The legal systems of the different states of the United States of America often require documents to be notarised. This typically includes documents used for the transfer or conveyance of property, documentation related to mortgages and finance, letters of authorisation or consent, and many others. Documents notarised by a notary public in the UK are perfectly acceptable in the United States. For some states, however, it is necessary to complete an additional step after the notarisation.
This step is known as ‘legalisation’ and involves submitting the document to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office so that they can attach an ‘apostille’ – a certificate confirming the signature and seal of the notary. A document notarised in the UK and bearing an apostille must be accepted in the United States as if it had been notarised there, this is because both the UK and the US are parties to the 1961 Hague Convention abolishing the requirement of legalisation for foreign public documents. The person signing will need to bring their original passport together with a proof of address (utility bill or bank statement dated within the past three months). It will assist if the document can be sent to us by email beforehand to review.