Notarial services are available to U.S. citizens and foreign nationals for documents to be used in the United States. Notary services are executed by Consular Officers and may include documents to be signed before them, statements made under oath, power of attorney, affidavits and acknowledgements. Notary services are by appointment only and are not available on American and Ethiopian holidays. You may schedule an appointment at ACS Appointment System (state.gov)
Notary appointments may only be used to obtain a notarial. No other services can be provided during that appointment time. To have a document notarized, you must come in person with the following documents:
- The document(s) to be notarized, unsigned.
- A valid photo ID. (i.e., passport, driver license or national ID card with translation if issued in any other language other than English).
- If your document needs to be witnessed, please bring your witness(es) with you. Witnesses are required to bring a valid photo ID and we remind you that Consular Officers cannot serve as witnesses.
- Completely fill in all blank spaces on the document. We can’t fill out the document for you and the person signing the document will need to know its content.
Statement of Consent for Issuing a passport for a minor (DS-3053 form)
- You can download the form hereForm DS-3053.
- Complete the form – Do not sign
- You need to bring an original and 1 copy of your photo ID.
- No fee is required for this service.
Each Notarial Service has a fee of $ 50.00 or the equivalent in Ethiopian Birr. You may pay in cash or with credit card, no checks or debit cards are accepted. Please keep in mind that some documents such as mortgages may require more than one notarial therefore, you will be charged for each Consul’s signature required.
Marriage in Ethiopia
The Government of Ethiopia no longer accepts free-to-marry affidavits notarized by the U.S. Embassy. In order to demonstrate to the Government of Ethiopia that you are free to marry, you will need to present the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with an authenticated copy of a document showing that you are not married.
There is no standard “free to marry” form in the United States. The document may be called, among other things, an Affidavit of Single Status, a Letter of Freedom to Marry, a Single Letter, or a Statement of Freedom to Marry depending on the state in which you live. To begin the authentication process, contact the Secretary of State or equivalent office in your state of residence and request a copy of the appropriate document that can be authenticated.
That document must then be sealed by the U.S. Department of State. For information about how to acquire the seal please visit the Department of State’s Office of Authentications (state.gov) Moreover, you will need to get your document authenticated by the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington DC.
If you have any further questions about the “free to marry” requirement, please contact the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs at +251 962 48 6060 or the nearest Ethiopian Embassy or Consulate
Driver’s License Information
The Government of Ethiopia no longer accepts US driver’s licenses notarized by the U.S. Embassy. In order to demonstrate to the Government of Ethiopia that you are the holder of a US Driver’s License, you will need to present the Ministry of Transportation with an authenticated copy of a document showing proof of your driver’s license in the US.
In order to authenticate your US driver’s license, you need to start with your home state’s department of motor vehicles. The document that they provide in order to certify that your US driver’s license is authentic then needs to be authenticated by the Secretary of State within your home state. After that, it needs to be authenticated by the Department of State, as per the Department of State’s Office of Authentications website. Once that is complete, you will need to get your document authenticated by the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington DC.
You can also follow the normal procedure to request a driver’s license instead of certifying the validity of your current one.
Background checks and Fingerprints
Criminal Records for U.S. Citizens Abroad
U.S. citizens abroad may be asked to present a “background check” or “certificate of a criminal record” for a variety of reasons for use locally including residence, visas, adoption, employment, etc. U.S. law enforcement authorities may not be familiar with such a procedure since it is not commonly requested in the United States.
There are a variety of options available to U.S. citizens seeking to obtain proof of their lack of a criminal record, and you should check with the requesting entity what type of record they are seeking. If a state criminal record check is requested, you can contact the state’s law enforcement agency. If the entity requests a national criminal record check, you need to contact the FBI directly.
For additional information regarding criminal record checks, see the State Department website. (Criminal Record Checks (state.gov)
The U.S. Embassy does not provide fingerprinting services. In order to have your fingerprints taken, you must take a fingerprint card to Federal Police Crime Investigation Bureau Forensic Examination Directorate. Fingerprint cards can be downloaded from the FBI’s website: fd 258 fingerprinting card: Fill out & sign online | DocHub
Once the prints have been taken, you must follow the instructions on the FBI website regarding a Criminal Record Check.