The 101 on U.S. Notarizations in China for Expats

U.S. Notarizations in China

Every so often, one of our lawyers in the United States or in China gets contacted by an expat asking about obtaining a U.S. notarization. We provide this service to our clients in the United States for free but flying all the way to the United States just for a notarization usually isn’t practical (though it has happened).

What’s the alternative for those in China?

U.S. Embassy and Consulates in China

Those based in China can seek U.S. notarization services at the following locations:

The Notarization Process and Some Tips

The Embassy and these consulates will provide U.S. notarization for English language documents intended for use in the United States. When you go, you should bring the following:

  • The documents requiring notarization.
  • Proof of your identity (preferably your passport).
  • Fifty dollars in cash, the RMB equivalent, or a credit card.
  • Ensure your documents are strictly in English.
  • Expect possible delays during peak periods, such as major U.S. or Chinese holidays.

If your documents require a witness for the notarization, you should bring your own.

Appointments and Processing Time

The U.S. Embassy and Consulates can get quite busy, and it’s advisable to book an appointment in advance. Most notarizations are processed immediately, but it’s always a good idea to confirm beforehand.

Document Authentication

If you need to authenticate Chinese documents for use in the U.S., the process is a bit different. First, get your documents authenticated by the Notarization and Authentication Division of the Consular Affairs Department of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After that, the U.S. Embassy or Consulate can authenticate them for you.