Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Notarized Travel Documents

Notarial and authentication services are one of the oldest traditional U.S. consular functions dating back to 1792.
Consular officials at any U.S. embassy or consulate abroad can provide a service similar to the functions of a notary public in the United States. It is also possible to have a document notarized by a local foreign notary and then have the document authenticated by a U.S. consular officer
Notarials and Authentications
Like a notary public in the U.S., the consular official must require the personal appearance of the person requesting the notarial service; establish the identity of the person requesting the service; establish that the person understands the nature, language and consequences of the document to be notarized; and establish that the person is not acting under duress. (22 C.F.R. 92.31).
"Notarial" functions relate to oaths, affidavits and acknowledgments. The consular official must be satisfied that the act does not come within the purview of the regulatory bases for refusal to provide the notarial service set forth at 22 C.F.R. 92.9.
An "authentication" is the placing of the consular seal over the seal of a foreign authority whose seal and signature is on file with the American Embassy or Consulate. A consular authentication in no way attests to the authenticity of the contents of a document but merely to the seal and signature of the issuing authority.
The Embassy or Consulate may also provide notarial and authentication services for non-U.S. citizens, so long as the document in connection with which the notarial/authentication service is required is for use within the jurisdiction of the United States.
There is a US$30.00 fee for the first notarial service requested, and a US$20 fee for each additional seal provided at the same time in connection with the same transaction.
There is a US$30.00 fee for each authentication service provided by a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad.
Fees may be paid in cash or by money order. No personal checks are accepted. Money orders should be made payable to the American Embassy or Consulate. (For example: "American Consulate, Toronto")
At Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal and Calgary you do not require an appointment for notarial services but it is important that you arrive during the hours when "American Citizen Services" are provided. Tell the guard that you've come for a notarial. At Vancouver, Halifax and Québec City, these services are by appointment. The link below provides contact information, office hours, and locations.
U.S. Consulates in Canada
Authentications of the Canadian Notary's Seal
If traveling to the U.S. embassy or Consulate is inconvenient, you may - in certain circumstances - sign your documents before a Notary Public in Canada. Most lawyers in Canada are Notaries Public. If you sign before a Canadian Notary Public you should be aware that most states require a U.S. Embassy/Consulate to authenticate the signature of a foreign Notary Public.
Write or fax the Embassy/Consulate to verify if your Notary's signature and seal are already on file, and to ensure that your situation qualifies for this processing.
If not, then a sample of the Notary's signature and seal must first be authenticated by the appropriate provincial authority responsible for Notaries Public. You will be provided further instructions.
Authentications of the Consular officer's seal
The Department of State's Authentication Office can authenticate the seal of a consular officer. The Authentication Office is located at:
518 23rd St., N.W. Washington, D.C. 20520 (202) 647-5002 or (800) 688-9889
Walk-in service is available from 8AM to 12PM Monday-Friday, except holidays. There is a fee of US$5.00.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Addition to Notary Links

I have recently found a great resource for Notary Public links in Alberta.

This website offers some outstanding information.

Interested in becoming a Notary Public in Canada?

The University of Alberta offers a comprehesive course for all those interested in becoming a NOtary Public in Edmonton or Calgary. If you areinterested in becoming a Commissioner for Oaths, you can get an application package by calling (780) 427-5981 in Edmonton or dial 310-0000 for toll-free connection anywhere in Alberta, including Calgary.