WHAT IS AN APOSTILLE?

Notary & Apostille

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Apostille (pronounced “ah-po-steel”) is a French word meaning certification.

An Apostille is simply the name for a specialized certificate, issued by the California Secretary of State. The Apostille, which contains and stamped red seal, is attached to your original document to verify it is legitimate and authentic so it will accepted in one of the other Apostille member countries.

In 1961, many countries joined together to create a simplified method of “legalizing” documents for universal recognition. Members of the conference, referred to as the Hague Convention, adopted a document referred to as an Apostille that would be recognized by all member countries.

Since October 15, 1981, the United States has been part of the 1961 Hague Convention abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents.

The Apostille Convention provides for the simplified certification of public (including notarized) documents to be used in countries that have joined the convention. Documents destined for use in participating countries and their territories should be certified by one of the officials in the jurisdiction in which the document has been executed.

The Apostille Convention requires that all Apostille’s be numbered consecutively, with individual numbers applied to each Apostille issued. The recognized standard Apostille contains a seal and 10 mandatory references: name of country from which the document emanates, name of person signing the document, the capacity in which the person signing the document has acted, in the case of unsigned documents, the name of the authority that has affixed the seal or stamp, place of certification date of certification, the authority issuing the certificate, number of certificate, seal or stamp of authority issuing certificate and signature of authority issuing certificate.

Prior to the introduction of Apostille certificates the burden on international courts and authorities to judge foreign documents as authentic was quite considerable. On the 5 October 1961 the Hague Convention abolished the requirement of legalisation for foreign public documents. The Convention reduces all of the formalities of legalisation to the simple delivery of a certificate in a prescribed form, entitled “Apostille”, by the authorities of the State where the document originates. This certificate, placed on the document, is dated, numbered and registered. The verification of its registration can be carried out without difficulty by means of a simple request for information addressed to the authority which delivered the certificate.

WHICH COUNTRIES REQUIRE AN APOSTILLE?

The following countries are members of the Hague Apostille Convention and will require an Apostille from the California Secretary of State…

  • Albania Albania
  • Andorra Andorra
  • Antigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina Argentina
  • Armenia Armenia
  • Australia Australia
  • Austria Austria
  • Azerbaijan Azerbaijan
  • Bahamas Bahamas
  • Barbados Barbados
  • Belarus Belarus
  • Belgium Belgium
  • Belize Belize
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Botswana Botswana
  • Brasil Brasil
  • Brunei Brunei
  • Bulgaria Bulgaria
  • Cape Verde Cape Verde
  • Columbia Columbia
  • Cook Islands Cook Islands
  • Costa Rica Costa Rica
  • Croatia Croatia
  • Cyprus Cyprus
  • Czech Republic Czech Republic
  • Denmark Denmark
  • Dominica Dominica
  • Dominican Republic Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador Ecuador
  • El Salvador El Salvador
  • Estonia Estonia
  • Fiji Fiji
  • Finland Finland
  • France France
  • Georgia Georgia
  • Germany Germany
  • Greece Greece
  • Grenada Grenada
  • Honduras Honduras
  • Hong Kong Hong Kong
  • Hungary Hungary
  • Iceland Iceland
  • India India
  • Ireland Ireland
  • Israel Israel
  • Italy Italy
  • Japan Japan
  • Kazakhstan Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan
  • Latvia Latvia
  • Lesotho Lesotho
  • Liberia Liberia
  • Liechtenstein Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania Lithuania
  • Luxembourg Luxembourg
  • Macau Macau
  • Macedonia Macedonia
  • Malawi Malawi
  • Malta Malta
  • Marshall Islands Marshall Islands
  • Mauritius Mauritius
  • Mexico Mexico
  • Moldova Moldova
  • Monaco Monaco
  • Montenegro Montenegro
  • Namibia Namibia
  • Netherlands Netherlands
  • New Zealand New Zealand
  • Niue Niue
  • Norway Norway
  • Oman Oman
  • Panama Panama
  • Peru Peru
  • Poland Poland
  • Portugal Portugal
  • Romania Romania
  • Russia Russia
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa Samoa
  • San Marino San Marino
  • Sao Tome and Principe Sao Tome and Principe
  • Serbia Serbia
  • Seychelles Seychelles
  • Slovakia Slovakia
  • Slovenia Slovenia
  • South Africa South Africa
  • South Korea South Korea
  • Spain Spain
  • Suriname Suriname
  • Swaziland Swaziland
  • Sweden Sweden
  • Switzerland Switzerland
  • Tonga Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turkey Turkey
  • Ukraine Ukraine
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom
  • United States United States
  • Uruguay Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu Vanuatu
  • Venezuela Venezuela
 
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APOSTILLE FAQ'S

  • How Does The Apostille Service Work?

    Obtaining a California Apostille for your documents doesn’t have to be a challenge. We’re here to help!

    If you reside outside of Los Angeles, you can send us your original documents via FedEx, UPS or Priority/Express Mail from the United States Postal Service. For security purposes, always get a tracking number.

    For documents received by 10:30 a.m., we guarantee the documents will be completed in 1-2 business days (excluding Saturday, Sunday and major holidays). We provide FREE return shipping via FedEx Next Day service to anywhere in the United States.

    In Los Angeles, our apostille service comes to your home or office to pick up, notarize, and review your documents. We process your documents through the Secretary of State then deliver them back to you with the California Apostille attached.

    Our service takes this important, complicated, and time-consuming process off your hands. Our California Apostille service saves you time and money by processing your paperwork promptly and efficiently.

    Apostilles can be complicated. Don’t leave this process to untrained employees or non-professionals who do not fully understand the California Apostille process and the unique requirements of certain countries. Your paperwork could be rejected costing you time and money. Don’t let this happen to you!

  • WHICH DOCUMENTS REQUIRE AN APOSTILLE?

    The California Secretary of State provides authentication of public official signatures on documents to be used outside the United States of America. The country of destination determines whether the authentication is an Apostille or Certification.

    Apostilles and Certifications only certify to the authenticity of the signature of the official who signed the document, the capacity in which that official acted, and when appropriate, the identity of the seal or stamp which the document bears. The Apostille or Certification does not validate the contents of the document.

    The California Secretary of State authenticates signatures only on documents issued in the State of California signed by a notary public or the following public officials and their deputies:

    • County Clerks, Registrar-Recorder
    • Court Administrators of the Superior Court
    • Executive Clerks of the Superior Court
    • Officers whose authority is not limited to any particular county
    • Executive Officers of the Superior Court
    • Judges of the Superior Court
    • Notaries Public
    • State Officials

    The most common types of documents include (Note: Some documents require a certified copy):

    • Marriage Licenses, Divorce agreements, Divorce Decree
    • Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificates, Death Certificates
    • Single Status to Marry, No record of a Marriage
    • Criminal Record – Criminal Background Check
    • Local Police, Sherriff’s Department, etc…
    • Power of Attorney – General, Special, Finance, Real Estate etc.
    • Notarized copies of Passport, Affidavits, and other documents
    • Papers for Adoption purposes
    • Transcripts (High School, College, University, or any other issuing agency)
    • Diploma, Degree Certificates, Graduation Records
    • Permission to Travel, Consent by Parent(s) to travel with Minor Children

    Corporate documents, such as:

    • Articles of Incorporation, Certificate of Incorporation
    • Merger Agreements
    • Authorization letter for Bank, Finance, Office, and related company matters
    • Certificates of Amendment
    • Certificate of Good Standing
    • Power of Attorney
    • Certificate of Incumbency
    • Corporate Resolution
    • Certification of Free Sale
    • Certificate of Origin
    • Certificate of Analysis
    • Corporate Forms
    • Joint Venture Agreements
    • Stock Purchase Agreement in Foreign Companies
    • Business Letter of Invitation

    For vital records such as birth certificates, marriage certificates and death certificates, it must be a “certified” letter size pink-and-blue certificate provided by the local county clerk registrar recorder’s office where the certificate originated.

    Your birth, marriage or death certificate should be a letter-size, pink-and-blue document with a blue State of California heading and signed at the bottom of the certificate by a California County Clerk registrar recorder (not a doctor, for birth certificates).

    If it is a non-vital record, such as a power-of-attorney document or an affidavit attached to something like a copy of a diploma, 99% of the documents will need to be notarized first. If it was already notarized, we will need to review your document to make sure it was notarized properly for approval with the California Secretary of State and the destination country.

  • SERVICE?

    We provide fast same-day California Apostille service. Let us take this important, complicated, and time-consuming process off your hands.

    You can spend several weeks trying to figure out how to obtain an Apostille and up to two months waiting for your documents to arrive from the Secretary of State (If you haven’t made a mistake) OR you can hire our professional service and receive your documents back in one business day with the California Apostille attached.

    he cost to obtain a California Apostille for the first document is $165.00 and each additional document is $65.00. If you have six or more documents which require a California Apostille, the price drops to $55 for each Apostille. Call us now for an instant price quote!

    Payment

    For documents received by 10:30 a.m., we guarantee that the documents will ship or personally be delivered to your home or office within 1-2 business days (excluding Saturday, Sunday and major holidays). The first business day is the day after we receive your documents. FREE personally pick-up and delivery is only available for residents and businesses of Los Angeles and surrounding areas.

    For residents and businesses of Los Angeles and surrounding areas, we offer complimentary notary service. We will notarize up to three signatures on each document at no additional cost. Each additional signature is $10. (Ten Dollars).

    Fedex

    We also provide FREE return shipping via FedEx Next Day service to anywhere in the United States. You can mail your documents to our office or call for free pickup and delivery. We suggest you send us your documents via FedEx, UPS or Priority/Express Mail from the United States Postal Service. For security purposes, always get a tracking number.

    Your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. If we cannot obtain an apostille or certification for your document(s), we will refund your money 100%. Please call us before sending in your document(s). We may ask you to scan your document(s) and send us a copy for verification. We accept cash, money orders, cashier’s check, paypal, all four major credit cards, and personal/business checks. If you make payment with a personal or business check, there may be a 7 business day hold time for clearing of funds. For faster processing time please pay with a credit card.

HOW DO I GET STARTED?

There are two available options in order to obtain an Apostille:

Option 1: Mailing Us Your Original Documents.

If you reside outside of Los Angeles, you can mail us your documents. Before sending us your documents, we will need to speak with you to verify that your documents are eligible to receive an Apostille. Once verified, we recommend that you send us your documents via FedEx, UPS or Priority/Express Mail from the United States Postal Service. Always request a tracking number for your protection.

For documents received by 10:30 a.m., we guarantee the documents will be completed in 1-2 business days (excluding Saturday, Sunday and major holidays). We provide FREE return shipping via FedEx Next Day service to anywhere in the United States.

Option 2: Free Pick-Up & Delivery Service.

If you reside in Los Angeles or the surrounding areas, we offer additional convenient services at no additional cost. Our apostille professional will comes to your home or office to pick up, notarize, and review your documents. We will then process your documents through the Secretary of State and deliver them back to you within 1-2 business days.

For documents received by 10:30 a.m., we guarantee that the documents will be personally delivered to your home or office within 1-2 business days (excluding Saturday, Sunday and major holidays).

We accept cash, money orders, certified bank checks, paypal, credit cards and checks. If you make payment with a personal or business check, there may be a 7 business day hold time for clearing of funds. For faster processing time please pay online with a credit card.

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