Distinguish Authentication From Notarization


If you need to use your document issued by U. S. government in China, you will have to get it notarized or authenticated by the Chinese Embassy or Consulate.

Basics of consulate notarization and authentication:

  1. Consulate notarization and authentication have the same legal validity.
  2. Consulate notarization must be done by the applicant on his own. The applicant must go to the embassy with his passport and related document to get it notarized.
  3. Document issued by a foreign government, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce certificates, diplomas, transcripts etc. must be authenticated.
  4. Power of attorney, affidavits, and other documents drafted by individuals can be notarized or authenticated by consulate.  If you are a Chinese citizen, you can directly go to the embassy and get notarization. Or, you can entrust us to help you apply for consulate authentication. If you are not a Chinese citizen, you can only follow the authentication procedure.

Chinese Embassy only notarize the following documents:

  • Power of attorney, affidavit, pleadings and true signature;
  • Survival certificate;
  • Single certificate;
  • Residence certificate;
  • Photograph certificate;
  • Passport true copy.

If it is not convenient for you to go the Chinese embassy or consulate, or you are not Chinese citizen, you will have to follow the authentication procedure.

Almost all documents can be authenticated, we divide them into the following types:

  • Judicial or government document: court orders, birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce certificates, non criminal records.
  • Power of attorney, affidavit, etc. true signature certification: such as inheritance, transfer of property, house purchase, foster children, as well as power of attorney in divorce proceedings.
  • Business documents: company registration documents, financial, tax documents, contracts and so on.
  • True copy: such as passports, invoices, shipping orders, emails.

Laroz provide you with basic information about authentication, but does not guarantee the correctness and completeness of the information, and is not responsible for any loss due to incorrect or missing information.

US Marriage Certificate Authentication

For married couples in the United States, if you need to prove your married status in China, you should get your marriage certificate authenticated in the Chinese embassy or consulate.
Before you mail us your marriage certificate, please make sure to get the certified copy from your county with the signature of the county clerk. Generally, marriage certificate that has the signature of the county clerk can be authenticated directly at the secretary of state.

A. Marriage Certificate Authentication Procedure

The procedure of marriage certificate authentication is different according to the State which issued the document.

STEP ONE: County Clerk Authentication

Some states require marriage certificates to be authenticated by County Clerk prior to state authentication. For example, marriage certificates and the Letter of Exemplification issued from the Department of Health of New York City should be authenticated by County Clerk before New York State certification.
Note: Different States have different requirements, some states do not need County Clerk authentication before state certification. If you want to learn more detail, please contact us.

STEP TWO:The Secretary of State Certification

The Secretary of State issues both Authentication Certificates and Apostilles. The determination of which certificate is issued is based on the country in which the document will be used. Authentication Certificates are issued for documents which are destined for use in countries that are not parties to the Hague Apostille Convention. Apostille Certificates are issued for documents destined for use in countries that are parties to the Hague Apostille Convention. For example, if your documents will be used in China, you will need authentication certificates.
The authentication processing time varies in different state. Usually, it takes one to three weeks. Some states offer expedited service, some don’t. For more information, please contact us.

  • Normally, if your document is issued by the district court or state security department, it can be authenticated directly by the Secretary of State.
  • Some states require marriage certificates and marriage certificates must be issued from the Department of Health or Circuit Court within the past 12 months.

STEP THREE: The US Department of State Certification

Authentication staff of the US Department of State will receive documents and perform an initial review during 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. Monday through Friday (except federal holidays). It is also required to pick up one’s completed certificate(s) between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. on the cited date.
To save the trouble, you may use our service on this step. When you create a new order, you need to choose code “DC” on the “Issued by state” column.

STEP FOUR: The Chinese Embassy/Consulate General Authentication

The People’s Republic of China currently maintains one Embassy in Washington D.C., but also maintains 5 consulates-general in the following U.S. cities: New York, NY; Chicago, IL; San Francisco, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Houston, TX. Each Embassy or consulate-general hold consular jurisdiction over specific states.
Your legalization application may be rejected by the Embassy/Consulate General that does not hold consular jurisdiction over the state where your document is executed.
When deciding which embassy/consulate-general to go, you should check the state that issued the document, not where you reside.

B. How To Place An Order

  • Online submit your order
  • Mail all required documents to our office
  • For our service fee you can check here.

C. Required Documents

  • The original and photocopy of your marriage certificate
  • One fully completed and signed notarization and authentication application form
  • Photocopies of both couple’s passport information page. Other copies of valid ID may be acceptable, such as driver’s license, green card, et.al. If your passport has been renewed or noted, photocopies of the related pages are required as well. If the applicants are not U.S. citizen, photocopy of immigrant status or green card might be needed in some consular-general.
  • Check or money order if you choose this payment method.

D. Payment Methods

  • Cash payment: available for walk in clients, please do not send us cash by mail
  • Money order: can be purchased at the post office, CVS, Western Union and other locations
  • Check: please make your check payable to: Laroz International Business, Inc.
  • PayPal payment: please pay to info@larozinc.com. You need to pay a service fee to PayPal: $1.00 for the amount < = $20, and 5% for the amount of $20 – $60, 3.5%-5% for amount > = $60. Clients who lives in China may find PayPal more convenient than other payment methods.

You are welcomed to consult us with specific authentication questions relating to marriage certificate. You can entrust Laroz for all three step authentication.

Laroz provides basic certification related information, but does not guarantee the correctness and completeness. We are not responsible for any consequence due to incorrect or incomplete information.

Three Step Certification Procedure

There are varieties of documents that need certification, such as birth certificates,  death certificates, marriage certificates, divorce certificates, affidavit,  power of attorney, company registration documents, court order, bank statements, financial proof, degree certificates, transcripts, and so on. Different type of documents may have different certification procedure. You are welcomed to consult us for questions about certification related issues.



First of all, your document need to be notarized by the local Notary Public or a certified copy need to be issued by the authorities.

  • For documents that are issued by the government, such as birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates, and divorce certificates, notary is NOT required for the next step.
  • For documents that are drafted by individuals, such as affidavit, power of attorney, notary must be done before the next step.


Depending on the State that issue the document and the type of the document, different procedure applies. Most of the States do not require this step, so a majority of the documents can be certificated in the Secretary of State directly. Several States require county clerk certification before State certification. Take Maryland for example, Maryland birth certificate can be certificated in the Secretary of Maryland directly. However, power of attorney that is notarized in Maryland needs county clerk certification before go to the Secretary of Maryland.


In this step, the Secretary of State will certify the seal and signature of the county clerk or the notary public is real. There are two types of certification, authentication certificates and apostilles. To determine which certificate to issue, you should specify which country your document will be used in. For example, if you intend to use your document in China, you will need authentication certificate. If you get a apostille from State, Chinese embassy will not authenticate it for you.


Department of State certification office only accept application materials from 8:00 am to 9:00 am. You can entrust Laroz with this step. When you make an order online, please select code “DC” in the document issued by the State column for the Department of State certification step.


The applicants should submit their application to the Chinese embassy or consulate.

How To Place An Order

  • Submit your order online
  • Mail or email your document and related materials to our office
  • For our service fee, you can check here.

Check List For Chinese Embassy/Consulate Authentication

  • Filled Notarization/Authentication Application Form
  • Original authentication document from the Department of State
  • Copy of the photo page of your passport
  • Proof of legal residence in US, such as J1, H1B, green card, for non-US citizen

Laroz can help you with the authentication process in all 50 states and Washington, DC area.

Laroz provide you with basic information about  authentication, but does not guarantee the correctness and completeness of the information, and is not responsible for any loss due to incorrect or missing information.