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Are English translations required for notarization and Apostille of Non-English documents?

Updated: Nov 15, 2022

Can foreign language documents be notarized and apostilled in the U.S.? The answer is that it varies by state and agency.

For notarization:

In some states, notaries are allowed to notarize foreign language documents once they can understand that foreign language and communicate smoothly with the clients, without the reliance on a third party who, intentionally or unintentionally, may interpret the conversation incorrectly. It's worth noting that although the document may be in another language, the notary’s statement, which usually refers to the notarial certificate, must be in English.

For Apostille and Authentication:

Most states accept documents in different languages as long as the notarization is in English. However, some agencies, like the U.S. Department of State, have different requirements. They do not accept Non-English documents. All documents in a foreign language must be translated into English by a certified translator and notarized as a true translation.

💡Tips: If your documents need to be used in non-English speaking countries, and the documents are powers of attorney, declarations, agreements, wills, affidavits, etc. that can be prepared and drafted by yourself. In that case, we recommend that you draft them in both English and foreign language, in the format of "one paragraph in English + one paragraph in local language", and then complete notarization and certification successively. In this way, it can not only avoid the rejection of apostille or authentication in the United States, but also make the receiving party in foreign countries understand the documents without obstacles.

Please refer to the table below to confirm if you need an English translation for a foreign language document.

✅ means need.

❌ means does not need.

​State / Agency

​Does the document require an English translation?

​Does the translation need to be notarized?

​U.S. Department of State

















​District of Columbia (DC)

























​New Hampshire

​New Jersey



​New Mexico

​New York

​North Carolina



​North Dakota









​Rhode Island

​South Carolina



​South Dakota







​West Virginia



Don't forget to order our apostille and authentication services which can free you from the complicated, time-consuming, and distracting application process that requires expertise.

If you are not sure which kind of apostille service you should choose, please refer to this guide. Or, contact us by describing ① the type of the document, ② which state the doc is from, and ③ in which country the doc will be used, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.


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


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