Apostilles and Authentication Certificates validate the seal and signature of a Notary Public on a document so that it can be accepted in a foreign country. It verifies that the Notary Public held a valid commission at the time a document was notarized.
Apostilles are used when public documents are being transferred between countries that are a party to the Hague Apostille Convention of 1961. List of Countries click here.
Example of documents that may require authentication for use abroad include: affidavits, agreements, articles of incorporation, company bylaws, deeds of assignment, diplomas, home study, income verification, powers of attorney, transcripts, trademarks, warrants, extraditions, certificates of good standing and other general business documents. Also, parents wanting to adopt a child living in another country must have their adoption dossiers properly authenticated.
Authentication Certificates are used for destination nations that are not part of the Hague Convention. Instead of a single Apostille, the document needs several authentication certificates, including those from the Secretary of State, the U.S. Department of State, the consul of the destination country and potentially another government official in the destination country.
Tip: Proper pronunciation of the word Apostille is “Apastee”.