Answers to a few common Frequently Asked Questions about Texas Apostilles. If you have a questions please call or text 512-730-0535 or use the chat at the bottom of this page. Always happy to answer your questions!
Any document issued in the United States must be apostilled or legalized when it is to be used in a foreign country. The Apostille 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 United States is a member country of the Hague Convention “Abolishing the Requirement of Consular Legalization for Foreign Public Documents of 1961” Under this Convention, member countries agree to facilitate the exchange and verification of documents, an apostille certification will be required for all member countries of the Hague convention.
It is important to know where the document will be ultimately used because some countries are not members of the Hague Convention.
Certifying and legalizing documents for countries that are non-members of the Hague Apostille Convention require additional steps. These additional steps include State certification, U.S. Department of State certification if required, and Embassy or Consulate legalization. Texas Apostille Service can assist you with document verifications for all of these non-member countries.
The process of legalizing your documents will depend on the type of document you have, the State your documents originate from and the Country requesting your documents.
Here are the countries that are non-members of the Hague Convention.
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.
The document can be a “Power of Attorney” giving someone the legal right to represent an individual or company. It can also be the documents required to work overseas, such as police background checks, transcripts, and diplomas.
The document will be certified by apostille by the Secretary of State of the issuing state. For example, the Secretary of State of Texas may issue an Apostille on documents issued by persons on file with this agency, including county clerks, notaries public, statewide officials.
Recently issued birth/death certificates issued by local registrars must have been issued within the past three (3) years in order for the Secretary of State to issue an Apostille. The competent authority for issuance of Apostilles on documents issued by the federal government are the clerks of the federal courts.
Documents issued in the United States that are to be used in another country must be authenticated or legalized before that country will recognize those documents and give the documents the same legal value they have in the U.S.
Before the Hague Convention the authentication procedure involved multiple authentications by different authorities including a consular officer.
There are several reasons you may need an apostille:
- Adopting a child from another country.
- Getting married in a foreign country.
- Continuing your education overseas.
- Obtaining a new job in another county.
- Conducting business in a foreign country.
- Opening a bank account outside of the US.
Anytime you plan to use a document in a different country for official use, the document must have an apostille attached to it. Think of it as a passport for your documents that allows those documents to travel to other places.
The Hague Convention defines “public documents as:
- Those originating in a court, clerk of a court, public prosecutor or process server
- Administrative documents
- Notarial acts
- Official certificates placed on documents
These types of ‘public documents’ would include birth/death certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, school transcripts and diplomas/degrees, among others.
Apostilles are issued by the Secretary of State of the state where the documents were issued or notarized.
If the documents you wish to send were originated in the state of Texas (for example, birth certificates, divorce decrees, etc.) contact Texas Apostille Service. We GUARANTEE same day service! Click here for our pledge to you.
If your documents are issued by the Federal Government executive and administrative agencies which include FBI records, “Born Abroad” birth Certificates, FDA certificates, Consular reports and some others, the Apostille will be issued in Washington D.C .by the authentications office of the US Department of State.:
Texas Apostille Service can also assist you with these Federal Government Apostilles. Just Click here for immediate service.