U.S. Consular Officers abroad function in the place of U.S. notaries public. Their notarial authority, as such, is strictly limited. Notarial services are governed by U.S. and Armenian laws and treaties, including the Hague convention on 1961 on the Legalization of Documents. The Embassy in prohibited from legalizing, witnessing, verifying, certifying, or otherwise notarizing documents for use in Armenia.
The primary restrictions on notarial services are listed below:
- The Embassy cannot “verify” or “legalize” U.S. documents for use outside the United States. To legalize U.S. documents for use outside the U.S., it is necessary to obtain an apostille in the United States (see instructions below). An apostille cannot be obtained at the Embassy.
- The Embassy will not certify foreign civil documents (e.g., Armenian passports, certificates from ZAGS, etc.), or any academic credentials. Furthermore, certifying copies of original documents is a discretionary service offered only to American citizens.
- In most cases, the Embassy cannot provide certification of true copies of documents for use in the United States.
An affidavit is a statement made under oath before a notary public or other official authorized to administer oaths. Persons of any nationalities may execute affidavits at the Embassy for use in the United States. A person may not make any statements in an affidavit on behalf of the U.S. Embassy or the U.S. Government. The Embassy takes no responsibility for the content of affidavits; however, persons who knowingly make false statements in an affidavit sworn before a U.S. Consular Officer may be subject to perjury charges under U.S. law. The fee is 50 USD per notarial.
For information on Notarial and Authentication Services – including apostilles – please view the State Department’s web site at http://travel.state.gov/law/judicial/judicial_701.html.