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Quiz: International Notarizations

When documents are sent between the U.S. and other countries, they present additional challenges when notarizing — including foreign language issues, international legal requirements and more. How ready are you to take on the challenge of international documents? Take our quiz and find out.





1. When notarizing a document sent from another country, you must be sure that:
A. The document is written in English
B. The notarial request is one you may lawfully perform
C. The signer has a valid U.S. passport as identification
D. Both A and B

Answer: B. Because Notaries in some other nations perform different duties than U.S. Notaries, confirm that the notarial act requested is one you are authorized to perform. If this requirement is met, you can then proceed with the notarization.

2. What is an apostille?
A. A certified translation of a notarized document sent to another country
B. A certificate authenticating a notarization on a document sent to another country
C. A notarial act that exempts someone from paying taxes to a specific country
D. None of the above

Answer: B. An apostille is a certificate attached to a notarized document sent to another country party to The Hague treaty on authentication of public documents. It confirms to the receiving agency that the notarization was performed by a Notary with a valid commission.

3. Who may issue an apostille and attach it to a notarized document?
A. Any Notary or licensed international law attorney
B. Only the Notary who notarized the document
C. Only an authorized competent authority
D. None of the above

Answer: C. Notaries may not issue and attach apostilles to documents. Only an authorized competent authority under The Hague treaty on authentication of public documents — typically the Secretary of State’s office or other Notary-regulating agency — is authorized to issue apostilles.

4. True or False? Embassies and consulates may notarize documents being sent to their home countries.

Answer: True. Embassy and consular staff are authorized to notarize documents being sent to their home countries. If a foreign country requests a notarial act for a signer’s document that a U.S. Notary isn’t authorized to perform, the signer can contact that country’s consulate for assistance.

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.


Add your comment

Marjorie L. Bremilst

13 Jan 2015

I have recently married. How do I change my name on my National Notary card and certificate?(Massachusetts)

National Notary Association

14 Jan 2015

Hello, If you need to change your name on your MA Notary commission, you will need to send the Secretary of State's office a signed notice of the change of name including both the old and new versions of your name within 10 days of the change taking effect. You will need to include your commission expiration date on the notice. The mailing address is: Secretary of the Commonwealth, Public Records Division, Commissions Section, McCormack Building, One Ashburton Place, Room 1719, Boston, MA 02108 If you need to update your contact information with the NNA, please call our Customer Care team at 1-800-876-6827.

Idolidia Estelles

29 Apr 2015

What Identification can be use for someone from another country?

National Notary Association

29 Apr 2015

Hello. Identification requirements for a signer vary depending on state Notary law. If you can please provide us with the state you are commissioned in, we can provide you with more specific information.

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