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Anytime you need to submit official documents for use in foreign countries, it oftentimes requires that you have these documents verified here in the U.S. before sending them or taking them to other countries. In the U.S., offices of county clerks, secretaries of state or equivalent state filing offices, and even some courts, may be involved in the certification process. The whole process may include Notarization, 50 states & DC Secretary of State Apostille/Authentication, the U.S. Department of State Apostille/Authentication, and Embassy/Consulate Legalization.


Notarization or Certified Copy

Notarization is the official fraud-deterrent process that assures the parties of a transaction that a document is authentic and can be trusted. It is a three-part process, performed by a Notary Public, that includes vetting, certifying, and record-keeping. Notarization is the assurance by a duly appointed and impartial Notary Public that a document is authentic, that its signature is genuine, and that its signer acted without duress or intimidation, and intended the terms of the document to be in full force and effect.

💡 Most corporate records and federally issued documents cannot be notarized by a local notary. You may be required to request a certified copy, or the original document from the issuing agency, which usually bears the signature of a public official and an embossed seal or colored stamp.


Apostille, Authentication, and Legalization

Apostille, authentication, and legalization certificates validate the seal and signature of a notary or a public official on a document so that it can be accepted in a foreign country.

The process you will participate in will vary depending on the country in which the document will be used.

If the destination country is a Hague Apostille Country, an Apostille certificate is required.

  • The 50 states & DC Secretary of State Offices are responsible for issuing these certificates to the local and state level documents.

    • 🛎 Click here to place an order.

  • The U.S. Department of State takes the responsibility to issue Apostille certificates to federally-issued documents.

    • 🛎 Click here to place an order.

If the destination country is a Non-Hague Apostille Country, a multi-step authentication process is required to finally get the embassy legalization.

  • For the local and state documents, they may be processed sequentially by the Secretary of State in your state, the U.S. Department of State (if required), and the foreign country's Embassy in DC.

    • 🛎 Click here to place an order.

  • For federally-issued documents, authentications from the U.S. Department of State, and the foreign country's Embassy in DC will be required.

    • 🛎 Click here to place an order.

💡 For documents issued from the federal courts (district courts), additional certification from the U.S. Department of Justice is a must prior to presenting it to the U.S. Department of State for apostille or authentication.

All documents in a foreign language must include a certified or notarized English translation.

Business documents we provide notarization and authentication services include:

Business documents:

Notarization, Apostille, Authentication, Legalization

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