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An Apostille is a form of certification set out in the 1961 Hague Convention, to which the United States became a subscriber in 1981. It is a form of numbered fields, which allows the data to be understood by the receiving country regardless of the official language of the issuing country. The object of the Apostille is to “abolish the requirement of diplomatic or consular legalization for foreign public documents”. The completed Apostille certifies the authenticity of the signature, the capacity in which the person signing the document has acted, and identifies the seal/stamp which the document bears.

Who issues Apostilles?

Each subscribing nation may designate those authorities which may issue Apostilles for their jurisdiction. The United States has appointed the Secretary of State (or their counterpart) of the various states as said authority. The competent authority for issuance of Apostilles on documents issued by the federal government are the clerks of the federal courts.

What kind of documents do I need an Apostille for?
The Apostille may be obtained to transmit public documents executed in one subscribing country to another subscribing country wherein the documents need to be produced. The Hague Convention defines ‘public documents’ as:

  1. those originating in a court, clerk of a court, public prosecutor or process server,
  2. administrative documents,
  3. notarial acts,
  4. official certificates placed on documents

These types of ‘public documents’ would include birth/death certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, adoption of a child papers, school transcripts and diplomas/degrees, among others.

Contact Transl8 Language Solutions for certified and notarized translation of your documents.

1400 Preston Road, Suite 400
Plano, TX 75093, U.S.A.
Phone: +1 (972) 468-8839

Additional information on Apostilles/Authentication of Documents from Texas Secretary of State can be found here.