What is an Apostille?
An apostille is an official certificate that authenticates the origin of a public document (e.g., a birth, marriage, or death certificate). It is used to verify that the document was issued by a competent authority and is authentic. The apostille makes a document recognizable and acceptable in foreign countries that are members of the Hague Apostille Convention. Do you need a Florida Apostille Service? Below we break it down for you.
The Hague Apostille Convention
The Hague Convention of 5 October 1961, also known as the Apostille Convention, was created to abolish the need for legalizing foreign public documents. Prior to the convention, public documents needed embassy or consular authentication, a long and often expensive process. Now, for the countries participating in the convention, a single certification, known as an apostille, is sufficient.
Florida’s Participation in the Apostille Convention
As part of the United States, Florida adheres to the Apostille Convention. This means that public documents issued in Florida that bear an apostille are recognized in all other member countries of the convention. Vice versa, public documents from member countries with an apostille are recognized in Florida.
Florida Apostille Service: What Do They Offer?
1. Certification of Public Documents
The primary function of a Florida Apostille Service is to certify public documents for use in foreign countries. This includes documents such as:
- Birth certificates
- Marriage certificates
- Death certificates
- Diplomas and transcripts
- Notarized documents
2. Simplified Process
Florida Apostille Services simplify the process of obtaining an apostille for the public. Without such services, individuals might need to navigate bureaucratic channels themselves, which can be time-consuming and confusing.
3. Expertise and Guidance
These services often come with expertise. They can guide applicants about the prerequisites of obtaining an apostille and any additional requirements specific to the target country.
4. Fast-Track Options
Some Florida Apostille Services offer expedited options to cater to urgent needs. For an extra fee, they can speed up the process, ensuring that the apostille is obtained in the shortest time possible.
5. Mail-In and Delivery Options
For individuals who cannot personally visit an apostille service office, many providers offer mail-in services. Once the document is apostilled, they can mail it back or deliver it to a specified address.
How to Use Florida Apostille Services?
1. Determine Eligibility
Not all documents qualify for an apostille. Ensure that the document is a public document and that it’s intended for use in a country that’s a member of the Apostille Convention.
2. Contact the Service Provider
Get in touch with a reputable Florida Apostille Service. They will provide information on fees, processing time, and any other requirements.
3. Submit the Original Document
An apostille certifies the authenticity of the original document, so you must provide the original. Some services might accept certified copies for specific documents.
4. Wait or Opt for Expedited Service
After submission, the normal processing time can vary, but expedited options are often available if you’re in a hurry.
5. Receive the Apostilled Document
Once the process is complete, you can pick up the document or have it delivered to you.
A Florida Apostille Service is essential for those needing to use Florida-issued public documents in foreign countries that are part of the Apostille Convention. By streamlining the process and providing expertise, these services ensure that international transactions and verifications proceed smoothly. Whether for personal, educational, or professional reasons, understanding and utilizing these services can make the international document verification process hassle-free.
What is an Apostille? An “apostille” is a form of authentication issued to documents for use in countries that participate in the Hague Convention of 1961. A list of countries that accept apostilles is provided by the US State Department.
The Florida Secretary of State will Apostille or recognize the commission of a Florida notary public or a Florida elected official for the following documents (click her for full Florida Apostille details):
- Original notarized documents, that have been correctly notarized in English, or that have been certified as true copies by a Florida Notary Public
- School transcripts from FLORIDA public schools and universities that have had the SIGNATURE OF THE SCHOOL REGISTRAR or ISSUING OFFICIAL NOTARIZED AT THE TIME OF ISSUANCE. These documents MAY NOT BE printed and notarized by an individual.
- Birth, Death and Marriage Certificates bearing the signature of the State Registrar, who is currently C. Meade Grigg, obtained from the Florida Bureau of Vital Statistics in Jacksonville Florida.
- Vehicle Titles certified by the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles.
- Original certified copies of documents filed with the Division of Corporations or original Certificates of Status bearing the signature of the Secretary of State.
- Documents certified by a Clerk of Circuit Court from a county within Florida, such as a marriage license or a divorce document bearing the stamp and seal of the Clerk.
Here are the examples of your document needs to be notarized in order for the Department of State to provide an Apostille: http://notaries.
Certification for Non-Apostille Countries is completed for the same documents listed above with the additional step of an Embassy Legalization for the destination country.
Certification of Federally issued documents must be done by the US Department of State Apsotille Section in Washington, DC
- Florida Apostille documents must be submitted with original signatures; a photocopy of an original cannot be authenticated.
- The Florida Department of State cannot apostille or issue notarial certification for any document(s) that is/are issued by anyone other than a Florida notary public or elected or appointed official. Federal documents must be processed by the United States Department of State.
The Florida Apostille and Authentication processes is confuses and we can help with our Florida Apostille Service! Notarial or Apostille Certification for Authentication by The Florida Secretary of State can be handle by us directly in Tallahassee.
With our Florida Apostille Service:
- If your documents are properly notarized, and you cannot travel to Tallahassee, FL to file your Apostille, we can arrange to file them for you at the Department of State in Tallahassee, FL
- If your Apostille paperwork is not notarized by a Florida Notary Public, we can have a Florida notary meet you anywhere in the state of Florida to complete your Apostille notarization properly. We can then arrange to have it filed at the Department of State in Tallahassee and returned to you (or the location you need).
- We can help you obtain Authentication of your official document(s) issued with-in the State of Florida via LOCAL Tallahassee Florida Apostille Service.
- Spanish Notary for Apostille in Dunedin and Clearwater area.
Contact Amanda at 850-322-0911 for more information on Tallahassee Florida Apostille service.
If you need to speak with someone in Spanish in the Clearwater/Tampa area we can arrange for you to meet George Jr. to have your Florida Apostille documents properly notarized. Then we can have your Florida Apostille filed in Tallahassee.