Frequently Asked Notarial 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). Submit the names of witness(s) or co-signer(s) in advance using the

Notary Contact Form. Failure to do so will result in your witnesses or co-signers being refused entry to the Embassy.

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 – 366K) (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 you will have to ask the French embassy if they will be able to notarize the document we provide.

What you need is the Apostille affixed to your birth certificate, which will officially authenticate the signature and seal of the document for use in France.

You have to obtain the Apostille in the United States since the embassy does not provide this service.    Please consult webpages for the appropriate state office to affix the apostille, or http://travel.state.gov/law/judicial/judicial_2086.html

No. The Embassy or Consulate do not register marriages in France.

If you get married abroad and need to know if your marriage will be recognized in the United States and what documentation may be needed, contact the office of the Attorney General of your state of residence in the United States.

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:

  • a certified copy of your U.S. birth certificate and a certified translation. The birth certificate must be issued within the past three months and be affixed with the appropriate state issued apostille. In order to obtain your birth certificate, visit the website of the National Center for Health Statistics − CDC. If you need a translation of your birth certificate, a list of sworn translators is available at every mairie. You can also check the Embassy website for a list of certified translators.

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.

What you need is the Apostille affixed to your birth certificate, which will officially authenticate the signature and seal of the document for use in France.

You have to obtain the Apostille in the United States since the embassy does not provide this service. Please consult webpages for the appropriate state office to affix the apostille, or http://travel.state.gov/law/judicial/judicial_2086.html

Our offices cannot either 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 they no longer provide notarial services.

Notarial 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).

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.