Consular officials at any U.S. embassy or consulate abroad can provide a service similar to the functions of a notary public in the United States. Like a notary public in the U.S., the consular official must require the personal appearance of the person requesting the notarial service; establish the identity of the person requesting the service; establish that the person understands the nature, language, and consequences of the document to be notarized; and establish that the person is not acting under duress.
All notary services at the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh and Consulates General in Jeddah and Dhahran are by appointment only.
Due to the demand for notarial services, we cannot offer expedited appointments except in cases of emergencies. The Department of State defines an emergency as a situation involving the life or death of an American citizen. If you have an emergency situation, please first make an appointment at the post of your choosing and then send an email to the Embassy or Consulate you made the appointment with describing the nature of the emergency and the service you require. If your request is approved you will receive a response with your expedited appointment date and time.
Note – expedited notarial service appointments will only be considered for clients who are American Citizens.
Notarial services may be refused under the following conditions; it is prohibited by treaty or foreign law; it is prohibited by U.S. law; the notarizing officer believes the document will be used for a purpose patently unlawful, improper or inimical to the best interests of the United States; the document is blank; the individual does not appear to be capable of understanding the nature or language of the instrument; the individual is unable to comprehend the significance of the act and/or is acting under duress; the document is incorrect; the individual has invalid, inadequate or insufficient proof of identification; the proof of a corporate title or position is lacking or inadequate; and/or the service is a medallion signature guarantee. (Only financial institutions can provide a signature guarantee/medallion guarantee service.)
Please read the information below before making your appointment.
Appointments must be made via the online appointment system; customers without an appointment will not be accommodated. Individuals needing notary services must appear in person at their scheduled appointment time, present proper photo identification (a valid passport or valid government issued identification – must be in English) and pay the appropriate fees. If the document requires witnesses in addition to the notary, please note that you must bring your own witnesses to the Embassy or Consulate. Due to space limitations, people not required to sign documents during the notary service will not be able to accompany the applicant into the Embassy or Consulate and should not come to the Embassy or Consulate.
Prior to your appointment, you should review your documents to understand what is needed. Consular officers cannot provide legal advice and may not be familiar with your particular legal document. If you have questions or do not understand the document(s), please direct your questions to an attorney or the agency/individual which issued the document.
Do not sign the document until requested to do so by the officer. Depending on the nature of the document, the officer will either administer an oath that your signature was done freely and with an understanding of the document’s contents, or administer an oath whereby you swear or affirm the contents of a document are true. (Note: officers do not certify that the contents of submitted documents are true. An officer only certifies that you have signed and sworn or affirmed under oath that the contents are true.)
Consular officials are prohibited from offering legal advice regarding the form or content of documents to be notarized. The consular section staff cannot complete the form or statement for you. You should clearly understand the document and the requirements set by your financial institution, government agency, or attorney. We reserve the right to ask you to return at a later date/time if your documents are not prepared for notary service.
An “affidavit” is a written declaration or statement of facts, made voluntarily and confirmed by the oath or affirmation of the party making it, taken before an officer having authority to administer such oath or affirmation. Affidavits require the personal presence of the individual signing the document in order for the consular officer to administer the oath. The affidavit should be typed and prepared prior to the appointment. Consular staff cannot prepare the document or provide advice as to what information should be included.
Disclaimer: The information below is a general guide based on information provided by the relevant authorities and is therefore up-to-date and accurate to the extent that such authorities provide us with timely and accurate information. Accordingly, the U.S. government does not guarantee that this information is accurate and will not be held liable for any inaccuracies in this information. Citizens wishing to obtain information about marriage must contact the relevant authorities to be sure of the requirements that they need in order to proceed with their ceremony.
Any foreigner who wishes to marry abroad may be required by the government of their partner’s home country or their partner’s family to demonstrate his/her eligibility to marry. Marriage records are managed by the states, thus the U.S. federal government does not maintain a central marriage registry. Therefore, we are unable to provide verification of a U.S. citizen’s eligibility to marry. Citizens seeking to marry in Saudi Arabia may choose to complete an affidavit declaring that he/she is eligible to marry which may be accepted by the receiving government. Please note that we cannot make changes to the document. U.S. citizens seeking to marry in Saudi Arabia may need to contact the custodian of records or the respective state agency to identify vital records in the U.S. that may meet the criteria for the receiving government. U.S. citizens obtaining certified vital records from the custodian of such records will need to follow the process for the authentication of documents in the U.S. Please visit the Department of State website for more information on the authentication of documents.
Consular officers may take an acknowledgement of a signature on a document for use in the United States. An “acknowledgement” is used to affirm under oath information including recognition of one’s acts, obligations or responsibility. Acknowledgements require the personal appearance by the person signing the document in order to confirm that person’s identity.
The primary purpose of an authentication, which is a governmental act by a U.S. consular officer, is to certify the official seal, signature and/ or authority of foreign officials who perform an official act with regard to a document that is to be used in the United States.
For Saudi documents to be used in the United States, consular officers may authenticate the stamp and seal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia on such documents. The documents should first be taken to the Ministry’s nearest Consular office. Documents may be authenticated at the U.S. Embassy once they have received this seal. A consular authentication of a document to be used in the United States in no way attests to the authenticity of the contents of a document but merely to the seal and signature of the issuing Saudi government official. Only authentication requests for originally signed documents from those Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials on record with the U.S. Embassy and Consulates General will be authenticated. Consular officials cannot provide authentication services for U.S. issued documents to be used abroad.
The Riyadh Province MFA Branch Consular Office is located at Al Washm Street, Nasseriyah District: http://www.mofa.gov.sa/sites/mofaen/MainContactUs/Riyadh/Pages/Map.aspx
The Western Province MFA Branch Consular Office is located in Al Madinah Al Munawarah Road, Al-Baghdadiyah Al-Sharqiyah District, Jeddah: http://www.mofa.gov.sa/sites/mofaen/MainContactUs/Makka/Pages/Map.aspx
The Eastern Province MFA Branch Consular Office is located in Dammam Khobar Highway, between the Chamber of Commerce and Al Yaum Newspaper: http://www.mofa.gov.sa/sites/mofaen/MainContactUs/EasternRegion/Pages/Map.aspx
Special Notice Regarding Marriages
Consular and diplomatic officials at the U.S. Embassy and Consulates General in Saudi Arabia are not permitted to perform marriage ceremonies nor register them in the United States. In general, marriages which are legally performed and valid abroad are also legally valid in the United States and there is no requirement to register a foreign marriage with U.S. authorities. Inquiries regarding the validity of a marriage abroad should be directed to the attorney general of the state in the United States where the parties to the marriage reside.
Special Notice Regarding the Authentication of U.S. Issued Documents for Use in Saudi Arabia
The Government of Saudi Arabia has established guidelines for the submission of foreign-issued vital records used in the residency process. The guidelines require embassies to verify the information contained in the documents. In the United States, civil records such as those for birth and marriage are issued by local and state authorities. Thus, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates General, as representatives of the federal government, lack the legal authority to certify the information in state-issued documents. Authentication of U.S. issued public documents for use overseas should therefore be undertaken in the U.S. The documents are certified by the custodian of record and first authenticated at the state level. Following that process, they must be sent to the Department of State’s Office of Authentications in Washington, D.C. and finally, authenticated by the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, D.C. Please visit the Department of State website for more information on the authentication of documents.
Authentication of American Academic Credentials for Use Abroad
U.S. embassies and consulates cannot authenticate diplomas or other documents from universities and other schools in the United States or provide notary services related to such credentials. Authenticating U.S. academic credentials, certificates, or degrees for use in Saudi Arabia is a multi-step process that takes place in the U.S.: the document must be first authenticated by the state Notary Public Administrator in the U.S. state where it was issued, then authenticated by the Department of State’s Office of Authentications and then authenticated by the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, D.C. Please visit the Department of State website for more information on the authentication of academic credentials for use overseas.
Individuals wishing to authenticate U.S. educational documents for use in Saudi Arabia may wish to contact the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission (SACM) in the U.S. for assistance: http://www.sacm.org.
Fingerprints for American Citizens
The U.S. Embassy and Consulates General in Saudi Arabia cannot provide fingerprinting services for Saudi background checks and CANNOT issue or certify U.S. police clearances. Any police clearance obtained from U.S. law enforcement authorities must be certified in the United States. Police clearances must be certified by the custodian of record and first authenticated at the state level. Following that process, they must be sent to the Department of State in Washington, D.C. and finally, authenticated by the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, D.C. Please visit the Department of State website for more information on the authentication of documents.
Saudi Police Clearances for American Citizens
U.S. citizens departing Saudi Arabia may wish to receive a police clearance from Saudi authorities for use in future residency or work permits. Police clearances must be obtained while in country and are unavailable for non-Saudis who no longer reside in the Kingdom. The optimal time to conduct these procedures at Criminal Investigation Department stations is 10:00 a.m. Sundays-Thursdays. It is our understanding that the clearance process generally takes two to four working days. The Saudi authorities may request a letter from the U.S. Embassy or Consulates to provide this service. We provide this letter to American Citizens for their use.
The applicant must then appear personally with the letter, two passport-sized photographs, and a Saudi residency iqama at the regional Criminal Investigation Department for fingerprinting. Fingerprinting for women is done in a separate room.
The Riyadh Province office is located here Police Clearance/Fingerprint Office.
The Western Province office is located at 7923 King Khalid Road, An Nazlah Al Yamaniyah District, Jeddah.
Immigrant visa applicants with questions about obtaining a Saudi police clearance for their U.S. Immigrant Visa application should visit the Immigrant Visa page.
Certifications of True Copies
Some U.S. states provide that notaries may execute certifications of true copies of documents. However, many public documents, such as a birth, death, marriage or divorce record, and police clearances can only be certified by the custodian of record in that state. Individuals seeking such a service may choose to make a sworn statement declaring that a copy is an exact reproduction of an original document he or she possesses. This sworn statement may be accepted by the Government of Saudi Arabia for the acceptance of vital records.
Consular officials may provide true copies of passports when required for use by other agencies of the U.S. government (i.e. applications for Social Security number or individual tax identity number). To provide this service at no fee, applicants are required to present documentation of the request from the relevant U.S. government agency.
Certifications of True Copies for Social Security Number Applications
The U.S. Embassy and Consulates General in Saudi Arabia may execute certifications of true copies of documents for use in applications for Social Security numbers. Individuals seeking these services must present a valid request from the Social Security Administration Federal Benefits Unit located in Rome by first emailing FBU.Rome@ssa.gov
U.S. consular officers are NOT permitted to translate documents, certify to the correctness of translations, or authenticate translators’ signatures. Lists of local translators collected by U.S Embassy Riyadh and the Consulates General in Jeddah and Dhahran are provided for the convenience of U.S. citizens. Please note that the U.S. Government assumes no responsibility for the professional ability of the persons or firms listed here.
U.S. consular officers are NOT permitted to provide tax advice or certify the correctness of tax filings. Lists of tax specialists collected by U.S. Embassy Riyadh and the Consulates General in Jeddah and Dhahran are provided. Please note that the U.S. government assumes no responsibility for the professional ability of the persons or firms listed here. Please also see our webpage on the Internal Revenue Service.
The U.S. Embassy and Consulates General DO NOT issue Saudi driver licenses.
U.S. citizens wishing to obtain a Saudi driver’s license should discuss the process with their sponsor and/or contact the Ministry of Interior to obtain the most up-to-date information regarding the process.
The U.S. Embassy and Consulates General DO NOT issue or renew U.S. driver licenses.
U.S. citizens wishing to obtain or renew a state-issued driver’s license should contact the department of motor vehicles in your state of residence of in the United States.
Fees Per Notary Seal:
- Notarial, Oath, or Acknowledgement: $50.00 or SR 190.00
- Authentication: $50.00 or SR 190.00