How to notarize foreign-language documents
The translation of papers and documents from Vietnamese into a foreign language for notarization must be done by translators who act as collaborators of notarial practice organizations.

I wish to have a number of papers in French notarized in Vietnam. To my knowledge, such papers must be translated into Vietnamese before notarization. At which notary offices may I carry out procedures for notarization of such papers?

Can I translate these documents into Vietnamese by myself and bring them and their translations to a notary office for comparison and carry out notarization procedures or must they be translated at a notary office? How does Vietnamese law prescribe testimonies of translations? Are testimonies required to be bilingual?

Relevant regulations, including the 2014 Law on Notarization and Government Decree 23/2015/ND-CP dated February 16, 2015, on grant of duplicates from master registers, certification of copies from originals, certification of signatures and certification of contracts and transactions, allow you to request the district-level Justice Division to certify the signature(s) of translator(s) of your papers or request a notarial practice organization to notarize the translations of their papers. To guarantee your lawful rights in the future over the notarized papers, Vietnamese law requires public notaries to take responsibility before you (the notarization requester) for the accuracy of the translations.

Hanoi Notary Office in Trung Hoa-Nhan Chinh urban center, Hanoi__Photo: Internet

According to Article 61 of the Law on Notarization regarding notarization of translations and Articles 27 and 28 of Decree 23/2015/ND-CP regarding criteria of, and conditions on, translators and translation collaborators, a translator of your to be-notarized paper must be a collaborator of a notarial practice organization where such papers will be notarized or of district-level Justice Division that may certify the signature of such translator.

The procedures for notarization of translations are as follows:

The translation of papers and documents from Vietnamese into a foreign language for notarization must be done by translators who act as collaborators of notarial practice organizations. These collaborators must be graduates of foreign language universities or other universities who are fluent in the foreign language(s) used and take responsibility before notarial practice organizations for the accuracy and consistency of translations they make.

A notary receives originals of papers and documents required to be translated, checks them before handing to a translator being a collaborator of the notarial practice organization for translation. After completing a translation, a translator signs every page of the translation before the notary writes testimonies and signs every page of the translation.

Every page of a translation must be appended with the “Translation” mark in the top right blank space; a translation must be attached with a copy of the original and have adjoining sheets appended with a seal on their inner edges.

Testimonies by a notary on a translation must clearly state the time and place of notarization, full name of the notary and name of the notarial practice organization; full name of the translator; certify that the signature in the translation is truly that of the translator; and certify that the translation is accurate and lawful and not against social ethics; and such testimonies must bear the signature of the notary and seal of the notarial practice organization.

Testimonies of translations are required by law to be made bilingual according to a form promulgated together with Ministry of Justice Circular 06/2015/TT-BTP dated June 15, 2015, detailing and guiding the implementation of a number of articles of the Law on Notarization.

In addition, the above-said collaborators may not use carved-seal signatures and are required to directly sign their names on every page of translations.- (VLLF)

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