Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Apostilles

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What is an Apostille?

What exactly is an apostille, you ask? In simple words, it is a certificate issued by the government to verify the origin of a document. In a world where endless documents are signed and transferred worldwide on a daily basis, it often becomes a struggle for the individuals receiving the documents to be able to determine the legitimacy of the notary’s signature — and this is precisely where apostilles come into play. 

 

Serving as a crucial form of authentication, apostilles confirm that the seal and signature are, indeed, valid and allow the notarization to be accepted by foreign countries without any issues. Considering just how instrumental of a role this stamp plays in verifying the genuineness of a document, it is essential not to take it lightly. Specifically for the use of public documents abroad, these certificates are not intended to be used for recognition in the country where the document was initially issued.

 

Fun Fact: The term “apostille” derives from a French word that means certification. 

Which Countries Require an Apostille?

It is essential to know that apostilles are used explicitly for documents going to the countries that partake in the Hague Convention of 1961. Essentially, numerous countries are participants of the convention mentioned above, all of which have been listed below for your convenience.

 

A

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan

B

  • Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Bulgaria
  • Burundi

C

  • Cape Verde
  • Chile
  • China (Hong Kong and Macao)
  • Colombia
  • Cook Islands
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic

D

  • Denmark
  • Dominica 
  • Dominican Republic

E

  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Estonia
  • Eswatini

F 

  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France

G

  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana

H

  • Honduras
  • Hungary

I

  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia 
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy

J 

  • Jamaica
  • Japan

K

  • Kazakhstan
  • Kosovo
  • Kyrgyzstan

L

  • Latvia
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg

M

  • Malawi
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco

N

  • Namibia
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Niue
  • North Macedonia 
  • Norway

O

  • Oman

P

  • Palau
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal

R

  • Romania
  • Russia

S 

  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Suriname
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

T

  • Tajikistan
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey

U

  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom 
  • United States of America 
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan

V

  • Vanuatu
  • Venezuela

 

Which Documents do Apostilles Apply to?

For those of you looking for apostilles in Los Angeles, you might be wondering which records are applicable for these stamps to begin with. We’ve got you covered! To reiterate what was previously said, apostilles apply to specific public documents. Listed below are the documents that are eligible for apostille certificates. 

Public Documents

Issued in California, public documents contain an official stamp and the signature of an appointed official. Examples are as follows. 

 

  • Birth Certificate
  • Death Certificate
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Divorce Certificate
  • Driver’s License
  • U.S. Passport
  • Police Clearance
  • Adoption Certificate
  • Certificate of Merger
  • Certificate of Formation
  • Certificate of Good Standing
  • Restated Certificate of Incorporation
  • Termination of Foreign Corporation
  • Statement of Dissolution
  • Certificate of Existence
  • Business License
  • Assignment
  • Amendment
  • Consolidation Certificate
  • Foreign Certificate of Registration
  • Certificate of Incumbency
  • Articles of Incorporation 

General Documents

 

In the state of California, general documents are issued by private agencies like corporations and schools in California. The following documents are eligible for apostille stamps. 

 

  • Agreement to Form a Corporation
  • Insurance Certificate
  • Business Letter
  • Letter of Authorization
  • Power of Attorney
  • ISO Certificate
  • Technical Data Sheet
  • Affidavit
  • Free Sale Certificate
  • Stock Certificate
  • Shareholder List
  • Change of Agent
  • Stock Purchase Agreement
  • Health Certificate
  • Agency Agreement
  • Company Bylaws
  • Certificate of Analysis
  • School Transcript
  • College Transcript
  • School Diploma
  • Teaching Credentials
  • TESOL Certificate
  • Doctorate Degree
  • Graduate Record
  • Examination GRE
  • Doctorate Certificate
  • College Diploma
  • Master Degree
  • Associate Degree
  • Bachelor’s Degree/Certificate
  • Letter of Resignation
  • Distributor Agreement
  • Letter of Intent
  • Operating Agreement

Federal Documents 

Federal agencies like the FBI and the IRS issued federal documents containing an official seal. Listed below are the documents for which you can acquire apostille services in Los Angeles. 

 

  • Sanitation Certificate
  • Certificate of Free Sale (CFS)
  • Certificate of Exportability
  • Certificate to Foreign Government (CFG)
  • Sanitation Certificate
  • Trademark
  • Plant Certificate
  • Animal Health Certificate
  • Phytosanitary Certificate
  • Certificate of Pharmaceutical Product: Foreign Manufacturer
  • Specified Risk Material of Bovine, Ovine, and Caprine Origin Materials
  • FBI Criminal Background Check
  • Patent
  • Form 6166: U.S. Tax Residency
  • Homeland Security Documents
  • Naturalization Certificate
  • Social Security Documents
  • Social Security Benefits Letter

What is an Apostille Agent?

Dedicated to lending a helping hand with the utmost professionalism and assiduity, apostille agents are responsible for assisting customers in the process of acquiring apostille. Though only the official government agency can issue the actual certificate, the agent is still vital to the procedure. 

 

What exactly do apostille agents do, you wonder? For starters, these individuals are tasked with the duty of notarizing the signatures on the document of your choice. Aside from notarization, apostille agents are in charge of delivering the documents to the correct agency. From emails to checks to request forms, these professionals must handle an array of crucial aspects of the process and conscientiously keep track of each of them. Additionally, they must remain in contact with the agency to request instructions on behalf of the customer and gain more insight as a whole. 

 

Legalization doesn’t have to be complicated. If you find yourself needing assistance in the realm of document validation, consider scheduling an appointment with an apostille agent near you. Ideal for those of you looking to save time and money, these reliable agents access the Secretary of State to make the entire process as easy as possible for you. Whether you wish to receive a stamp on your driver’s license or your marriage certificate, these skilled individuals can take care of it all. 

 

We hope this guide thoroughly explained the vast intricacies of apostille documents and emphasized the need for form validation. Acquire apostille services in Los Angeles to effortlessly authenticate your documents today! 

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