What is an Apostille & why do I need one

Apostille is a French word, which means a certification.

On October 5, 1961, many nations joined to create a simplified method of “legalizing” documents for universal recognition. This group of nations is known as the Hague Convention. They adopted a document referred to as an Apostille (apostilla) that is internationally recognized by all member nations.

Documents issued in one country which need to be used in another country must be “authenticated” or “legalized” before they can be recognized as valid in the foreign country. This is a process in which various seals are placed on the document.

The sole function of the apostille certification is to certify the authenticity of the signature on the document; the capacity in which the person signing the document acted; and the identity of any stamp or seal affixed to the document. An apostille stamp issued by the New York State Secretary of State is a one page document embossed with the Great Seal of the State of New York. The Apostille includes the facsimile signature of the individual issuing the certificate.

If the country where the document will be used is not a party to the Hague Convention, you will have to begin the cumbersome, time-consuming process of obtaining a series of certifications known as the “chain authentication method”. This is literally a paper chase in which authorities will have to attest to the validity of a succession of seals beginning with your document and ending with the seal of the foreign embassy or consulate in the United States.

Every US state has their own method of issuing an Apostille. They all begin with the notary stamp and the certification of that stamp by the proper authority.

At NYNOTARY4U we can handle getting your Apostille for from any state, provided it was been properly notarized by a notary appointed or commissioned in that state.

Alan Murray
Notary & Apostille Service