Notarial Services are available to all U.S. passport holders and to foreign nationals with documents destined for use in the United States. They are executed by Consular Officers and may include statements made under oath, affidavits, acknowledgments, and sometimes certification of true copies. Currently, notary services are provided only on Thursdays. To schedule an appointment, please see our online “Consular Calendar.”
At the time of your appointment, make sure to bring:
- A valid passport or evidence of identity issued by a government agency (e.g.: A driver’s license or national identification card is acceptable, a student ID is not acceptable);
- The document to be notarized;
(Note: We do not produce/prepare these documents for you. You will need to bring it ready for execution by a consular officer. If your document must also be witnessed, please bring your witnesses with you. Consular officers and staff may not be witnesses for notarial purposes);
- $50.00 or the equivalent in Leke, per initial signature/seal (each additional signature/seal provided at the same time in connection with the same transaction will cost $50.00 or the equivalent in Leke). Payment is made to the cashier in the Consular Section, and can be done by cash (Dollars or Leke) or by credit card (Visa, Master Card, American Express, Diners Club, and Discover.)
There are some basic notarial services that a U.S. consular officer can perform and that are available at the Office of American Services: Affidavits, Acknowledgments, and some Certification of True Copies.
A written declaration, confirmed by oath or affirmation, and containing a declaration under penalty of perjury.
The purpose of an affidavit is to have an individual make a statement under oath by personally swearing to or affirming the statement before a consular official. The notarizing officer does not have to verify whether the statement is true or not, but rather confirms the identity of the person making the statement.
The Consular Officer will ask a question in substance as: “Do you swear (or affirm) that the statements which you are signing before me are true?”
A declaration that an instrument signed by the individual is the individual’s act and deed. The notarizing officer can only confirm a signature.
An acknowledgement is the consular officer’s declaration that the named individual has appeared before him and has acknowledged that the signature on a document is his or her own signature. Acknowledgements are often made on documents such as deeds, mortgages, contracts for sale of land and personal property, and powers of attorney.
The person requesting the acknowledgement need not have signed the document in the presence of the consular officer, unless specific language included in the certificate requires this (rare). The Consular Officer will ask: “Are you signing this document of your own free will?”
Attest to the genuineness of the signature/seal of a notary or government official in Albania.
Authentication of Albanian public documents are no longer done by the U.S. Embassy in Tirana.
- Obtain the Albanian document (make sure it’s translated in English and notarized.)
- Send the document to the Office of Legalization of the Albanian Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEFA) to obtain an “Apostille”
- You can then use this document in United States without the need of a consular officer to authenticate its genuineness.
- For more information, please visit our webpage titled “Apostille“.
Requests for authentication of the signatures of U.S. government officials or Foreign Service Officers must be submitted to the Department of State’s Authentication Office.
Certification of True Copies
A copy of a primary document that is certified to be an exact replica of the original document.
The act of certifying true copies is rare as many States in United States will not accept them. You should request certified copies to the official of the public record (e.g.: the authority that issued the document).
We no longer certify copies of diplomas and transcripts for foreign nationals coming to the United States to study. Schools, in particular, have their own standards for copying records; therefore, school records are NOT certified.
We may, however, make certification of true copies on documents to be used for U.S. Social Security purposes or when requested by other Federal Agencies such as the foreign passport copy certification for the issuance of a Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for U.S. tax related purposes.
Specifically, we can assist with the following documents:
Parental Consent (Form DS-3053) – This is used to provide parental consent if one parent is not physically present to sign the passport application for a minor under the age of 16 – This is a No Fee Service;
- Foreign passport copy certification for the issuance of a Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for U.S. tax related purposes only.
We cannot provide the following services:
- Notarize, legalize or authenticate Albanian or U.S. State-issued documents;
- Provide an Apostille (more information on our webpage here);
- Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support), which no longer requires notarization;
- Certified copies (“true copies”) of original documents (except for some SSA related services and Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) applications for U.S. tax related purposes).
- True copies of academic credentials, college transcripts or diplomas.
Questions? Send us a detailed email at ACSTirana@state.gov with a clear subject line.