Foreign Language Document Notary

foreign language document notaryForeign Language Document Notary

A Colorado notary may notarize a foreign language document.  Whether a document is written in English or a foreign language, a notary does not read the document and does not provide a legal opinion or legal advice.  The notary will scan the document and ask that any blank spaces be filled in before notarizing.

The notary must be able to communicate directly with the signer, without using a translator or interpreter.  The notary must determine the signer’s identity, willingness to sign, and awareness.


The notary must understand the notarial certificate on the document.  The certificate may be in a foreign language.  But, if the document requires an authentication certificate or Apostille, from the Colorado Secretary of State, then the notarial certificate must be in English.

If a foreign language document needs to be translated, a certified translator may be required by the receiving party.

The notary should record the title of the document in the notary journal, in the foreign language, and the number of pages.  I also include the document title translated into English.

Google Translate may be helpful for basic translation of a foreign language document in over 90 languages.  A document may be uploaded or copy and paste may be used.  Google Translate is also available as a free smartphone application.

Foreign Alphabet

Some languages use the Roman alphabet, including English, Spanish, French, and German.

Languages that do not use the Roman alphabet, including Chinese, Korean, Russian, Hindi or Arabic, can pose complications.  The notary will have to verify that the person shown on a photo ID has the same name as the person named in the document.

I asked a customer from Siberia who was signing in Russian, using the Cyrillic alphabet, to also add her printed name using the Roman alphabet. I know some Russian and we were able to communicate.

Visit our website for Colorado Springs Mobile Notary services or Colorado Notary Training classes.

[Last-Modified Date 2017-03-26] add review schema, add page links, add image

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