Apostilles or Certificate of Notarial Authority

Do you need to get an Apostille or Certificate of Notarial Authority to send it to another country? If you don’t need one now, you might one day. But first, if you don’t already know, let me explain what they are.

If you need to notarize a document here in the United States to send it to another country, you will need to get also an Apostille (a French word that means “note”) or a Certificate of Notarial Authority that verifies the legalization of the notary’s signature and official capacity. That’s what an Apostille is.

In most states (47 out of 50), it’s issued by the Secretary of State or one of his or her deputies or assistants, and it is accepted by all countries who are part of the Hague Convention. This facilitates the acceptance of foreign public documents by any country part of the convention, makes the document fully recognizable by the country of destination, and no further authentication is needed by the country’s Embassy or Consulate.

Apostille convention

Image via Wikipedia

  • What if the country that you need to send the document to is not part of the Hague Convention?

You need to get the document notarized, but instead of requesting an Apostille, you need to get a Certification of Notarial Authority that is also issued by the Secretary of State or go to your country’s embassy or consulate. The Dept. of State determines which ones is appropriate so you don’t need to worry about if the country is part of the Hague Convention of not.

A sample of a notarized document from Pakistan.

Image via Wikipedia

Important Note:

Some documents may require you to go to your country’s embassy or consulate instead of getting an Apostille from the Dept. of State. If the document is a public record or a public recordable document, like birth, death, or marriage certificates, recorded deeds, etc., you will probably need to go to the corresponding country’s consulate or embassy since the country where the person was born is the only country that can authenticate their own documents.

Be careful with notaries providing Apostilles, Certificates of Notarial Authority, for foreign vital record documents. According to the Florida Department of State, they cannot make copies, “certify,” or issue Apostilles for those documents.
Please see the post: Prohibited Acts for Notaries (FL) 
  • Are notaries responsible for requesting an Apostille or Certificate of Notarial Authority?

No. According to the Hague Convention treaty, the signer or bearer of the document is the one responsible for making the request.

Seal of the United States Department of State.

Image via Wikipedia

The current turn around time by the  is about 5-10 working days according to the FL Dept. of State.

If you need Apostille services, I can help you with that. My services include overnight service and a prepaid envelope for them to return the document as quickly as possible. Click here to go to my official site for more details.

by Alessandra Gomes

On My Way FL Notary S.A.