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

什么是美国公证?


这种公证手续是指您的文件经过美国当地拥有执照的公证员(Notary Public)的公证。

美国没有像中国公证处一样的行政部门,公证员是指接受了法律训练并获得政府颁发的执照,常常作为见证者证明文件签字。公证员需要接受训练,通过考试并获得执照。

一份完整的经过公证员公证的文件会包括公证员的签名、印章并写有适当的公证措辞。公证员通常会对以下情况进行公证:当面签字公证;复印件与原件相符公证;宣誓誓词;声明公证;事实验证。美国各州对公证行为的规定有所不同,请确认。

传统的公证,您必须出现在公证员面前,公证员通过充分的身份证据确认您的身份,并当场签字盖章完成公证。但现在很多州已经开始推行电子公证(Electronic Notarization)和远程公证(Remote Notarization),以实现环保或更便捷的公证程序。电子公证只是文件和签字盖章等一切电子化,没有实际的纸和笔,但是公证员和客户还是需要面对面,当场确定身份。远程公证则可以通过含视频音频功能的电子设备实现,公证员和客户不需要“物理上”的面对面,网上即可。

对于大部分需要完成三级认证的文件来说,这是第一步。

点击这里了解美国的公证员是怎样完成公证过程的,这对于您的文件准备具有指导性意义。




什么是领事认证/三级认证?


领事认证也称三级认证。领事认证是一国的外交、领事机关在公证文书上证明公证机关或认证机关的最后一个签名和印章属实。 办理领事认证的目的是使一国出具的公证文书能为另一国有关当局所承认, 不致因怀疑文件上的签名或印章是否属实而影响文书的域外法律效力。一般来说,任何在美国产生的文件拿到非海牙公约成员国(如中国大陆)去使用,必须要经过大使馆或领事馆的认证。

中国驻美大使馆可以为由美国有关机构出具、并经美国务院认证的、拟送往中国使用的公证书或者其他证明文书等办理领事认证。

中国驻美总领事馆可为由美国有关机构出具、并经领区内各州州务卿认证的、拟送往中国使用的公证书或者其他证明文书等办理领事认证。

送往中国香港、澳门地区使用的有关文书,因其已加入海牙公约,无需办理领事认证。有关文书经美国当地机构公证,并经有关州务卿或美国国务院办理附加证明书(Apostille)后,即可在香港、澳门使用。

点击这里了解关于领事认证/三级认证的注意事项和常见错误。

点击这里了解您的文件使用国是否认可海牙认证。




为什么我必须要办理领事认证?


当非中国公民在海外因处理中国大陆境内相关事务而不能亲自前往办理时,可委托中国的亲友代为办理,这时就需要中国驻美使领馆对相关授权、委托文书进行认证。

办理领事认证的目的是使一国出具的公证书等能在中国境内被相关部门承认并且具有法律效力,不致因怀疑文书上的印章和签字是否属实而影响文书的法律效力。办理认证可委托他人或代办机构代为申请办理。




领事认证/三级认证的流程是什么?


领事认证,大家也通常称为“三级认证”。

申请领事认证的文书应按以下程序办理:

1. 有关文书应当首先由当地公证员(Notary Public)办理公证或由有权机关(如出生、死亡、婚姻登记处、法院、联邦政府部门)出具“核证副本”(Certified Copy)或证书。

2. 所在州州务卿认证。但有部分州要求先向County Clerk申请认证,再由州务卿(Secretary of State)认证。联邦政府部门出具的证明,有的可略过第2步,直接送美国国务院(Authentication Office, Department of State)认证。

3. 州政府认证过的文件,请根据中国驻美使领馆领区划分,属于总领事馆所辖领区的,请向相关总领事馆申请领事认证;属于大使馆所辖领区的,须送美国国务院办理认证后,再送大使馆申请领事认证。如未能按照领区划分递交申请,该申请会被拒绝受理。

为避免领事管辖区问题,几乎所有文件都可以采用“公证员公证→州务卿认证→美国国务院认证→中国大使馆认证”的程序。

点击这里查看三级认证流程图。




哪些文件可以办理领事认证?


凡是需要公证的事项,几乎都可以办领事认证。

常见的个人文件类:

➤ 政府文件公证认证:

▪ 美国出生证

▪ 美国死亡证

▪ 美国结婚证

▪ 美国离婚证

▪ 美国法庭判决

▪ 美国FBI无犯罪记录

▪ 美国地方警察局无犯罪记录

▪ 美国华侨证明

▪ 美国改名证明

▪ 美国驾照

➤ 声明书公证认证:

▪ 单身声明书

▪ 无配偶声明书

▪ 财产赠与声明书
▪ 放弃遗产继承声明

▪ 每年存活与健在证明

➤ 委托/授权书公证认证:

▪ 房产买卖委托书
▪ 房屋转让委托书
▪ 离婚诉讼的委托书
▪ 委托国内亲友代办银行或其他事情

➤ 移民留学文件公证认证:

▪ 收入证明
▪ 在职证明

▪ 财产状况证明

▪ 学位证书

▪ 成绩单

▪ 身体健康检查证明

▪ 家庭情况报告

▪ 儿童寄养收养文件

➤ 四大类别公证认证:

▪ 各种复印件与原件相符公证

▪ 各种当面宣誓承诺公证

▪ 各种当面签字签约公证

▪ 各种事实验证公证

常见的商业文件类:

➤ 商业文件公证认证:

▪ 美国公司注册文件

▪ 美国公司章程

▪ 美国公司执照

▪ 美国公司信誉证明

▪ 公司财务

▪ 公司税务文件

▪ 公司合同

▪ 公司决议

▪ 董事会决议

▪ 会议纪要

▪ 美国银行资信证明




办理领事认证需要哪些文件材料?


★ 本中心的《订单表》

1. 填妥的《中华人民共和国驻外使领馆领事认证申请表》。(该表格必须用英文大写字母键入,填写完整,并附上手写签名)

2. 拟认证的文书原件及复印件。

3. 申请人本人的有效护照(带照片的资料页)以及美国驾照或ID的复印件。

4. 申请人在美合法身份证明文件(如绿卡、工卡、I-20、H1B、移民局I-797收据等)的复印件。

5. 如办理公司营业执照文件认证,还应提交公司法人代表的护照或驾照复印件及能证明公司法人代表身份的公司文件。

6. 和认证文件内容相关的辅助性材料的复印件。如,办理和遗产内容相关的认证文件,须提供已故亲属的死亡证明、与申请人之间的亲属关系证明、遗嘱、相关财产的所有权证明等。又如,办理公司相关文件认证的,需提供完整的公司章程,如果申请人非公司章程内的法人代表,还需要提供公司法人代表的正式授权委托函等。




什么是海牙认证?


海牙认证(Apostille,读音"ah-po-steel")是用于海牙认证公约缔约国之间的一种简化的文书认证形式。1961年,海牙认证公约签署。1981年10月15日,美国加入海牙认证公约。目前世界上大约60%的国家是海牙认证公约的缔约国。

中国大陆和台湾还没有加入该公约,所以拿到中国大陆和台湾使用的文件不能进行海牙认证,需要走常规的领事认证程序(即公证员公证→州务卿认证→国务院认证→大使馆认证);香港和澳门已加入该公约,可进行海牙认证。

如果您的文件需要拿到海牙缔约国使用(比如西班牙留学用的无犯罪记录,成绩单),就需要办理海牙认证。

点击这里了解关于海牙认证。




办理州务卿认证可以加快吗?


大部分州务卿不提供加急服务。本中心的预计处理时间是10-15个工作日(通常情况)。但由于州务卿的实际工作量或邮寄往返时间,实际处理时间可少于或多于该预计时间。




你们接受哪些付款方式?


本中心接受以下付款方式:

1.【在线付款
储蓄卡/信用卡(Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover)
2.【Paypal】
收款人:info@usnotarycenter.com
3.【现金支票】

Money Order, Cashier's Check.

收款人:American Notary Service Center Inc.

4.【E-mail Invoice 邮件收款请求】

本中心向您的email发送一份Invoice(收款请求),可直接点击完成付款。




海牙认证由哪个部门办理?


文件出处不同,选择不同的部门机构。

如出生证、结婚证等由州内当地政府部门或当地法院出具的文件,应选择该州州务卿办理认证,注明类型为:海牙认证(Apostille)。

如FBI无犯罪记录、专利商标等美国联邦政府或联邦法院出具的文件,应选择国务卿办理认证,注明类型为:海牙认证(Apostille)。

点击这里了解海牙认证。




海牙认证和州务卿/国务院认证有什么不同?


事实上,海牙认证是州务卿/国务院认证类型中的一种,进行了海牙认证的文件可在签署了《海牙公约》的海牙成员国中使用。

点击这里了解关于海牙认证的方方面面。




美国政府部门出具的文件做领事认证,办好认证以后有中文翻译吗?


没有。

在办理领事认证的各个环节中,没有机构会把您本身的英文原件翻译成中文。他们认证的原则是,证明文件的真实性,并不会改变您提交的原件,不会添加、减少或更改您原件上的任何信息。

如果是这类型美国政府各级部门出具的英文原件,我们建议选择到文件使用国(中国)寻找翻译,因为有些文件接收方会要求您到指定的翻译机构翻译才认可。




个人出具的文件,用英语起草还是中文起草?


自己准备的文件,包括声明书、委托书、协议合同等,如果文件出具国和文件使用国不使用同一种官方语言,请尽量用双语(英文-文件使用国语言)起草。

值得注意的是:

1. 采用“一段英文一段中文”这种交叉的方式。

2. 一份文件只能有一个签名的地方,一个写日期的地方。最好不要有多处签名,例如英文版的有一个签名处,中文版还有一个签名处。

注:起草声明书、委托书、协议合同等文件具有非常强的法律性和专业性,我们所提供的经验和信息不能以任何形式被理解为法律建议。如果有需要,请咨询您的律师。




我来自其他州,不在大华府地区,你们能为我提供公证和认证服务吗?


对于仅需要公证的文件,我们建议您在您附近找到当地的公证人。 对于进行后续认证的文件的公证服务,我们建议您在您附近找到当地的公证人,并以传统方式(纸笔)进行公证。一些政府机构目前还无法对电子公证文件进行认证。 对于任何海牙认证/州务卿认证/国务院认证/大使馆认证,无论您来自哪个州,我们很乐意并能够为您提供服务。您只需将需要认证的文件(已由公证员公证)邮寄给我们。将后续流程留给我们。很简单! 单击 此处查看传统公证,电子公证和远程公证的区别。
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