Guidance

USA - Notarial and documentary services guide

Documents, certificate, letters, and notes available from the British embassy and consulates in the USA.

The British embassy and certain consulates in the United States can provide a range of notarial and documentary services for British nationals.

If there is no specific formal requirement for a notarial service or certificate to be provided by the British embassy or consulate, local notaries or lawyers in the USA can sometimes provide these services more conveniently, quickly and cheaply. Where local notaries can provide services, the British embassy and consulates does not offer them.

Check with the relevant authority (eg city hall/registry office/tax authorities etc) either in the UK, the USA or a third country that this will be accepted. The British embassy and consulates general cannot confirm this for you, only the relevant authority can provide this confirmation.

Overview

You must make an appointment for each service that requires your personal attendance. Use the links after each service to make an appointment. A member of staff will contact you to confirm your appointment.

Before making an appointment, make sure you have selected the correct service and that the document will be accepted by the relevant authority. This could be the local town hall, registry office, tax authorities, immigration office or another authority either in the USA, the UK or a third country.

Services we provide in the USA

Consular staff in the USA can:

  • make a certified copy of a British passport for US IRS ITIN purposes

  • issue a no objection statement for US J1 visa

  • administer an oath, affirmation or affidavit

  • witness a signature

For information about documents relating to marriage, such as a certificate of no impediment (CNI) and affirmations or affidavits of marital status, see getting married abroad. If you can’t find the service you are looking for on this page, please check the services offered at our other locations in the USA.

What to bring to your appointment

See the individual services below for details of supporting documents to bring. Make sure you have acceptable proof of address and identity, and payment for any fees. See the full list of consular fees

Payment

We accept payment by Visa or MasterCard.

Proof of address and identity

For all appointments for notarial services you will need to bring acceptable proof of your identity and address. We accept passports or national identity cards as proof of identity.

British Passports for US IRS ITIN purposes

A certified copy of British passports for Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Individual Tax Payer Identification Number purposes (ITIN) should be obtained through IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centres.

If you are unable to secure this service from the IRS, you will need to obtain a letter from them confirming they are unable to certify a copy of your passport at a specified location.

You can get a certified copy of your British passport for ITIN purposes from our Consulates, for a fee, when supported by written confirmation from the IRS. We do not accept written confirmation from a third party, such as a company preparing taxes on your behalf.

What you will need to bring with you:

  • Written confirmation from the IRS that they cannot verify your passport

  • the correct fee – see our list of fees

  • the applicant’s British passport

No objection statement for US J1 visa

This service is for J1 Exchange visa holders who need a status of no objection in order to seek a waiver of the 2 year home residency requirement as specified in Section 212(e) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act. We can provide a statement of no objection to the US Department of State to fulfill this requirement for British passport holders only. Residents, or former residents, of the UK who do not hold a British passport should contact the Embassy of the country who issued their passport.

What you need to provide:

  • a copy of the applicant’s case file number and third party barcode page from the US Department of State

  • a copy of the applicant’s British passport photograph page

  • a copy of the applicant’s certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status (Form DS2019 /IAP-66).

  • a completed application form for a no objection statement from the Embassy.

  • a completed credit card authorisation form for the correct fee (Fee 2(i)) - see our list of fees

   This service is available by mail only:

 

British Consular Services (Attn: J1)
British Embassy
3100 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington DC 20008

Confirmation that your application has been processed and forwarded to the US Department of State will be sent to you within 14 business days of receiving your application.

Administer an oath, affirmation or affidavit

This service is for those who need to swear an oath, make an affirmation or make an affidavit in front of a consular officer. You may need to make an affirmation or affidavit of marital status in order to get married in the USA. See getting married abroad to find out what you need to do. The consulate will not draft documents for you. First check with the consulate what format they need and then have the document drawn up or checked by a professional.

What you will need to bring with you:

  • the oath, affirmation or affidavit that you will swear or affirm

  • the correct fee – see our list of fees

  • proof of identity/address

Witness a signature

This service is for those who need to sign a document and have their signature witnessed by a consular officer. The document must be prepared before your appointment as we will not draft documents for you. We do not handle wills or probate, or witness deed polls.

   Don’t sign the document before your appointment

What you will need to bring with you:

  • the document that you will sign before a witness

  • the correct fee – see our list of fees

  • proof of identity/address

Life certificates for British pensions

   Service not offered by us

We no longer witness life certificates for British nationals claiming a British pension abroad. Please refer to the list of people working in a recognized profession who can do this for you.

Certified copies of documents

   Service not offered by us

Where local notaries can provide services, the British embassy and consulates does not offer them. Please contact a local notary or lawyer for this service.

UK Police Certificates

   Service not offered by us

A certificates showing whether or not you have a criminal history in the United Kingdom is available from the Association of Chief Police Officers

Births deaths and marriages

   Service not offered by us

Registration

Find out how to register a birth or death overseas, and documents for couples marrying or entering into civil partnerships abroad.

Copies of certificates

Copies of British birth, death, and marriage certificates are available from the General Register Office in the United Kingdom.

Data protection

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office holds and uses data for purposes notified to the Information Commissioner under the Data Protection Act 1998. Such personal data may be disclosed to other UK government departments and public authorities.

Disclaimer

This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the embassy/ consulate by the relevant authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice. Accordingly the FCO and the British embassy/consulate will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information. For all notarial and legalisation services it is the responsibility of the customer to ascertain the precise requirements of the person requesting the notarial or legalisation service and to satisfy themselves that the service provided by the embassy/consulate will be accepted.

Published 10 May 2013
Last updated 28 September 2015 + show all updates
  1. Change in confirmation of processing J1 Visa Application to 14 business days.
  2. The option to make an appointment on-line has been added. We've also updated instructions from obtaining certified copies of British passports for US IRS ITIN purposes.
  3. Updated to include new consular appointment process and contact information for British Embassy Washington and British consulates general across the United States.
  4. updated information to include links to the appointment booking system for all notarial appts.
  5. First published.