All individuals requiring notary services will be attended by appointment only.
- Similar to a public notary in the U.S, the consular official requires the personal appearance of the person requesting the notary service.
- Notary services may be performed for any person regardless of nationality as long as the document is to be used within the Jurisdiction of the United States.
- Proof of identity is required (i.e. passport, or Costa Rican cédula)
Fee: $50.00 per notarization (i.e. $50.00 for the first seal, and $50.00 for each additional seal)
Examples of notary services we provide include
- Acknowledgment: To "acknowledge" is to admit, affirm, or declare; to recognize one's acts, assuming obligation or incurring responsibility. For example, if you sign a deed before a consular officer, you acknowledge your signature
- Affidavit: A written or printed declaration or statement of facts, made voluntarily, and confirmed by the oath or affirmation of the person making it, taken before a consular officer having authority to administer such an oath.
- Oath (or affirmation): Any form of an attestation by which a person signifies that he or she is bound in conscience to perform an act faithfully and truthfully. A person who intentionally makes false statements under oath before a U.S. consular official is punishable for perjury. Affirmation is a solemn and formal declaration that an affidavit is true, that the witness will tell the truth, etc.
- Power of Attorney: allows you to designate someone to take legal actions on your behalf. A common example of this is empowering someone else to buy or sell property in the United States in your name while you are overseas. We cannot advise you on the specific language or content of a power of attorney, so you may wish to consult a lawyer or other appropriate advisor before coming to see us to have your power of attorney notarized.
You can use our blank power of attorney form or you may use one supplied to you by your attorney, bank, or company. You will need to sign it in front of a Consular Officer.
- Benefit Verification: To obtain a benefit verification letter for social security, you must make an appointment by sending an email to SJRegion@ssa.gov. You cannot make a notary appointment for this service.
***PLEASE NOTE: It is no longer a requirement to have the STEP profile or confirmation page notarized at the U.S.Embassy. You need only to register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) and print the profile info page. Turn in the profile page to the Costa Rican immigration office where you are applying.
Services the US Embassy cannot provide
Due to government regulations, we cannot provide services regarding vital records (birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates, divorce decrees, police records, etc). To replace these types of documents, please contact your contact your vital records office. To replace a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) follow these instructions on travel.state.gov. To replace a Naturalization Certificate, visit the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.
- Apostilles (authentications). An apostille must be obtained from either the state or federal authority in which the U.S. document was issued. For instructions on how to receive an U.S. apostille stamp on a document, please visit the following websites: Department of State’s Authentications Office & www.nass.org
- Criminal Records checks. United States nationals can obtain criminal records checks from their local police in their State of residence in the United States.
- Signature Guarantees (“Medallion”). Consular officers are not authorized to provide signature guarantee/medallion guarantee service. A Medallion Signature Guarantee is not a notarial service, but rather a special procedure related to securities, which can only be performed by an authorized representative.
- Authentication of Costa Rica civil documents. Consular officers may not authenticate Costa Rican civil documents. Both the U.S. and Costa Rica are signatories of the 1961 Hague Convention which abolished the requirement that U.S. consular officers authenticate Costa Rican civil documents for use in the United States. The Convention became effective in Costa Rica in 2011.
The Government of Costa Rica can place an apostille stamp on the Costa Rican civil document (such birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce decrees, and documents executed by Costa Rican schools, universities or Notary Publics) should be done at The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto de Costa Rica) located in avenue 7-9, street 11-13 San José, contact number (506) 2223-7555 www.rree.go.cr.
Preparation for a notary appointment
- Bring a valid government-issued photo ID. Such as U.S. passport or Costa Rican Cédula to prove identity.
- Make sure you understand your document. We are not allowed to explain the document’s contents to you.
- Please complete the document with the appropriate names, before you arrive (Do not sign the form; you will sign it at the Embassy in front of a Consular officer).
- Please mark the pages where you and the notary need to sign. The Consular staff cannot advise you in any way on what is required of you for your documents, please come to the appointment fully prepared.
- Pay the appropriate fee. All fees are payable in U.S. dollars or colones at the Embassy’s exchange rate. The Embassy also accepts payment by credit/debit card.
- If your document requires the presence of witnesses in addition to the notarization, you are responsible for providing these witnesses. Consular staff cannot act as witnesses.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Before scheduling your notary appointment please take into account that there is a maximum of 3 documents per appointment.
- Before scheduling your notary appointment please take into account that there is a maximum of 3 documents per appointment.
For security reasons, visa applicants and American citizens are not allowed to enter the U.S. Consulate or Embassy grounds with bags, food (with the exception of snacks for children under six years old), weapons, or any type of electronic devices (including laptops, iPads, iPods, cameras, memory sticks, CDs, etc.) Please do not bring supporting information (photos, transcripts, ultrasounds, etc.) on electronic devices. Please bring only printed information to your appointment.
The U.S. Consulate General in Costa Rica does not have a storage facility for such items. We strongly discourage visa applicants and visitors to the American Citizen Services section from bringing these items to the Embassy.
If you must bring cell phones, you must leave those items with the security guards at the entrance and pick them up upon exiting. The U.S. government takes no responsibility for devices left at the Embassy.
Your cooperation is appreciated.