22 CFR 92.1 - Definitions.
(a) In the United States the term notary or notary public means a public officer qualified and bonded under the laws of a particular jurisdiction for the performance of notarial acts, usually in connection with the execution of some document.
(b) The term notarial act means an act recognized by law or usage as pertaining to the office of a notary public.
(c) The term notarial certificate may be defined as the signed and sealed statement to which a “notarial act” is almost invariably reduced. The “notarial certificate” attests to the performance of the act by the notary, and may be an independent document or as in general American notarial practice, may be placed on or attached to the notarized document.
(d) For purposes of this part, except §§ 92.36 through 92.42 relating to the authentication of documents, the term notarizing officer includes consular officers, officers of the Foreign Service who are secretaries of embassy or legation under Section 24 of the Act of August 18, 1856, 11 Stat. 61, as amended ( 22 U.S.C. 4221), and such U.S. citizen Department of State employees as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Overseas Citizens Services may designate for the purpose of performing notarial acts overseas pursuant to section 127(b) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1994-1995, Pub. L. 103-236, April 30, 1994 (“designated employees”). The authority of designated employees to perform notarial services shall not include the authority to perform authentications, to notarize patent applications, or take testimony in a criminal action or proceeding pursuant to a commission issued by a court in the United States, but shall otherwise encompass all notarial acts, including but not limited to administering or taking oaths, affirmations, affidavits or depositions.
The notarial authority of a designated employee shall expire upon termination of the employee's assignment to such duty and may also be terminated at any time by the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Overseas Citizen Services.