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Questions and answers about apostille

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Documents notarized in:
For Use in:
All documents (except originals, issued by the government) must be notarized.

AuthenticationHQ provides assistance with certification of legal documents for use in countries that ratified Apostille Convention. Here are some of the most common questions asked about authentication of documents:

If you have questions about your order please contact us directly at +1-202-661-8111 or us@authenticationhq.com

What is Apostille?

Apostilles (French for "Certification") is an internationally recognized verification mechanism. Apostilles certify a document for all 110 nations who have ratified the Hague Convention, the same way that Notarization certifies a document for all 50 US States. It provides a standardized, global framework for authenticating documents across national governments.

So what does Apostille mean?

Apostille - A stamp or printed form consisting of ten standard numbered fields:

  • Country,
  • This public document has been signed by,
  • Acting in the capacity of,
  • Bears the seal/stamp of,
  • Certified at,
  • Date,
  • Number,
  • Seal/stamp,
  • Signature.
Apostilles prove to foreign governments that your documents are genuine.

Is notarization of the document necessary for apostille?

Yes, the document will need to be notarized before being sent to your state's Secretary of State for the apostille, or to any of our VisaHQ locations.

Is a copy of the document (not original document) allowed for apostille?

Yes, a Certified Copy of the original document that has been notarized by a local notary can be submitted to your state's Secretary of State for apostille, or to VisaHQ offices.

Will a translation of the documents be needed? (if being sent to a non-English speaking location)

Yes in certain instances. Some countries require translations of the document from the local language to English, other’s might not. Please refer to the listed requirements for the country you will be using the documents in for more information.

What kind of documents can be apostilled?

The most common types are contracts/licenses like business contracts, export licenses, birth/death certificates, and marriage licenses. Records such as birth certificates, university transcripts, deed pools, name changes, and passports are also commonly apostilled.

Expiration of apostilled documents – can these documents expire?

No, the apostilization does not expire. However, many countries will only accept documents that have been apostilled within a certain timeframe.

How do I get documents apostilled?

After completing an order on our website, you will be sent a list of requirements and instructions via email. You will then ship your notarized documents to our Washington, DC address. We will have your documents apostilled and shipped back to you.