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Can I Use My Notary Commission Overseas?

New Hotline Resized 3

I am moving overseas and I have found that there is often a need for Notary services by American citizens living or traveling abroad. Is it possible to get a commission in my home state of Pennsylvania and then use it overseas? J.N., Quakertown, PA

If you receive a Notary commission from Pennsylvania, your jurisdiction is only within the borders of the State of Pennsylvania; you would not be able to notarize outside the state or country. Until 2003, Pennsylvania appointed “commissioners of deeds” — individuals who resided in other U.S. states or territories, or foreign countries — who could take acknowledgments and proofs of execution of any deed, mortgage or conveyance of any land situated in Pennsylvania. Commissioners could also record any contract, letter of attorney or other writing under seal, and administer oaths or affirmations. Once a document was authenticated by a commissioner of deeds, the document could be recorded in the land records. However, the last appointments of commissioners of deeds expired in 2008.

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

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Richard Bronge

14 Oct 2014

Based on your reply over seas does this apply to out of stae as i am in Fla some of the time during the winter

National Notary Association

15 Oct 2014

Hello Richard, Florida Notaries are only authorized to perform notarizations within the borders of the state. (FS 117.01[1])


17 Oct 2014

Hi, this was a great question and I'm sorry to see that the answer person stopped at PA, where the question writer was from. Before you get 48 other questions asking the same (since you already rec'd the same question from Florida two days ago), how about answering whether it or not it is possible at all for any Notary from any state and where we can find out for sure. In California, YES, you can use it anywhere. Just know what county you are in (state/country/etc) and know that in some countries, they call counties different things. I notarized a document in Osaka Japan once, and the county is known as a prefecture. I can't even remember what I put down anymore - it was a while ago. But here we say State of California, County of Los Angeles (for example) - there you would need to make appropriate changes (lined through and initialed) as required on documents here when we receive pre-printed info but travel outside that county. For other readers: check your notary commission FAQs from your Secretary of State or relevant governance body. The answer should be in there, and if it's not, call to ask! :)

National Notary Association

17 Oct 2014

Hello Elizabeth, We're sorry but your statement is incorrect. California Notaries Public are not authorized to perform notarial acts in other nations. A California Notary commission only authorizes the Notary to perform notarial acts within the state's borders. (Government Code Section 8200) Only one state, Virginia, gives state-commissioned Notaries Public the authority to notarize documents worldwide, and then only for documents intended to be used in Virginia or by the U.S. government. (COV 47.1-13[B])

Oswald J. Bien-Aimé

18 Oct 2014

Here is another question that I want National Notary Association to answer in a form of an addendum article: Notaries can't notarize outside their jurisdiction (I get that), so what kind of notary license does Consuls working in the many US Consulate around the world have? Consuls areound the world are using some form of instrument to notarize like for example at the US Consulate in Port-au-Prince, Haïti, WI that charges $32 USD per transaction. If such a notary license exists for all the United States and its territories, I WANT ONE!!!

Mr. V

21 Oct 2016

I am IL NPC. Is there any state in us authorized to perform notarial acts in other nations. (and or europe)

National Notary Association

25 Oct 2016

Hello. Kentucky issues a special commission that authorizes the holder to notarize outside the state's borders, but only for documents that will be recorded in Kentucky. However, to apply for a KY Notary commission you must be a resident of or principally employed in Kentucky.

Frederick Ahrens

19 Nov 2017

Can I notarize a property form from Florida(a divorce sttlement form)with the prison living inn England

National Notary Association

20 Nov 2017

Hello. To help us answer your question, can you please confirm if you are commissioned in Florida or a different state, and tell us where the notarization would take place?


29 Nov 2017

my cousin lives in n.y. can he get a notary stamp that he can use in Ireland,a friend died in Ireland all his legal stuff is here,he has to get stuff notarized by his family so the can go on with his will,his family lives in Ireland he lives .n.y. all the notarized letters will be going to n.y. probate court I guess or whatever court handles wills and estates

National Notary Association

30 Nov 2017

Hello. We're sorry, but a New York Notary commission may not be used in another country. If assistance is needed notarizing documents being sent between Ireland and New York, it may be advisable to contact a consulate, embassy or a qualified attorney to ask for instructions.


29 May 2018

Hello. I am a Florida Notary and i am notarizing my friends marriage license who are also Florida residents. However, just recently the brides parents (her father), do to health issues, wont be able to come down to Florida for the wedding, so they want to have the ceremony in Dublin, which is where her parents are at and have me and the rest of the Florida close friends and family come to Dublin for 5 days for the wedding ceremony. Can i notarize the Florida Marriage license in Dublin during the ceremony and then once we are all back mail it to the county?

National Notary Association

29 May 2018

Hello. No you may not use your Florida Notary commission in a foreign country.


29 May 2018

I am California Notary... my friend was deport to Tijuana Mexico can I notarizer a Grand Deed of trust in Mexico???

National Notary Association

29 May 2018

Hello. No, California Notaries may not use their commissions in Mexico.


02 Jul 2018

Can New York Notaries use their notary commission in Canada?

National Notary Association

02 Jul 2018

Hello. No, New York Notaries may only use their commissions within the boundaries of New York State.

Joseph Ehart

05 Aug 2018

I'm overseas and the Embassy charges $50 PER PAGE to notarize, obviously many people choose not to use their service. My question is two parts: 1) How can they validly notarize for every state? and 2) Is there a way for an individual to obtain the same ability? Many people need notary services and I see no need to charge such a fee.

National Notary Association

08 Aug 2018

Hello. Certain consular and embassy officers are authorized by the federal government to notarize documents by federal law. For more information, please see this page: The federal government does not issue commissions to private citizens to notarize documents in foreign countries.

Robert Loglisci

26 Aug 2018

Hello Notary Association, Where would I start if I wanted to become a notary in Afghanistan?

National Notary Association

27 Aug 2018

Hello. A typical Notary commission issued by a U.S. state would not be usable in Afghanistan. Are you a member of the U.S. military or employed at a consulate or embassy?


25 Jan 2019

Hello. Just to be 100% clear, you are saying that a notary authorized by the state of Texas could notarize a document presented by a person in, say, Japan, if s/he was within Texas at that time. However, if the notary was in Japan, sitting beside the person presenting the document, s/he would not be able to notarize it because the notary was outside of Texas. Is that right?

National Notary Association

25 Jan 2019

Hello. No matter where the signer is originally from, a Texas Notary can only perform notarizations when the Notary is within the borders of Texas.

Edward O'Donnell

24 Dec 2019

The state of Florida sets maximum fees from $10-20 for notarial services which seems to be very low. Am I allowed to charge extra for any reason? For example if I travel to them, for photocopies I need to make, certificates I need to print? If yes, what can/can't I charge more than the set state fee for?

National Notary Association

30 Dec 2019

Hello. Florida Notary law does not regulate fees for non-notarial services such as printing or photocopying a customer's documents. If you choose to charge additional fees for non-notarial services, be sure to clearly communicate this to the client before the notarization, and be sure to record any additional fees separately from your Notary fees in your journal so that it is clear you are not charging more than the statutory Notary fees set by Florida law. Also, Florida's Reference Manual for Notaries states that if Notaries charge fees for other services not directly related to the notarization, the Notary must provide the customer with an itemized list of charges beforehand.

Willy stamm

30 May 2021

The laws have changed and there are many services that can notarize documents online. Don’t waste money going to the embassy or consulate and pay $50 when average price is $25 and you can get docs notarized from your living room.

Greg Rellis

13 May 2022

I am an American in Switzerland. I wish to become a notary. I wish to notarize documents for Americans in Switzerland, I understand that recently the laws have changed. If this is the case, what state has granted the ability to notary's of that state to notarize documents abroad specifically in Switzerland or Europe.

National Notary Association

17 May 2022

Hello. If you are referring to remote online notarization, a U.S. Notary may only perform remote notarizations when the Notary is physically located in the Notary's commissioning state, though signers can be located elsewhere. You cannot perform a remote notarization while physically outside your commissioning state's borders. Please see here for more information:

Tammi Miller

07 Aug 2022

I am a Ga notary I work on an U.S. Army Base in Iraq can I notarize for a US citizen on the base?

National Notary Association

08 Aug 2022

Hello. You would not be able to use your Georgia commission to notarize while you are located in another country.

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