16 Apr Help! I Need to Notarize a Document, But I Am Overseas!
When abroad, legal procedures back home can cause even more stress than they would on the home front. Without the immediate assistance of lawyers or local representatives, it can be confusing and time-consuming to understand how to proceed with the many legal tasks you are involved in. If you need to notarize a document regarding any legal findings you may have come across, this can be particularly confusing.
Thankfully, the process for notarizing legal documents across national borders is much simpler than one would initially assume. In every U.S. Embassy or Consulate, you can locate specific employees whose job is to help you in these scenarios. Find the nearest Embassy or Consulate and asks to speak to a Notarizing Officer. From there they will help you walk through every step in order to get your document notarized for overseas purposes.
Additionally, most foreign “Notarizing Officers” will be able to notarize a document for you. They will have to send it to an official officer within the U.S. to have it authenticated and processed, but the process should still run smoothly. Any country that is part of the Hague Apostille Convention has set up simplified procedures for notarizing international legal documents, so make sure to research rather or not the territory you are in is included within this convention.
This ability for countries to work together toward document notarization can be traced back to early international treaties; sometimes going as far back as the eighteenth and nineteenth century! In the present day, most of these functions gain legality through the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963. This Act covers most countries, but some others fall under different similar laws. You should be able to notarize documents overseas in nearly every country.
Having proper identification will be essential when looking to get a document notarized abroad. You will need both a government-issued ID and passport, but other documents such as social security cards can also help expedite the process. It can be helpful to try and contact an Embassy or Consulate ahead of your visit in order to guarantee you have all the necessary documents.
This covers the basics of everything you need to know about notarizing abroad. However, if you have more specific questions that need answering, there are many useful resources online that can help you find your answer. If possible always try and consult your attorney before attempting to notarize a document overseas. With most procedures abroad it should function the same no matter what state you come from, but you should always double check. By checking with your attorney beforehand, you can save yourself the hours of frustration that occur from improperly performed notarizations.