. Once your documents have been authenticated at the State level, the next step is to have your documents certified at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. The federal-issued documents (such as FBI – Background check, Certificate of Pharmaceutical/Export, Trademark, etc.) and documents issued by the District of Columbia do not need apostille or authentication of the Secretary of State. They may directly be sent to the office of the Department of State. Embassy or Consulate Legalization Once your documents have been authenticated at the State level or at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., the next step is to have your documents legalized at Consulate or Embassy. All documents in a foreign language must include a certified or notarized English translation. In short, as follows:




What kind of documents can be Apostilled/Authenticated?


Documents that may require authentication for use abroad include: Personal documents ➤ Government Issued Documents:
▪ Birth Certificate
▪ Death Certificate
▪ Marriage Certificate
▪ Divorce Certificate
▪ Life Certificate
▪ Court Decisions
▪ FBI – Background check
▪ Background check of the local police department
▪ Overseas Resident Certificate
▪ Name Change Certificate
▪ Driver's License ➤ Affidavits:
▪ Single Status Affidavit
▪ Gift Affidavit
▪ Waiver of Inheritance ➤ Powers-of-Attorneys:
▪ Power of Attorney of Real Estate Transaction
▪ Power of Attorney of Divorce Proceedings
▪ Other Power of Attorney ➤ Study and Immigration related documents:
▪ Income Verification
▪ Employment Certificate
▪ Bank Savings Statement
▪ Diploma
▪ Transcript
▪ Health Certificate
▪ Family Circumstances Statement
▪ Child Adoption Documents ➤ Notarization:
▪ Certifying “true copies” of documents
▪ Certifying affidavits or depositions
▪ Taking acknowledgments
▪ Verification of fact​ Business documents ▪ Company registration documents
▪ Articles of Association
▪ Company license
▪ Good standing Certificate
▪ Financial documents
▪ Tax Documents
▪ Business Contracts
▪ Company Resolutions
▪ Board Resolutions
▪ Meeting Minutes
▪ Bank Credit Certificate




What documents are needed for consular authentication?


Oder Form of our center 1. Completed Application Form of Consular Legalization. (The application form MUST BE TYPED in CAPITAL LETTERS and completed in its entirety. The document must be signed by hand.) 2. The original and photocopy of the completed documents to be authenticated.
3. A photocopy of the applicant's valid passport (the page with photo) and a photocopy of the US driver's license or ID.
4. A photocopy of the applicant's legal identity document in the United States (such as a green card, work permit, I-20, H1B, I-797 receipt, etc.).
5. For the authentication of the company license, a photocopy of the passport or the driver's license of the company's legal representative is needed, and company documents that can prove the identity of the company's legal representative should also be submitted.
6. A photocopy of supporting materials related to documents to be authenticated.




What is Apostille?


An Apostille (pronounced "ah-po-steel") is a form of authentication issued to documents for use in countries that participate in the Hague Convention of 1961. Since October 15, 1981, the United States has been part of the 1961 Hague Convention abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. About 60% of the countries in the world are currently parties to the Hague Certification Convention. There is a list of countries that accept apostilles. If the country of intended use does not participate in the Hague Convention, documents being sent to that country can be "authenticated" or "certified". Mainland China and Taiwan have not yet acceded to the Convention, so documents obtained from mainland China and Taiwan cannot be used for Apostille, and they need to go through the consular authentication process (ie, notarization → the Secretary of State Authentication → the Department of State certification → Embassy Legalization). Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR are signatories to the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961. So documents issued locally or will be used in Hong Kong and Macao can get the Apostille. Click here to learn about Apostille.




Does the Secretary of State Office provide expedited authentication service?


No, most states do not offer expedited services. It usually takes 10-15 business days (excludes shipping time) to process the documents, but it may change depending on the resources available at the Secretary of State's Offices. Some states provide walk-in services (drop-off and pick-up services) which could be faster but do not apply to everyone.




What payment methods do you accept?


We accept the following payment methods:
1.【Order Online
Debit/Credit Card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover)
2.【Paypal】
Payable to: info@usnotarycenter.com
3.【Cashier's Check】
Money Order, Cashier's Check.
Payable to: American Notary Service Center Inc.
4.【E-mail Invoice】
The center will send an Invoice (request) to your email address, which can be directly clicked to complete the payment.




Who can issue an Apostille in the USA?


In the United States, all 50 states and the Federal Government (US Department of State – Office of Authentication) can issue an Apostille. It may vary by the issuing authority of the document. The U.S. Department of State only issues apostilles for federal documents to use in countries that are members of the 1961 Hague Convention. State-issued documents for use in countries that are members of the 1961 Hague Convention must be authenticated by the competent authority (mostly it's the Secretary of State Office) in the state where the document was executed. A state-issued document with an apostille does not require additional certification by the U.S. Department of State or legalization by a U.S. embassy or consulate overseas to be recognized in a participating country. The U.S. Department of State will not issue an apostille for state-issued documents. Click here to learn about Apostille.




What is the difference between Apostille and Authentication?


In fact, both are forms of authentication and both are given by the same government agencies. The difference lies in whether the country where you will use your documents is a member of the Hague Convention or not. If it does, your documents will receive an Apostille, and if not, they will need Authentication and may need further legalization from a foreign consulate or embassy. Click here to learn about Apostille.




Will there be a Chinese translation along with the US-issued documents after its consular legalization by the Chinese Embassy?


No. In all steps of authentication, no organization will translate your original English documents into Chinese. The principle of their authentication is the authenticity of the document. They will not change, add or delete (also translate) any information in the original documents you submitted. We do not recommend translating the English original documents in the United States. A better choice is to translate in the country where the document is used (China) because some authorities may require you to get them translated by a designated translation agency.




Should the documents prepared by myself be drafted in English or foreign language (Chinese)?


Documents prepared by yourself may include statements, powers of attorney, agreements, and contracts, etc. If the country where the document is issued and the country where the document is used does not use the same official language, please draft it in multiple languages. (for example, English-Chinese) Notes:
1. If you choose to draft it in multiple languages, "one paragraph in English and one paragraph in a foreign language" is acceptable.
2. For a document in two languages, it is better to draft it with one place (instead of two) for signature and one place (instead of two) for writing the date. The drafting of statements, powers of attorney, agreements, and contracts requires legal and professional background. The experience and information we provide cannot be interpreted in any way as legal advice. If necessary, consult your lawyer.




I am from another state rather than the DC area, can you provide Notarization/Authentication/Apostille/Legalization services for me?


For documents that require notarization only, we suggest you find a local notary public near you. For notarization services for the documents that need to be authenticated/apostilled/legalized subsequently, we suggest you find a local notary public near you and have them notarized in a traditional way (paper and pen). Some government authorities cannot authenticate/apostille/legalize an electronic notarization. For Authentication/Apostille/Legalization services, no matter which state you are from, we are pleased and capable of providing services for you. You only need to mail us the documents (have been notarized by a notary public) that need to be authenticated. Then leave the subsequent process to us. It's quite simple! Click here to see the difference among traditional, electronic, and remote notarization.
Click here to fill out the Service Order Form.





CONTACT US

7510 Diplomat Dr., STE 101,

Manassas, VA 20109, USA

+1 202-599-0777

info@usnotarycenter.com

ANSC is a legal entity incorporated in Virginia, USA. We are not affiliated, associated, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with any government agency. The materials and information available at this website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. We provide information and software and you are responsible for appropriately using this material.