How to Apostille a Florida Birth Certificate

October 24, 2023

Understanding Apostilles for Florida Birth Certificates

A Notary On The Go Florida will explain why you should obtain an apostille for your Florida Birth Certificate.

Foreign embassies and consulates routinely stipulate the necessity of obtaining an apostille or authentication from the Florida Department of State for essential documents, including birth certificates.

The Florida Birth Certificate stands out as one of the most commonly requested documents for this purpose due to the following significant reasons:

1. Facilitating overseas marriages, such as destination weddings.
2. Launching a business endeavor abroad.
3. Pursuing dual citizenship.

Obtaining an apostille for a Florida birth certificate may seem intimidating at first, but it’s a relatively straightforward process. The true challenge is ensuring it’s done accurately and promptly, which is essential for any legal or international document authentication.

The Process of Securing an Apostille

The Florida Department of State holds exclusive authority to issue apostilles. To initiate the apostille process, obtaining a certified copy of your birth certificate is the first step. If you require multiple apostilles, you must provide an original certificate for each one.

Only birth certificates originating from Florida are eligible for apostilles through the Florida Department of State. Birth certificates from other states or foreign countries should be apostilled in the respective regions or countries of issuance.

This ensures that the authentication process aligns with the relevant jurisdiction and legal requirements, facilitating the acceptance of documents internationally.

Importance of a Current Florida Birth Certificate

It is essential to maintain the currency of your Florida Birth Certificate. A significant number of people hold older, certified copies. To guarantee the authenticity and approval of your birth certificate, particularly for apostille processing, it is crucial that it bears the signature of the present State of Florida registrar, Ken Jones.

If your certificate lacks this signature, you will need to acquire a new one.


Beware of Deceptive Apostille Services

When embarking on the journey to obtain an apostille for your birth certificate, it is imperative to exercise caution. During your quest, you may encounter businesses that appear to provide convenient and swift services, even for birth certificates that are considered outdated.

However, it is crucial to identify and steer clear of such questionable enterprises.

These entities often operate from states with lax apostille regulations. They may be inclined to apostille a copy of your vital record from Florida rather than the original document.

The end result is invariably an apostille from a state other than Florida affixed to a mere copy of your birth certificate.

The Perils of Accepting Non-Florida Apostilles

Opting for such a service may seem like a rapid solution, particularly if you find yourself in urgent circumstances. Nevertheless, the potential risks far outweigh any perceived benefits:

1. Potential for Deception: When foreign authorities receive an apostilled copy instead of the original document, it raises concerns about the document’s legitimacy, thereby increasing the likelihood of fraudulent activities.

2. Rejection by Foreign Authorities: In most instances, foreign entities are likely to reject a document with a non-Florida apostille, particularly when it is attached to a copy. They expect to receive the original document bearing the appropriate signatures and certifications.

3. Squandered Time and Resources: If the foreign authority declines your document, you would be compelled to initiate the apostille process anew, resulting in additional delays and potentially incurring extra expenses.

Exercise Care in Selecting Your Apostille Service

While it may be enticing to opt for a quicker and possibly less expensive path, the consequences could prove enduring and financially burdensome.

Always ensure that you engage with reputable services that adhere to the established guidelines and regulations of the Florida Department of State.

Prior to committing to any service, conduct thorough research into their credentials, peruse reviews, and ascertain their familiarity with the specific requisites of Florida.

Keep in mind that an up-to-date birth certificate represents the initial step, while a legitimate Florida apostille signifies the destination. Anything less than this may lead to unnecessary complications and setbacks.

Eligibility for Requesting a Florida Birth Certificate

Certified copies of birth records less than 100 years old are kept confidential and may only be obtained by:

1. The person named on the birth certificate (if they are 18 years or older).
2. The parents listed on the birth certificate.
3. Legal guardians or authorized representatives, provided they furnish the necessary documentation.
4. Individuals presenting a court order along with a copy of the order.

In the event of the registrant’s passing, the birth certificate may be provided to immediate family members upon presentation of a death certificate copy.

It is imperative to have a valid identification when making such a request. It is important to note that providing false information during the application process is considered a felony in the state of Florida.

Where to Obtain a Florida Birth Certificate

  • Local County Health Departments

For individuals residing in Florida, the most expedient method is to either visit the local health department in person or submit a request by mail.

We are in Tallahassee, so your documents come directly to us, and we bring them directly to the Florida Division of Corporations. We don’t have you ship them to someone else or hand them off to someone else.

We understand your documents are at the utmost confidential and you need your Florida Apostille fast.

Because we don’t outsource our work to other people, we are able to keep our rates competitive. Our business is 100% family owned and operated.

Shipping options vary with associated costs.

  • Florida Bureau of Vital Statistics

This office offers a range of services, including in-person walk-in assistance and convenient mail-in options. You can also access forms and contact information for your convenience.

Payments can be made via various modes, and processing times vary based on the service

Important Points to Note

Vital Records Can’t Be Notarized

Exercise caution regarding this common mistake. The Department of State will reject a Florida birth certificate that bears a notary stamp.

Apostille Processing Time and Cost

The standard procedure entails sending your documents along with a check to the Department of State, which currently takes around 30-35 days for processing.
For a faster alternative, A Notary On The Go offers an expedited service that will return your documents within 2-3 business days.

Differentiating Between Hague and Non-Hague Countries

Make sure you’re aware of whether the destination country is a signatory to the 1961 Hague Convention. The requirements can vary, particularly for countries not party to the convention, and we’re here to assist you in navigating the intricacies.

Birth Certificate Translations

Certain countries may require translated birth certificates, often with detailed instructions for translating the apostille cover page. It’s essential to confirm these specific requirements with the relevant foreign authorities.
We offer certified translation services for more than 100 languages, which include a notarized affidavit confirming the accuracy of the translation.

Similar Guidelines for Florida Death Certificates

Similar to birth certificates, Florida death certificates adhere to strict criteria and procedures. It is crucial to verify the currency of a Florida death certificate, with legitimate signatures and official seals intact.

Be cautious of untrustworthy providers promising expedited processing for death certificates, as these can result in rejection by foreign organizations and potential legal entanglements.

Whether you are handling a birth or death certificate, prioritize authenticity and the correct channels to prevent future issues and guarantee seamless international transactions.