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Can I notarize a power of attorney written in a foreign language?

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Can we notarize a power of attorney in a foreign language?M.C., Virginia

Virginia law does not expressly prohibit the Notary from notarizing a document in a foreign language. However, the danger in notarizing a foreign language document is that the document could be misrepresented to the Notary.

The best option is to refer the signer of a foreign language document to a Notary who understands the language in which the document is written. If that is not possible, the Notary should only proceed by completing an English-language notarial certificate.

These tips pertain only to foreign-language documents and not foreign-language signers. Though Arizona, Colorado and Mississippi permit using interpreters during notarizations, in most jurisdictions the signer and Notary must be able to communicate in the same language without reliance on a translator.

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 consultants 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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31 Jan 2024

Are power of attorneys in a foreign language enforceable? Or do they need to be in English in order to be enforced?

National Notary Association

01 Feb 2024

Hello. That is a legal question that would need to be answered by a qualified attorney.

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