How to Notarize a Document in China 2022 | Notary Public China (2022)

Getting a document notarized in China may seem like a complicated matter…but thankfully it really isn’t! Once you understand exactly what you need (which I’ll explain), your frantic search for a notary public China may not even be necessary. In this guide to notarizing a document in China, you’ll get all the information you need to get a notarization done in 24 hours or less.

How to Notarize a Document in China 2022 | Notary Public China (1)

Over the years, I’ve had to notarize a number of official documents in China: my university diploma, my marriage certificate and even my kids’ birth certificates. I even had to notarize my US driver’s license in order to apply for a Chinese driver’s license.

The subject of official notarization of documents in China brings a lot of confusion. I think it’s important that before we talk about how to get a document notarized, we cover the different kinds of notarization and why you would need them.

  • Different Kinds of Notarization in China
  • How to Get a Document Notarized in China
    • for a US-Recognized Document
    • for a document authentication (apostille)
    • for a China-Recognized Document

We’ll start with why you may need a notary public in China and then, based on how you answer that, how to go about getting the notarization.

Different Kinds of Notarization in China

NOTE: The purpose of the notarization will have a big impact on determining exactly what you need.

There are a number of different reasons you may need a document notarization in China. This may seem like a trivial matter, but the truth is that the purpose of the notarization will have a big impact on determining exactly what you need.

Let’s take a few different examples:

  1. US-Based Notary: You’re in China and the USPS needs a notarized signature to change you over to a virtual mailbox. In this case, you need a notarization recognized by the US government. I had to do this when started using Traveling Mailbox to get mail while abroad.
  2. Cross-Border Notarization: You’re in China and you need your marriage certificate notarized to allow your spouse to apply for a Chinese visa. In this case, you need an authentication from the Chinese embassy in your home country to be recognized by the Chinese government.
  3. China-Based Notary: You’re in China and you need a China-authorized notarization of a document (usually with translation) to apply for a driver’s license or to apply for university. In this case, you’ll need to use a notary public in China.

How to Notarize a Document in China 2022 | Notary Public China (2)

(Video) Chinese Public Notary Office | Translate & Notarize Documents in China

As you can see, not every case of getting a document notarized in China requires the same solution. The first step to getting what you need is (drumroll please)…

determining what you really need in the first place. 🙂

The word “notarize” can refer to a number of different things, so make sure you understand whether you need:

  • Country-Recognized Notarization: Notarized document to be used within the country of origin (such as a US document needed in a US context).
  • Authentication or “Apostille”: Notarized document to be used in a different country.
  • China-Recognized Notarization: Chinese document to be notarized in China.

How to Get a Document Notarized in China

Now that you know what you need, let’s quickly dive into how to get what you need while you’re in China.

This is much easier to do I’ll go down the list of the different solutions and you can choose what’s best for you.

How to Get a U.S.-Recognized Notarization in China

There are times when you’re in China and you need a document notarized that will be used back in your home country. A lot of what I am about to share here applies to any country, but there are bits that are specifically focused on the U.S. (since that’s what I know best!).

Your options are:

  1. Go to Your Nearest Embassy or Consulate: It is possible to meet with a notary public in China at your nearest embassy or consulate. This is convenient if you live near an embassy, but for those of us who don’t live in a Chinese city that has an embassy, this doesn’t really work. Fees range from US$30-$50 depending on your country.
  2. Search for an Approved Lawyer: Insome cases, certain governments allow lawyers from their country to acts as a notary public in China. If you’re a U.S. citizen, you’re out of luck. However, if you’re Australian for example, they have a list of approved lawyersthat you can use. Check your country’s embassy website to find out what they offer.
  3. **Get a Document Notarized Online (US only): This isn’t a joke – I’ve done this personally! In 2011, the U.S. state of Virginia amended its code to allow for notarization using “live audio-video technology”. In other words, you can get a notarization online. I used a service called NotaryCamand in less than a few hours I was on a Skype call with a Virginia-registered notary. I provided proof of my identity and soon I had a legally notarized document. Oh, and get this: it’s only $25 to notarize a document compared to the $30+ spending the day at the embassy. I don’t know why more people don’t do this!

How to Get a Document Authenticated

When it comes to notarizing a document from one country that will be used in another country, most of the time you’re going to be “Authenticating” your document. However, there are two types of Authentication:

  1. Apostille: An Apostille is a type of authentication that is recognized by all countries that are participating in the Hague Convention. Unfortunately, this isn’t China.
  2. Legalization: If you need a document to cross state lines or be used in a country that is not a participant of the Hague Convention (such as China), you’ll need what is known as a legalization.

How to Notarize a Document in China 2022 | Notary Public China (3)

(Video) How to notarized degree certificate in China ??

How to Notarize a Document in China 2022 | Notary Public China (4)

This is IMPORTANT: If your spouse or children are going to be joining you in China as dependents on your visa, then China will require an authenticated marriage certificate and birth certificates to prove that they are, in fact, your wife and children.

If you don’t arrive in China with these documents authenticated, I can tell you from experience thatit is a pain (not to mention expensive) to do this process while in China.

So what does the authentication process entail?

Let’s take my marriage certificate as an example.

  • Step 1: The document must first be authenticated by the Secretary of State where the document originated. So if you were married in Texas, the Texas Secretary of State will need to authenticate it. The authenticated document is usually returned with a letter stapled to the front. DO NOT REMOVE this staple or the authentication is voided.
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  1. Step 2: Submit the authenticated document to a Chinese embassy in the US for authentication. They will return the document with a special stamp/sticker on the back that looks something like this:
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  1. Step 3: In many cases, you will be required to also have this document translated into Chinese when you submit the authenticated document. This translation will need to be done by a Chinese translation company that has an authorized chop (or stamp) to verify authenticity.

Of course, as with any government bureaucracy, the whole process is a huge hassle. That’s why I always recommend people use a service to get everything done for you.

There are a number of companies that help with document authentications. When I used one, I sent them the document I needed and a couple weeks later the authenticated version was ready for me to use.

How to Use a Notary Public in China

Finally, I’ll cover the last kind of notarization you might need in China – a Chinese document that will be used within China.

In this case, what you’re looking for is a 公证处 (gōng zhèng chù), known in English as the Public Notary Office of the People’s Republic of China.

Chinese Notary = 公证处 /Gōngzhèngchù

No matter which city you live in China, there is a Notary Office. In most cases, it only takes less than an hour to arrive with the document, identification and money to pay the fee equivalent to about US$50.

(Video) How to Notarized Documents China Scholarship | In Urdu/Hindi | Episode 10 | China Scholarship 2021

What you receive is this very odd, stamped, glued together collection of papers that is recognized as a “notarization” in China.

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How to Notarize a Document in China 2022 | Notary Public China (8)

I wish I could say there was some sort of service that could help you do this process…but to my knowledge there isn’t. You just need to do it yourself.

Whether you’re notarizing a translated document, a public deed, a contract or even your driver’s license to be used within China, this is what you’ll be doing.

Conclusion | Notary Public China

As you can see, getting a document notarized while in China isn’t a terribly complicated process…as long as you recognize what kind of notarization you need. It may not be a notary public China that you need, it could be:

  • A document from your home country to be used in your home country requires notarization in your home country.
  • A document from one country to be used in another country like China requires authentication.
  • A document from China that will be used in China requires China’s notarization.

Best of luck getting your document authenticated for whatever purpose you need it in China!

How to Notarize a Document in China 2022 | Notary Public China (9)
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Further Reading & Resources

  • 2020 China Public Holidays Calendar [Infographic]

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FAQs

Is there Notary Public in China? ›

Public Notary Office (Chinese: 公证处 Pinyin:gōng zhèng chù ) is a subordinate agency of the Ministry of Justice of the People's Republic of China. It is responsible for certifying documents according to Chinese legal system.

How do you get documents authenticated in China? ›

Get your documents authenticated by Chinese Embassy/Consulates. After certification by the Secretary of State's office and/or the US Department of State, your documents will be authenticated by the Chinese Embassy/Consulate that holds consular jurisdiction over the state where the document is certified.

How do you notarize a document? ›

REQUIREMENTS. 1) Personal appearance of individual(s) signing the document/instrument. 2) Valid ID (such as your passport) and one (1) photocopy showing complete name, biographic details and signature of person(s) signing the document/instrument. 3) Original and photocopy of the document to be notarized/acknowledged.

Who can verify documents in China? ›

3) Consulate Authentication: The Chinese Embassy or Consulate will verify signature and seal from the Secretary of State Office.
...
  • Non-government issued document should first be notarized by a Notary Public. ...
  • State issued document such as vital record, certificate of corporation, etc doesn't need to be notarized.

How do you notarize a degree in China? ›

The document must be notarized with two separate statements: a declaration and an acknowledgement. A notary public cannot simply sign and apply a seal to a diploma. The Chinese Consulate regularly rejects diplomas solely bearing a notary's statement.

How do I get an apostille from China? ›

China is not one of Hague Convention Participating Countries, so you can't get "apostille" certificate. You have to begin the cumbersome, time-consuming process of obtaining a series of certifications known as the "chain authentication method". What is needed is the foreign consul's authentication on the document.

How long does it take to authenticate documents at Chinese Embassy? ›

A: It normally takes 4 working days before it can be completed. If the applicant is urgently required, the applicant may handle the urgent documents upon the consent of the Chinese Embassy or Consulate in China, and the applicant shall pay the urgent expenses.

How do I get documents apostille from China? ›

China is not a member of the Hague Apostille Convention and any official document destined for this country will receive a Certificate from the Secretary of State. Legalizing documents for China may require additional steps before the documents can be presented to the China Embassy or Consulate office.

What is a notarial certificate China? ›

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: A notarial birth certificate normally contains a watermark, seal, and red stamp. It indicates the applicant's name, gender, date of birth, ID number, place of birth, and both parents' names. NOTE: Notarial birth certificates issued prior to 2012 may not list the ID number.

What does the word Apostille mean? ›

Meaning of apostille in English

Apostille is a method of certifying a document for use in another country. More examples. For countries that are signatories to the Hague Convention, it is sufficient to legalize the documents with the corresponding Apostille.

How do you authenticate a diploma for use in China? ›

Foreign diplomas must be authenticated by the Chinese Consulate in order to be accepted in China.
...
Authentication of diplomas
  1. Have the diploma notarized as an original or as a true copy;
  2. Have the diploma authenticated by the Secretary of State in the state where the diploma was granted (and possibly by the US Dept.

How do I notarize a document without a notary? ›

If you are wondering how to notarize a document without a notary section, a notary may be able to attach a loose certificate to the document once you know exactly what you need to do with the document. Or, the notary may be able to write a notary section by hand on the document itself.

What does a public notary do? ›

The main role of a notary is the witnessing of signatures, preparing copies of paperwork and the authentication of documents.

Where can I notarize my documents? ›

Finding a Notary

You can find them at places where their services are needed like in municipal halls, banks, law offices, government agencies, courthouses, and on business areas.

Can non US citizens use notarize com? ›

Answer: Yes. 22 C.F.R. 92.4(b) provides that these services may be performed for any person regardless of nationality so long as the document in connection with which the notarial/authentication service is required is for use within the jurisdiction of the United States.

How do you get a Chinese passport notarized? ›

You will bring the original passport, photocopy, statement and a valid ID (passport or driver's license) to a local notary public. The notary will then notarize your signature. *Certain states require a County Clerk to certify the notary's signature.

How do you authenticate a TEFL in China? ›

What documents need to be authenticated for the China Z Visa in 2022?
  1. Your passport – at least 6 months validity left.
  2. A copy of your passport***
  3. A copy of your TEFL certificate***
  4. A copy of your Bachelor's Degree***
  5. A clear Criminal Record Check***
  6. Filled-in Z Visa application Form.
  7. Job Invitation Letter.
18 Dec 2020

Can I work in China with a diploma? ›

However, the Chinese job market is not only focused on the graduate lot: looking for white color jobs, but there are many other opportunities for non-graduates. It is possible for you to work in China without a degree as long as you have a high school diploma or middle college diploma.

Does China use apostille? ›

China is not a member of Hague Apostille Convention, therefore Apostille will not be accepted. The documents must first be notarized (if applicable), authenticated by the Secretary of State, then authenticated as the final step by the Chinese Embassy or Consulate as the final step.

Is China part of the Hague Convention for apostille? ›

Authentication of Documents

China is not a party to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Legalization of Foreign Public Documents.

Is China a part of the Hague Convention? ›

China has joined the Hague System bringing the total number of countries covered to 94. The Government of China deposited its instrument of accession to the 1999 Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement on February 5, 2022. China is the 68th contracting party to the 1999 Act and 77th member of the Hague Union.

How do I authenticate documents in Chinese Embassy in the Philippines? ›

1) One fully completed Application Form of Consular Legalization. 2) The original DFA authenticated document and a photocopy. 3) The applicant's passport and a photocopy of the photo/information page. If the authentication document is applied by an agent, the agent's valid ID and a photocopy is also required.

How do I apply for a Chinese visa in South Africa? ›

(i) Applicants are required to fill out the online visa application form and make an appointment through the official website of The Chinese Visa Application Service Center before submitting application documents onsite. Applications without the online visa application form and appointment will not be accepted.

How do you authenticate a degree in South Africa? ›

You can verify your educational qualifications on the National Learners' Records Database (NLRD) via SAQA VeriSearch at the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) .

How do I make an appointment at Chinese Embassy? ›

Enter the 'Online Appointment' section, fill in the application form number which is automatically generated and is started with 'LON'. Choose a time slot and finish the appointment booking. The system will automatically send you a confirmation email.

How do I get an apostille in Hong Kong? ›

Application Procedures. (1) To submit the application, the applicant should bring along the document requested for apostille service to the Apostille Service Office, High Court Registry at Room LG115.

How do I get a Chinese birth certificate from the USA? ›

Procedure for Obtaining:
  1. Complete an application and submit all relevant documents to the Notary Public Office (Gong Zheng Chu).
  2. The Notary Public then examines the documents. ...
  3. Once the review of the submitted documentation is completed, the notarial birth certificate is issued.

Can non US citizens use notarize com? ›

Answer: Yes. 22 C.F.R. 92.4(b) provides that these services may be performed for any person regardless of nationality so long as the document in connection with which the notarial/authentication service is required is for use within the jurisdiction of the United States.

Does China have apostille? ›

China is not a member of the Hague Apostille Convention and any official document destined for this country will receive a Certificate from the Secretary of State. Legalizing documents for China may require additional steps before the documents can be presented to the China Embassy or Consulate office.

How do you authenticate a TEFL in China? ›

What documents need to be authenticated for the China Z Visa in 2022?
  1. Your passport – at least 6 months validity left.
  2. A copy of your passport***
  3. A copy of your TEFL certificate***
  4. A copy of your Bachelor's Degree***
  5. A clear Criminal Record Check***
  6. Filled-in Z Visa application Form.
  7. Job Invitation Letter.
18 Dec 2020

How do I notarize internationally? ›

Notarizing officers at any United States Embassy or Consulate abroad can provide notarial services similar to the functions of a notary public in the United States. It is also possible to have a document notarized by a local foreign notary and then have the document authenticated for use in the United States.

What is notary public abroad? ›

— (1) Every diplomatic or consular officer may, in any foreign country or place where he is exercising his functions, administer any oath and take any affidavit and also do any notarial act which any notary public may do within a State; and every oath, affidavit and notarial act administered, sworn or done by or before ...

Can I use notarize without SSN? ›

No, there would not be any instance where you would be required to provide your Social Security number when performing a notarization. Your seven-digit commission number assigned to you by the Department of State would be the most that you would need to provide.

What is Apostille China? ›

Commonly known as legalization or apostille

The last step, authentication by a Chinese consulate or embassy, provides legal authorities in China with a certification they can recognize and validate, as it was applied to the document by an organ of their national government according to Chinese law.

What does the word Apostille mean? ›

Meaning of apostille in English

Apostille is a method of certifying a document for use in another country. More examples. For countries that are signatories to the Hague Convention, it is sufficient to legalize the documents with the corresponding Apostille.

Is China part of the Hague Convention for apostille? ›

Authentication of Documents

China is not a party to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Legalization of Foreign Public Documents.

How do I get a TEFL certificate notarized? ›

Notarization of your TEFL or TESOL certificate is done through a Notary Public. In general, the Notary Public will need to see the original TEFL or TESOL certificate/diploma and the ID of the individual requesting the notarization. Anyone can take it to the Notary Public, it doesn't always have to be the student.

How do I authenticate my TEFL certificate? ›

You can search “notary public near me” online or contact your own solicitor. They will sign and date to confirm that your TEFL certificate is an original. The solicitor or notary public's signature must be an original, hand-written signature. Electronic or scanned signatures are not accepted.

How do you authenticate a Chinese diploma? ›

Go to the Secretary of State's website (click here for a list of links) to complete an Authentication Request Form; be sure to specify that the document is for use in China. Then send the notarized diploma, the request form, and the necessary payment to the Secretary of State's office for authentication.

Videos

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2. Q&A | How to attest degree in China | How to verify your degree | Degree attestation #PardexiMunda
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3. REQUIREMENTS FOR NOTARISED DOCUMENTS IN CHINA by Notary Public James Couzens
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5. How to legalize a document at Chinese Consulate/Embassy
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