Frequently Asked Notary Questions

Every person signing a document to be notarized must  schedule an online appointment.  Several persons’ names may be entered on the appointment form at the same date and time (witnesses, co-signers).

Notarizing officers and employees at the Embassy are prohibited from witnessing.

If your document requires them, you need to bring your own (along with their proof of identity).

Prior to your arrival, please make sure that the witnesses may indeed sign the documents. For example, some documents such as Wills may not be signed by certain family members.

The Embassy does not provide official translation services.  We have established a list of official translators and interpreters PDF – 381 KB (traducteur-interprête assermenté) who are licensed to translate and interpret for the various French courts.  However, the Embassy assumes no responsibility for the professional ability or integrity of the individuals or firms listed.

You will have to ask the city hall in France or the court if they will accept the document notarized outside of France and then contact the U.S. Consulate abroad.

 

Certification of U.S. birth certificates and other  U.S. vital statistics documents

You may need to affixed an Apostille to your birth certificate, which will officially authenticate the signature and seal of the document for use in France.

If our birth certificate was issued in the U.S., the Apostille can only be obtained by contacting the state that issued the document. Please consult these webpages for the appropriate state office to affix the apostille

or

http://travel.state.gov/law/judicial/judicial_2086.html.

Apostille:

U.S. Vital Records:

Since offices of the federal government (U.S. Embassies) do not keep copies of U.S. certificates, files, or indexes with identifying information for vital records you will have to apply for these documents in the United States

In order to obtain any state government issued document concerning birth, death, marriage or divorce, you may order one from the internet website of the National Center for Health Statistics at this website page http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w.htm.

As a representative of the federal government, the U.S. Embassy may not register marriages performed in France since marriage regulations are determined state-by-state.

You should register your marriage in the state where you will be residing when you return to live in the United States.  Registrations take place at the local town or city hall and requirements can vary depending on state and local laws, so it is important to contact your city hall in advance in order to obtain the information concerning your marriage registration.  In most cases you will need:

  • an official translation of your French marriage certificate, with an apostille:
  • Apostille for Documents Issued in the United States(PDF -128 KB)
  • Apostille for Documents Issued in France (PDF – 76 KB)
  • your livret de famille.
  • Local state authorities may also ask you to provide a translation of a French birth certificate of spouse, if applicable. This may be done in France or you may obtain a list of translators from the French Consulates in the United States. Other documents may also be required.

For more information please see the Department of State website pages on marriage abroad.

Most city halls (mairies) in France require some or all of the following documents, please contact the city hall where you will be getting married for more information on this topic:

Apostille:



No. Consular officers are not authorized to execute Medallion Signature Guarantees. A medallion signature guarantee is a special signature guarantee for the transfer of securities.  It is a guarantee by the transferring financial institution that the signature is genuine and the financial institution accepts liability for any forgery. Only a financial institution participating in an SEC medallion signature guarantee program is authorized to affix a medallion imprint.  You may seek this service in local branches of U.S. banks, brokers or attorneys.  Alternatively, you may contact the SEC directly via the internet, via phone at 1-800-SEC-0330 (investor assistance and complaints), via fax at 202-942-7040, or by mail at Mail Stop 11-2, 450 Fifth Street N.W., Washington, DC  20549.

U.S. Vital Records

Since offices of the federal government (U.S. Embassies) do not keep copies of U.S. certificates, files, or indexes with identifying information for vital records you will have to apply for these documents in the United States

In order to obtain any state government issued document concerning birth, death, marriage or divorce, you may order one from the internet website of the National Center for Health Statistics at this website page http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w.htm.

Certification of U.S. birth certificates and other vital statistics documents:  You may need to affixed an Apostille to your birth certificate, which will officially authenticate the signature and seal of the document for use in France.

The Apostille can only be obtained in the United States since the embassy does not provide this service. Please consult these  webpages for the appropriate state office to affix the apostille, or http://travel.state.gov/law/judicial/judicial_2086.html.

Our offices CANNOT provide certified true copies of documents, such as copies of educational transcripts or diplomas, bank statements, court documents, or other such official records.Such requests should usually be addressed to the office which issued the document in question. For example, certified true copies of academic records should be requested from the registrar of the institution that originally issued them. For more information on this subject, please consult the State Department’s website.

he Embassy does not provide the attestation de concordance. We can provide you with a notarized sworn statement that you must complete concerning the differences in your name as they appear on the passports. You may explain this matter in French or English.

Example of a Sworn Statement form (PDF 58 KB) that you can complete and bring to the consulate.  Please do NOT sign this form. It will be certified by a consul acting as notary public. We can attach all the relevant documents to this form, i.e. copies of the two passports, so please bring these photocopies with you.

Unfortunately the American Presence Posts no longer provide notary services.

Notary services for U.S. citizens in those consular districts can be scheduled at either the U.S. Embassy in Paris,  U.S. Consulate General in Marseille, or Strasbourg.

However the U.S. Mission to France will schedule periodic visits by consular officers to provide routine services to American citizens in the districts of APP Rennes, Bordeaux and Toulouse. We will publicize these visits to citizens actively listed in our Smart Travelers Enrollment Program (STEP), so please ensure that you are signed up in order to receive notices about such services as well as other messages from the U.S. Government. U.S. citizens can enroll online at: https://step.state.gov/step/

The Embassy, a representative of the Federal Government, may not certify the validity of a U.S. driver’s license. We suggest that you contact the Department of Motor Vehicles in the state that issued your license. Please refer to http://www.usa.gov/Topics/Motor_Vehicles.shtml.

The Embassy cannot notarize the document of a French notaire but the signature of a French notaire can be authenticated by an Apostille (obtained free of charge at the closest Cour d’Appel – Bureau de l’Apostille). For more information we refer you to the French website pages: https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/R47867.

The role of U.S. Department of State officers in connection with the execution of wills is limited.  22 CFR 92.81 prohibits notarizing officers from writing wills or accepting a will for safekeeping.  Notarizing officers also are prohibited from witnessing wills or obtaining witnesses for a person desiring to have a will executed at a Foreign Service post. Notarizing officers may, however, acknowledge the signatures of testators and or witnesses to self proving wills.  The testator and all the witnesses (who have already witnessed the will) appear together before the notarizing officer.