top of page

Notarization and Authentication of Power of Attorney (POA)

Updated: Nov 17, 2022

1. What is a Power of Attorney (POA)?

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document giving one person (the agent or attorney-in-fact) the power to act for another person (the principal). The power of attorney is frequently used in the event of a principal's illness or disability, or when the principal can't be present to sign necessary legal documents for financial transactions.

A general power of attorney acts on behalf of the principal in any and all matters, as allowed by the state. The agent can have the broad legal authority to make legal decisions about the principal's property, finances, or medical care. A limited power of attorney gives the agent the power to act on behalf of the principal in specific matters or events.

2. You need to notarize and authenticate your Power of Attorney in the following cases

The notarization and authentication here mean to make your POA legalized to avoid subsequent invalidity or disputes.

  • When you are physically or mentally incapable of managing your affairs, you will appoint a person to handle your legal, financial, and medical issues.

  • When you cannot be present to handle matters, you will appoint a person to do it for you, such as property transactions, bank affairs, and adopting a child, etc.

3. What's included in a Power of Attorney?

  • Basic information of the principal

  • Basic information of the agent or attorney-in-fact

  • The specific matters

  • The specific powers

  • The effective date and expiration date

We recommended that you prepare the power of attorney in two languages, English and the language of the country where the document is used (e.g. English and Spanish, English and Chinese, etc.), in order to make sure the US notary public and relevant US certification authorities can understand the content of the document, and at the same time, let the authorities in the destination country understand the content. We also suggest that you confirm with the relevant agencies in the destination country if the content and format meet the requirements and then start to notarize and authenticate the document.

4. Different types of Power of Attorney

  • General Power of Attorney

  • Power of Attorney for Real Estate Transactions(Power of Attorney for Buying a House、Power of Attorney for Selling Separate Property、Power of Attorney for Selling Marital Property )

  • Power of Attorney for Car Sale

  • Power of Attorney for Bank Affairs

  • Power of Attorney for Litigation

  • Power of Attorney for Divorce

  • Power of Attorney for Adoption

It is recommended that you find a professional attorney to draft it for you. Or download the editable template.

English Version:

English & Chinese Version:

5. The Process of Notarization, Authentication, and Legalization of a POA

Any POAs issued in the United States need to be apostilled or authenticated before their use in other countries outside the United States

If the destination country is a member of the Hague Convention of 1961, it needs to get the Apostille from the Secretary of State. Once the apostille is completed, It is ready for use.

However, if the destination country is NOT a member of the Hague Convention of 1961, more steps are needed. Specifically, the document needs to be authenticated by the Secretary of State, the U.S. Department of State (if any), and the embassy of that destination country which is located in Washington D.C.

Simply place an order based on your situation and mail us the original copy which has been notarized. We will contact the right people and department at the Secretary of State to apostille your POA, or authenticate it at the Secretary of State, the U.S. Department of State and then get it legalized at the embassy of your destination country.

Click here to check if the destination country is a member of the Hague Apostille Convention.

6. Time and Materials

Time (*COVID-19 may cause significant delays):

  • Notarization: get the documents notarized immediately after a notarial act properly performed by a notary.

  • Secretary of State Apostille/Authentication: usually about 10-15 business days, depending on the work volume of the office and the delivery time. Most office does not provide expedited services.

  • U.S. Department of State Apostille/Authentication: standard processing 12 business days, express processing 7 business days, rush processing 3 business days.

  • Embassy Legalization: standard processing 12 business days, express processing 7 business days, rush processing 3 business days.


  • Order Form of our center

  • Authentication Application Form (it differs by your destination country)

  • The original document to be authenticated

  • The copy of the document to be authenticated

  • Copy of the applicant's ID, such as passport, driver's license, and green card

  • Others


American Notary Service Center Inc. provides fair, fast, confidential, and professional document notarization and certification services for our clients. We also provide various assistance services to small businesses led by socially and economically disadvantaged groups. Our service helps small businesses obtain federal government contracts, gain a foothold in the market, and boost their sales. For more information, please visit our website at, and contact us by calling 202-599-0777 or by email at


bottom of page