Apostille & Apostille Certifications


The California Secretary of State provides authentication of public official

signatures on documents to be used outside the United States of America. The country of destination will always determine whether the authentication is an Apostille or Certification. Apostilles and Certifications will only certify the authenticity of the signature of the official who signed the document, the capacity in which that official acted, and when appropriate, the identity of the seal or stamp which the document bears. The Apostille or Certification WILL NOT validate the contents of any document. The California Secretary of State will only authenticate signatures on documents issued in the State of California signed by a notary public or the following public officials and their deputies:

  • County Clerks, Registrar-Recorder
  • Court Administrators of the Superior Court
  • Executive Clerks of the Superior Court
  • Officers whose authority is not limited to any particular county
  • Executive Officers of the Superior Court
  • Judges of the Superior Court
  • Notaries Public
  • State Officials

The most common types of documents that will need an Apostille include (Note: Some documents require a certified copy):

  • Marriage Licenses, Divorce agreements, Divorce Decree
  • Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificates, Death Certificates
  • Single Status to Marry, No record of a Marriage
  • Criminal Record – Criminal Background Check
  • Local Police, Sherriff’s Department, etc…
  • Power of Attorney – General, Special, Finance, Real Estate etc.
  • Notarized copies of Passport, Affidavits, and other documents
  • Papers for Adoption purposes
  • Transcripts (High School, College, University, or any other issuing agency)
  • Diploma, Degree Certificates, Graduation Records
  • Permission to Travel, Consent by Parent(s) to travel with Minor Children

An Apostille is also needed for Corporate documents, such as:

  • Articles of Incorporation, Certificate of Incorporation
  • Merger Agreements
  • Authorization letter for Bank, Finance, Office, and related company matters
  • Certificates of Amendment
  • Certificate of Good Standing
  • Power of Attorney
  • Certificate of Incumbency
  • Corporate Resolution
  • Certification of Free Sale
  • Certificate of Origin
  • Certificate of Analysis
  • Corporate Forms
  • Joint Venture Agreements
  • Stock Purchase Agreement in Foreign Companies
  • Business Letter of Invitation

REMEMBER that for vital records such as birth certificates, marriage certificates and death certificates, it must be a “certified” letter size pink-and-blue certificate provided by the local county clerk registrar recorder’s office where the certificate originated. Your birth, marriage or death certificate should be a letter-size, pink-and-blue document with a blue State of California heading and signed at the bottom of the certificate by a California County Clerk registrar recorder (not a doctor, for birth certificates). If it is a non-vital record, such as a power-of-attorney document or an affidavit attached to something like a copy of a diploma, 99% of the documents will need to be notarized first. If it was already notarized, we will need to review your document to make sure it was notarized properly for approval with the California Secretary of State and the destination country.     The following countries below are not members of the Apostille Convention and will require a certification… Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Congo Republic, Congo Democratic, Ivory Coast, Cuba, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenia, Kuwait, Laos, Labanon, Libya, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Paraguay, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzia, Togo, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkenistan, UAE, Uganda, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe   The following countries are members of the Hague Apostille Convention and will require an Apostille from the California Secretary of State…

Albania Greece Oman
Andorra Grenada Panama
Antigua and Barbuda Honduras Peru
Argentina Hong Kong Poland
Armenia Hungary Portugal
Australia Iceland Romania
Austria India Russia
Azerbaijan Ireland Saint Kitts and   Nevis
Bahamas Israel Saint Lucia
Barbados Italy Saint Vincent and   the Grenadines
Belarus Japan Samoa
Belgium Kazakhstan San Marino
Belize Kyrgyzstan Sao Tome and   Principe
Bosnia and   Herzegovina Latvia Serbia
Botswana Lesotho Seychelles
Brunei Liberia Slovakia
Bulgaria Liechtenstein Slovenia
Cape Verde Lithuania South Africa
Columbia Luxembourg South Korea
Cook Islands Macau Spain
Costa Rica Macedonia Suriname
Croatia Malawi Swaziland
Cyprus Malta Sweden
Czech Republic Marshall Islands Switzerland
Denmark Mauritius Tonga
Dominica Mexico Trinidad and Tobago
Dominican Republic Moldova Turkey
Ecuador Monaco Ukraine
El Salvador Mongolia United Kingdom
Estonia Montenegro United States
Fiji Namibia Uruguay
Finland Netherlands Uzbekistan
France New Zealand Vanuatu
Georgia Niue Venezuela
Germany Norway

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