What to Know If You Are Seeking an Apostille From the Secretary of State

Apostille is a French word, but what does it mean? It literally means “certification.” An apostille is what authenticates the seal or official signature on public documents. When you obtain an apostille from the Secretary of State, it means you bear an officially recognized certification issued by your state of residence. This form of documentation can be issued in all 50 states.

Does an Apostille Have to Be Issued by the Secretary of State?

To obtain an apostille, it must be issued by someone authorized from a legally appropriate office such as the Secretary of State or the U.S. Department of State. The Hague Convention Treaty of 1961 mandates this of its 100 member countries, which includes the United States.

What Does an Apostille Include?

An apostille is a form of documentation that verifies a notary act. It includes:

An individual number
A seal or stamp of the agency
The name of the issuing country
The place of certification
The date of certification
The title of the authority who issues the certificate
The signature of the authority who issues the certificate

What Are Examples of Documents That May Require an Apostille?

The types of documents that may require an apostille from a Secretary of State include:

A birth certificate
A business contract
A marriage certificate
A diploma
A criminal background check
A commercial document

Is the Apostille Process One You Must Handle Yourself?

When you seek an apostille from the Secretary of State, you must first understand the requirements of the government office where you are seeking the certification. However, if you don’t have the time to undertake this process, you don’t have to deal with it on your own. Contact US Authentication Services and we can help simplify the process; all you have to do is send us your personal or business documents and let us take care of the rest.