Notarial services are available by appointment only. If you need something notarized urgently, consider using a Spanish notary service. Spanish notarizations are acceptable and recognized for use in the United States in compliance with the Hague Convention on Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Hague Convention).
Documents that carry a Hague Apostille are entitled to recognition in any other convention country without further authentication. The United States, Spain, and Andorra are party to this convention. U.S. federal courts and state authorities should accept documents with the Hague Apostille. For private transactions, please check with the other party first to make sure they will accept notarization under the Spanish system.
Notarization under the Spanish system is a three-step process:
If do not wish to have your documents notarized under the Spanish system:
Follow this link to make an appointment for a notary service at U.S. Embassy Madrid.
Follow this link to make an appointment for a notary service at U.S. Consulate General Barcelona.
Follow this link to make an appointment for a notary service at one of the U.S. Consular Agencies in Spain.
On the day of your appointment, you must have with you:
- Your printed appointment confirmation. You may not be allowed entry if you do not have your appointment confirmation with you. You will not receive an email confirmation of your appointment.
- The documents that require your signature. These documents must be UNSIGNED and fully assembled and ready for notarization. If the documents already have been signed, or are otherwise unprepared for notarization, we will be unable to provide the service, and you will be required to make another appointment and return with documents ready for notarization.
- Valid passport or other form of valid, government-issued photo ID.
- Ensure that you understand the content of your documents, as we are prohibited from explaining them to you. We cannot assemble your documents for you or provide legal advice on their preparation.
- Verify in advance whether your document requires witness signatures. We are prohibited from serving as or providing witnesses. You may bring up to two additional people to your appointment to serve as witnesses. Your witnesses must bring valid proof of their identity, such as a passport or other government-issued ID.
- Remember that the Spanish authorities deem some documents valid only for a period of 90 days. Take this into consideration when making your notary appointment.
- Fee payment. The fee for notarial services is $50 (or the euro equivalent) per consular seal and signature, payable in cash or by credit/debit card.
- Keep in mind that the notarial process may take up to 90 minutes.
Documents we notarize:
- Sworn statements, including an affidavit of civil status for marriage or civil union in Spain, written on a form we can provide at the time of your appointment.
- Certification of U.S. Savings Bonds.
- Financial or real estate transaction documents, such as grant deed, warranty deed, bill of sale, closing affidavit, assignment of lease, or disbursement instructions.
- Power of Attorney.
- True copy of a U.S. passport.
- True copy of Spanish passports for U.S. tax purposes (for more information visit irs.gov).
- Statement of Consent: Issuance of a Passport to a Minor Under Age 16 (Form DS-3053 (PDF 55K)).
Documents We Do Not notarize:
- Apostilles or legalizations of U.S. birth/marriage/divorce/death certificates.
- Diplomas, certified copies of diplomas, and other U.S. academic credentials.
- FBI criminal background checks.
- Medallion/Signature Guarantees.
Hague Apostille: We do not have the authority to affix an Apostille to your U.S. documents. Do not schedule an appointment to request this service. Only the Secretary of State of the U.S. state that issued the document is authorized to affix the Apostille (more information here).
Criminal Records: We do not provide background check services. For information about an FBI criminal background check, please see the FBI background check website. To authenticate FBI background check documents and affix the Hague Apostille, please see the State Department website. For a state/local police background, check please consult with your state of residence in the United States.
Examples of Notarial Services
Acknowledgment: To “acknowledge” is to admit, affirm, or declare; to recognize one’s acts, assuming obligation or incurring responsibility. For example, if you sign a deed before a U.S. consular official, you acknowledge your signature.
Oath: Any form of an attestation by which a person signifies that he or she is bound in conscience to perform an act faithfully and truthfully. A person who intentionally makes false statements under oath before a U.S. consular official is punishable for perjury (22 U.S.C. 4221).
Affirmation: A solemn and formal declaration that an affidavit is true, that the witness will tell the truth, etc..
Affidavit: A written or printed declaration or statement of facts, made voluntarily, and confirmed by the oath or affirmation of the person making it, taken before a U.S. consular official having authority to administer such an oath.
Attestation: The act of witnessing an instrument in writing, at the request of the party executing the document, and subscribing it as a witness.
Corporate Acknowledgment: Officials of corporations who desire to execute an instrument in their capacity as corporate officials before a U.S. consular official must present adequate proof of their corporate identity.
Power of Attorney: A power of attorney allows you to designate someone to take legal actions on your behalf. A common example of this is empowering someone else to buy or sell property in the United States in your name while you are overseas. We cannot advise you on the specific language or content of a power of attorney. You must consult a lawyer or other appropriate advisor before making an appointment to have your power of attorney notarized.
Certified Copy of a Foreign Valid Passport to request ITIN number: We are able to certify copies of foreign valid passports in relation to ITIN applications only. We are prohibited from making certified copies of foreign passports for any other purpose.
Self-Proving Wills: We cannot execute your will. We can acknowledge your own and your witness’ signature on a self-proving will, but this is not execution of the will itself. If you have questions about whether yours is a self-proving will, or other issues related to your will, you should speak with an attorney in the jurisdiction where the will is to be in effect. Before you make your appointment for a notary service to acknowledge a self-proving will, remember:
- A self-proving will must already have been signed by the testator and the witnesses.
- You must provide your own witnesses, and have the forms prepared in advance with their names. They must bring valid ID with them.
- You and your witnesses must appear together before a U.S. consular official to make an affidavit on a separate document. In this document: the testator affirms that this is his or her last will and that it has (already) been signed freely and knowingly; the witnesses attest that the testator appeared to be of sound mind and made the will voluntarily; and, the testator and the witnesses acknowledge their (previous) signatures on the will.
Exceptions to Notary Services
There are some services we cannot provide. For more information, click on the links below.
How to obtain copies of U.S.-issued vital and court/legal records.
How to obtain an Apostille (legalization) for U.S. vital and court/legal records.
How to obtain Additional Copies of Reports of Death of an American Citizen Abroad.
How to Apply for a Certified Copy of Consular Report of Birth Abroad.
How to Authenticate American Academic Credentials (diplomas, transcripts etc.).
Learn more about the U.S. Department of State Authentications Office, which signs and issues certificates under the Seal of the State Department.
Learn more about Signature or Medallion Guarantees. Medallion signature guarantees are often required by U.S. banks or mutual fund companies. Unfortunately, we are prohibited from performing a signature or Medallion guarantee. A Medallion Signature Guarantee is not a notarial service, but rather a special procedure related to securities, which can only be performed by an authorized representative of a financial institution participating in a Medallion program approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). U.S. consular officials are not authorized to provide this service. For more information, see the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov or call 1-800-SEC-0330.