ACME LIVE SCAN & NOTARY is your Contra Costa Notary Public and Apostille expert who helps reduce the processing time and take the guesswork out of the apostille process, including notarizing documents, obtaining state or federal authentications, working with translation specialists to translate documents into the target language, and submitting paperwork to a competent State or Federal authority.
ACME LIVE SCAN & NOTARY BENEFITS:
- Local Pickup and Delivery in Antioch, CA
- Experienced with all facets of authentication services
- Expedited In-Person apostille process with the State of California
- Document checking prior to submission to the Secretary of State
- Mobile appointments available in the greater Bay Area
- Experience with Birth Certificates, Death Certificate, Special Power of Attorney, etc.
- Servicing the community since 2016
Let our experts help you focus on more important aspects of your overseas travel by calling (925)237-9550 to discuss the requirements for your document authentication.
An apostille (pronounced ah-po-stee), meaning “certification” in French, is a seal that legitimizes legal documents for use outside the United States or country of origin. This is commonly required when you go overseas to conduct business, buy property, get married, or adopt a child.
Why you might need an apostille
In some cases, documents to be used overseas may require an apostille before a foreign country will recognize its authenticity and authority. Many but not all countries accept an apostille from the Secretary of State where the document originated.
When a state issues an apostille and authentication, it is to verify the notary public is authorized to provide the notarization or certification and that he/she has done so under state laws.
Overseas travel or moving
Most of the time when we travel internationally, a US passport is more than enough to travel to and from a foreign country. But there are times when you will need to request an apostille for legal, personal, or public documents to travel, such as studying abroad, relocating to a new country, applying for a foreign visa, adopting a child from a different country, or getting married internationally.
Many established companies decide at some point whether or not they want to bring their products or services to the global market. This can be opening an international office, exporting goods, or signing a partnership with foreign partners. Each country has its own set of apostille document requirements needed to run a legal business, such as a passport, Certification of Incorporation, Certification of Origin, Corporate Resolution, or other important financial documents.
Overseas residential or commercial property
Whether it’s a personal home, timeshare, or property investment, overseas property ownership requires specific documents to have an apostille to purchase and own the property, such as a birth certificate, passport, proof of income, power of attorney. If the property owner passes away, an apostille may be required on the death certificate, last will and testimony, and probate before the country will allow any legal actions.
Documents that commonly need an apostille
Technically, any notarized document or Vital Records can apply for an apostille, but not all documents require one. Here are examples of the most common documents that do.
Birth Certificates, and other Vital Records
Vital records are public legal documents for an individual’s life events recorded by the state and include at least the individual’s full name, the event, the event date, and the event location.
The most common public legal documents are:
- Birth Certificates
- Marriage Certificates
- Marriage Licenses
- Divorce Certificates
- Divorce Decrees
- Death Certificates
Power of attorney, and other private legal documents
The most common private legal documents are:
- School diplomas & transcripts
- Power of attorney
- Special Power of attorney
- Last Will & Testimony
- Articles of Incorporation
- Commercial invoices
- Tax returns
Passports and driver’s licenses
In California passports and drivers licenses may be notarized with a statement stating the fact that it is a true copy by the signer. The common uses for a passport or driver’s license apostille:
- Opening a bank account in a different country
- Purchasing foreign property
- Conducting international business
- Driving a car or obtaining a foreign driver’s license
What are the apostille requirements?
Apostille requirements vary by state, country, and document type.
A detailed apostille application process might be:
- Obtaining an original or copy of the document
- Notarizing the document with a Public Notary in the same state you are applying for the apostille
- Submitting the document to the county clerk
- Submitting the document to the state or federal government for certification, if required
- Filling out the state apostille application form
- Submitting the original, certified, or notarized document with applicable fees to the Secretary of State or competent authority
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Looking for more information? See the following common questions about apostilles.
Which countries recognize apostilles?
Legal document certification used to be extremely complex, time-consuming, and varied greatly from country to country, but in 1961 the Hague Convention Treaty was signed to streamline the process and make it easier to follow. Countries that do not participate in the convention require documents to be authenticated according to their specific rules and regulations.
Currently, 91 members participate in the Hague Convention. Some of these countries are:
- United Kingdom
For a complete, up-to-date list of all participating countries, go to the HCCH Members webpage.
How long does it take to obtain an apostille or certification?
The California Secretary of State's office processes document requests daily, but that doesn’t guarantee you’ll hear back within (24-hours). Expedited services may be available to speed up the turnaround time of the apostille processing is available. Department of State's or Embassy authentications can take longer due to processing times. You can discuss any urgent requests with your agent to get a better estimate of what to expect.
How much do apostille services cost?
The fees for apostille services are typically based on how many documents you have and what state(s) or authenticating agency they must go to for processing and the level of urgency for processing your apostille request. It is best to contact us to get a quote for apostille services for your document request.
What are the differences between a notarized, apostille, and authenticated document?
The difference between a notarized, apostille, and authenticated document is the application requirements, who certifies it, and where it will be used. Whether the document requires an apostille or authentication depends completely on which country will be receiving the document.
A document is notarized by a Public Notary – a third-party, impartial witness who verifies the persons signing the document and adds a notary stamp afterward. In most states notaries are registered at the state level, which is why an apostille must be requested in the same state issued by the notary.
An apostille is an international certification guarantee, requires a notarial certificate (if the document is signed), and is certified as an authentic notarization by the Secretary of State or US Department of State. Vital Record documents, such as Birth Certificates, are not notarized but authenticated by the Secretary of State.
Document authentication is not the same as an apostille, but they are both meant to certify documents for legal use in another country. Authentication is unique to countries that don’t participate in the 1961 Hague Convention. Because of this, the process is country-specific and can be much more complicated and time-consuming.Call for a quote today! 925-237-9550