Apostille FAQ, Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about an Apostille.

What is an Apostille? An Apostille is a certification provided in the United States since 1981 that complies with the 1961 Hague Convention.

What is the object of an Apostille? What is an Apostille for? An Apostille abolishes the requirement of  consular legalization for foreign public documents.

Who provides Apostilles? Each subscribing nation may designate those authorities which may provide Apostilles for their jurisdiction. See below to order an Apostille.

How do you pronounce Apostille?   U.S. Apostille offices pronounce it “ă pŏs tēēl”

What other name has the Apostille?  It is also known as Authentication Certificate.  Apostille is also a French word which means a certification and in English it is used  to refer to the legalization of a document for international use under the terms of the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents.

What does an Apostille do? It certifies the authenticity of the signature, identifies the seal which the document bears and the capacity in which the person signing the document has acted.

How does an apostille look like? See a picture below.

What is the Apostille format?  Every Apostille shows 10 items besides the title and a note displaying Convention de La Haye du 5 Octobre 1961.

1. County.  This public document

2. has been signed by __

3. acting in the capacity of __

4.  bears the seal/stamp of __    Certified

5. At __(city, state)

6. the __

7. by __

8. No __

9 Seal/stamp(of the state that issue the Apostille)

10. Signature of the Secretary of State

See a picture below.

What is the new Apostille seal?  Depending on the country there is/was a golden seal, red stamp, etc, depending on the country/state issuing the apostille.

Is still the golden Apostille seal current?  As of January 2017 in the state of California the golden seal is no longer used.

Why do I have to use an Apostille? It authenticates seals and signatures so that they can be recognized in foreign countries that are parties to the Convention.

What countries require an Apostille?  Foreign countries where you will send your documents. (See the current countries members of the Hague Convention document legalization as of Jan 2017) will accept documents and recognize them as legal according to the Hague Convention.

What is an Apostille for? To legalize documents to be used in foreign countries.

When I have to use an embassy legalization instead of an Apostille?  Those countries that did not sign the Hague convention agreement on legalization do not recognize Apostilles so you need to bring the document(s) to your nearest consulate for legalization.  Some of them requires an Apostille from the state, then from the US Department of State before your submit them to the embassy. Always check their requirements.

Who needs an Apostille?  Any person that needs to ship documents to a country member of the Hague Convention.

What countries are members of the Apostille Hague Convention? Find the list of countries here.

Where is the Apostille seal placed? Half of the seal is on the Apostille certification page and the other half on the state certificate or notarial act page.

What information is shown on the Apostille page? See the answer on the Apostille Format above or the graphic below.

California Apostille format includes the information of who signed the certificate(state official or notary) and the Apostille itself; date, number where you can verify at the Secretary of State website its validity, etc.

How can you verify if an Apostille was issued by a Secretary of State?  The Apostille Verification at the SOS site allows you to verify online, whether an Authentication Certificate (Apostille) was issued by the California Secretary of State’s office.

How long will it take to process?  Rush service is the same day that we receive the document.  Usually 2-3 business days. We process your Apostille the same day that we receive your documents.(If received them before 10am and those do not need translation)

Can the certificates or documents be translated?  We only provide English-Spanish translation; the document translated is certified, notarized, apostilled and shipped to your US address or to the country of destination.

How to order an Apostille?

Use our contact form or call 707-992-5551 7 days a week. We also speak Italian and Spanish.




California Apostille, format, seal, signature, Notary Public, www.CaliforniaApostille.US

About Sergio Musetti

Mobile Notary Public business, certified signing agent, Spanish translation interpreting, fingerprinting, Apostille service in California. Apostilla y traduccion. Loan Signing agent with National Notary Association since 2003 http://CaliforniaApostille.us http://WestSacramentoNotary.com
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