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What Steps Do I Take To Notarize A Translated Document?

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How do I notarize a foreign document that has been translated into English by a translator? Would I use an acknowledgment or jurat? What should I enter in my journal under type of document? – N.N., Clovis, CA

There are two possible scenarios Notaries could face based upon your question. First, they could be asked to notarize the translator’s statement certifying the translation of the document into English. Second, they could be asked to notarize the translated document itself. If no notarial certificate is present in either case, ask the customer if he or she would like an acknowledgment or a jurat, briefly describe each act, show the customer sample certificates of each, and then attach whichever form the customer chooses. This decision should always be made by the signer, not the Notary. In your journal, note that the document was either a translator’s declaration or briefly describe the translated document itself if it does not contain a title.

Kelle Clarke is a Contributing Editor with the National Notary Association.

Hotline answers are based on the laws in the state where the question originated and may not reflect the laws of other states. If in doubt, always refer to your own state statutes. –The Editors

Confronted with a tricky notarization? Unsure how to proceed? NNA members have unlimited access to our expertly trained NNA Hotline counselors to help you with all of your notarial questions. Call (888) 876-0827Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST


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Georgia Percy

12 Aug 2014

thank you

Donna Schweiger

12 Aug 2014

If a person comes in and wants to have his passport notarized for identification and has already signed the document. Is his signature in your notary book sufficient, or does he need to resign again?

National Notary Association

12 Aug 2014

Hello Donna, You need to complete a separate journal entry for each notarization requested by a signer--even if the signer's information and signature has been recorded in your journal in the past. The signer would need to write his or her signature in the new journal entry. Be sure to follow all of your state or territory's requirements for completing a journal entry.

Meagan Ollie

15 Jan 2018

If I am trying to facilitate documents being translated from a client's native language to English for a Visa application, would a notary be able to notarize said documents once the translator has already translated them and signed off on their correctness?

National Notary Association

16 Jan 2018

Hello. A Notary is not authorized to certify the accuracy of a translation, but if the translator signs a written statement attesting to the accuracy of the translation, the Notary may notarize the translator's signature on the written statement.


14 Mar 2018

HI. Can a notary notarize a translate marriage certificate?

National Notary Association

14 Mar 2018

Hello. Notaries normally may not certify translations of documents, and may not certify copies of marriage certificates because they are vital records.

Lindsay Daitch

20 Feb 2019

I need a document notarized that has been translated from English to Mandarin. How can I go about doing this?

National Notary Association

22 Feb 2019

Based on what you’ve described, we think it would be best if you contacted our Hotline team by phone and provided them with a more detailed description of the situation. The NNA Hotline: 1-888-876-0827 Mon – Fri: 5:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (PT) Saturday: 5:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (PT) If you’re not an NNA Member or Hotline Subscriber, they will provide you with a one-time courtesy call.

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