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Can I notarize documents in a foreign country?

Is it possible to notarize documents in a foreign country? — D. A., Illinois

This question has two answers. First, no, as an Illinois Notary you may not notarize a document if you are outside Illinois in another country. Second, yes, a document may be notarized in a foreign country by a notarial officer of that country or by a U.S. citizen taking the document to a U.S. consulate to be notarized by a U.S. consular officer. 

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 1-888-876-0827, Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST.


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Artur Oktanyan

29 Mar 2021

Your answers are always too narrow. I would have answered: "No U.S. state allows for a notary to notarize a document in a foreign country, and that includes Illinois." This way you have answered the question for the person who asked and for all those who may ask What about my state? Please always be mindful of this.

National Notary Association

31 Mar 2021

Hello. Virginia gives its Notaries worldwide jurisdiction for any document intended to be used in Virginia or by the U.S. government (COV 47.1-13[B]; HNP)

Gloria M Kelley-Borden

04 Aug 2021

I've been trying to get in I'm gloria M Kelley-Borden not gloria J morgan. I talk one your reps before I got kick out. I did it wIt just pray this ppl are my friends we since head start


12 Feb 2023

In US embassy website for Germany in the video they say that they can notarize a document that is going to bemused only in USA, not in other countries. But your information says that they can. What is correct?

National Notary Association

13 Feb 2023

Hello. U.S. embassies or consulates in other countries have staff authorized to notarize documents being sent to the United States. If you are in the U.S. and need a document notarized that is being sent to another country, one option is to contact an embassy or consulate of that country. (for example a German consulate for a document being sent to Germany) to ask if they have an officer on staff who can perform the notarization.


19 Feb 2024

I’m curious if I was in Europe and decided to sell my car back in the US, would a family member be able to send me the title of my vehicle, could I have it notarized in Europe and send it back to the US so the car could be sold? It’s a NC title in my name and I’ll be in Europe for a while and worry I’d need to sell my car before returning to the US.

National Notary Association

20 Feb 2024

Hello. You would need to contact the appropriate state motor vehicle department for that information.

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