Apostille means certification in French, and is commonly used to refer to document legalization for international use under the terms of the 1961 Hague Convention abolishing the requirement of legalization for foreign public documents.
Most countries, which subscribe to the 1961 Hague Convention, concur that a document, which has been legalized with an Apostille in its country of origin, shall be accepted by other member-countries without further certification or consular legalization. In fact, having an Apostille affixed to the document removes the need for further evidence of its authenticity.
Documents bearing Apostille are often required abroad as part of a legal or business process. Most involve contractual transactions, inheritance matters, sale and purchase of property, estate management, division of assets, etc. Some of the most common documents requiring legalization with Apostille are powers of attorney, certified copies of passports, birth, marriage, divorce and death certificates.
The process of affixing Apostille onto the document requires multiple steps and, often, visits to government offices in the state in which the document was issued. The intent of legalization is to deter fraud and unauthorized use by verifying identities and legal capacities of the signers, including the individual (affiant), the notary public, and the county official.
Cost of legalization varies depending on the state in which the process takes place. Please contact us by phone at 323-937-1525 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with specific instructions, information or requirements pertaining to your document.
List of countries – members of The Hague Convention can be found here.