Notaries in the United States certify signatures that need identity verification to complete a variety of financial and legal transactions. To have a document notarized, you may be required to provide your government-issued identification, such as a driver's license or passport.
In the United States, it's easy to find a notary. Many banks, tax offices, law offices, and other businesses offer notary services. You can also contact your US Post Office, FedEx, UPS office; they often have notaries available. Traveling notaries can also come directly to your home or office.
If you're located outside of the United States but need to use a power of attorney within the United States, there are a variety of options to have your document certified.
A foreign notary not only verifies that a signature on a document is valid but also certifies that the document itself is legally binding. This additional step can mean additional time, cost, and burden to you, especially if the notarization you need is for something simple.
- An online notary service allows you to upload documents and identification over the internet and often includes a video interview to confirm your identity. Some states don’t allow government-issued documents to be notarized online. In these cases, you’ll need to contact an in-person notary.
- Your local United States embassy or consulate may provide notary services.
- You may be issued an apostille by your local government, which verifies both your signature and the authenticity of a document. An apostille is issued by the competent authority in the respective country. In most cases, this will be the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in that country.
Before deciding which document certification method is right for you, check with the state receiving and processing the document to ensure that you're following its requirements and statutes.