Do I need an Apostille?

Notary Public

Do I need an Apostille or Notary Public? Is it the same or what is the difference? Sometimes, immigrants face this problem and cannot understand the difference between an Apostille and Notary, and which one they need for their documents.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, apostille means an official certificate from a government that makes a document from one country acceptable in another one.

An apostille allows you to use documents in the countries that have signed the Hague Convention. An apostille is usually required for the documents, such as Birth, Marriage, Divorce, and Death Certificates, Name Change Certificate, Diplomas, and Power of Attorney, Court Orders, etc. 

An apostille can be obtained from the Secretary of State. It is also necessary to translate both the document and its Apostille into the language of the receiving country or organizations. In some cases, the receiving country or organizations may ask you to provide additional proof of proper legalization. This means it’s necessary to verify the exact form of execution of an Apostille in your country to make sure they will accept your documents. Some countries accept an Apostille from their embassies and consulates only. In this case, you need to go to the website of the embassy or consulate of your country in the US, review the list of the required documents for your case, and find details about an Apostille. 

How to authenticate your document? The following steps are general and may vary based on your case. You always need to check the apostille requirements with the receiving country or organizations. First of all, you need to verify that the document was issued to you. Then, notarize it in front of a notary public. If it applies to your document, the next step is to ask the clerk of court to certify the document. Secondly, visit the Secretary of State to certify your document. If you need both certificates from the clerk of the court and secretary of state, make sure the clerk of the court certified it before the secretary of state, not vice versa. And finally, verify the information, and make sure all signatures and seals are original, and you have translations if any. The Apostille fees depend on many factors, such as time, number of documents, city, and state.


*For informational use only.

Photo by Stephen Goldberg


Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top