Instructions for Notary Services
Documents used for legal purposes in the United States may require notarization by a U.S. Consular officer. Here are the requirements for using notarial services:
- The individual who needs to sign the document must appear in person at the American Citizens Services (ACS) Unit, present proper identification e.g. a valid passport and pay the appropriate fee.
- If witnesses are required, you must bring your own.
- Do not sign the document until requested to do so by the notarizing, Consular officer. Depending on the nature of the document, the Consular officer will either take an acknowledgement that your signature was done freely and with an understanding of the document’s contents, or administer an oath whereby you swear or affirm the contents of a document are true.
- Notarizing officers do not certify that the contents of submitted documents are true. A notarizing officer only certifies that you have signed and sworn or affirmed under oath that the contents are true.)
- Notarizing officers are prohibited from offering legal advice regarding the form or content of documents to be notarized.
- Appointments are required for notary services. Click here to make or cancel an appointment.
- We do not notarize any document on “rupee” paper
Note: If you have a visa/green card inquiry Click here ! Please do not make an appointment with the ACS Unit.
Authentication/Attestation of Documents from the United States for Use in Pakistan
We recommend that U.S. citizens authenticate their documents (especially educational certificates, marriage certificates and birth certificates) in the United States before coming to Pakistan. The consulate is unable to authenticate these documents.
If the document was issued by a U.S. authority and you wish to use the document in Pakistan, you must complete the four step “chain authentication process” in which a series of authorities in the United States will affix a succession of seals beginning with the issuer of your original document and ending with the seal of the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington, DC and the appropriate office of the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
How to Authenticate a Document
STEP ONE: Obtain the original document and complete the first authentication:
- Educational degrees and transcripts: Documents issued by educational institutions should be originals obtained from the educational institutions themselves. Most schools have notaries public to provide certified copies of the degrees or transcripts. Once issued, these documents must then be authenticated by the Secretary of State of the state in which the school is located. Contact the school to determine how to have your document authenticated by the state’s Secretary of State. In some cases, you may be required to bring the document to a county office for authentication prior to sending it to the state’s Secretary of State.
- Documents issued by a U.S. State: State documents are those originating with a state court or agency (birth, death, and marriage certificates, etc.). They must be authenticated by that state’s Secretary of State. Contact them or send your original document or its certified copy for initial authentication of the town/county/state’s issuing officer. Information on the offices of Secretaries of State for the U.S. states is available at: http://www.statelocalgov.net/50states-secretary-state.cfm
- Notarized documents: The procedure for authenticating documents executed before a notary public, such as affidavits or acknowledgments, varies from state to state. It is advisable to contact the state authentication authority to learn what steps, if any, are required between the notary seal and the state level authentication.
- Documents issued by federal agencies: If your document was issued under the seal of a federal agency, it does not require a state level authentication. You may proceed directly to Step Two.
- Documents issued by federal courts: Documents issued under the seal of a federal court should be sent to:
Justice Management Division, Security Program Staff
Physical Security Office, Room 6531
9th and Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20530
Telephone: (202) 514-2314 or 514-4667
STEP TWO: Get your document authenticated by the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Authentications
Once you have completed the state level authentication, you must get your document authenticated by the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Authentications. There is a fee of $8.00 for each authentication. You may pay by a check drawn on a U.S. bank or a money order made payable to the Department of State. Complete information on this process can be found here.
STEP THREE: Authentication by the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington, DC:
After obtaining the Department of State’s authentication, you must submit your document to the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington DC for their authentication. You may contact the Embassy of Pakistan to schedule this here.
STEP FOUR: The final level of authentication is done by the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Pakistan. Information can be found here. With these four steps completed, your document issued in the United States may be used in Pakistan.
Certification of True Copies of Documents
Occasionally, we receive requests to certify true copies of educational transcripts or diplomas, bank statements, court documents, or other such official records.
Unfortunately, our offices cannot certify true copies of documents. 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.
The U.S. Consulate also can make certified true copies of documents for use in the United States. For example, the U.S. Consulate can make a certified true copy of a Pakistani passport for submission with Form W-7 to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service to obtain an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
The notarial fee is $50 per seal. This means if you have one document that requires three notarials, the fee would be $150. If the U.S. Consulate is notarizing a document that is required by the U.S. government, there is no fee.