The U.S. Embassy in Manila and the U.S. Consular Agency in Cebu are unable to provide notary services at this time as a result of restrictions related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Several other options are available to individuals who require notarization of documents for use in the United States; three are listed here:
1. Remote Online (Electronic) Notarization (United States): Electronic notarization is currently authorized in 36 of the 50 states. Many of these states allow remote notarization over videoconference. Refer to your specific State Notary Handbook for more information. Please verify with the intended recipient of your documents that this form of notarization is acceptable before engaging an online notary. The U.S. Embassy and Consular Agency will accept electronic notarization of form DS-3053 (Statement of Consent for the Issuance of a Passport to a Child under the Age of 16), provided the notarization was completed in accordance with the policies of the state that commissioned the notary public. More information concerning remote notarial and authentication services is available on the Department of State’s website.
2. Remote Online (Electronic) Notarization (Philippines): The Philippine Supreme Court allows the notarization of documents via videoconference in cases where the notary public holds office in an area under community quarantine. Please visit the Philippine Supreme Court website or contact the Integrated Bar of the Philippines for more information and for a list of local lawyers who are providing this service.
3. Apostille: An apostille is a certificate that authenticates the origin of a public document. Philippine authentications are accepted and recognized for use in the United States in compliance with the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Hague Apostille Convention). Documents that carry a Hague apostille are entitled to recognition in any other convention country without further authentication. The United States and the Philippines are both parties to this convention. U.S. federal courts and state authorities should accept documents with the Hague apostille. For private transactions, please confirm with the other party first to make sure they will accept foreign authentications.
Philippine public documents, such as National Bureau of Investigation clearances, birth certificates, and marriage certificates, among others, can be used abroad once authenticated with an apostille from the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
Notarization under the Philippine system is a three-step process:
Step 1: Sign the document in front of a notary public.
Step 2: Obtain a Certificate of Authority for a Notarial Act (CANA) signed by an Executive Judge/Vice-Executive Judge/or any other office authorized as signatories for notary services; this designation is issued by the Regional Trial Court. Contact the Office of the Court Administrator to determine who may sign a CANA in your region.
Step 3: Next, visit the Philippine DFA website and follow the instructions to have a Hague apostille affixed to your document.
Keep in mind that if your document is written in a language other than English, you may need to have it translated by a certified/sworn translator.
Other notary services:
Affidavit of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage: This document does not require notarization at the U.S. Embassy or Consular Agency in the Philippines. The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), pursuant to Memorandum Circular No. 2021-004, will allow local notarization in the Philippines of the “Affidavit of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage.” As a result, U.S. citizens who wish to marry in the Philippines are no longer required to have their affidavits notarized at the Embassy or Consular Agency. Instead, you may have the affidavit notarized locally in the Philippines. We encourage U.S. citizens to have these affidavits notarized locally, as we are unable to provide notary services at this time. Please visit the PSA website or inquire with the Local Civil Registry Office where you plan to be married for more information. Remember to ask the Local Civil Registry Office to specify what information must be included in your affidavit. Generally, an “Affidavit in Lieu of a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry” must contain: a sworn statement in which the U.S. citizen attests they are free to marry; information regarding any prior marriage(s); and a copy of the evidence of U.S. citizenship presented to the notarizing agent. Click here for a sample blank affidavit. For specific questions on marriage in the Philippines, please check with the appropriate Local Civil Registry Office or consult an attorney.
Affidavit of Legal Capacity for Local Adoption: Please check our website for information on adoption in the Philippines. Private citizens in the process of local adoption who require an Affidavit in Lieu of a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Adopt can contact us via email at ACSInfoManila@state.gov.
Authentication and Certification of Federal Records: The U.S. Embassy and Consular Agency cannot provide certification or authentication services. Apostille and authentication services are provided by the Department of State in Washington, D.C. For more information, see the Office of Authentication’s website. If the document for which you require authentication was issued by a U.S. state, such as a birth certificate, contact that state’s secretary of state. Information for each state can be found on the internet.
Notarization of U.S. Government Forms and ITIN applications: For information on notarizing U.S. government forms required to obtain services, such as the form DS-3053 (Parental Consent for a Passport Application for Minors), DS-2029 (Application for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad), DS-5507 (Affidavit of Support), or an , contact us via email at ACSInfoManila@state.gov.