Frequently asked questions about apostille, certification and legalization
Apostille is French for “certification”. Apostilles (for countries that are parties to the Hague Apostille Convention) or Certification (for countries that are not parties to the Hague Apostille Convention) authenticate the seals and signatures of officials on public documents such as birth certificates, notarials, court orders, or any other document issued by a public authority, so that they can be recognized in foreign countries.
An Apostille or Certification on a document does not confirm the validity of the document itself (rare exceptions apply). It only verifies that a document was signed by the appropriate official, his or her capacity in which they acted, and the identity of the seal placed on the document.
The Hague Convention of 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization of Foreign Public Documents is an international agreement, which simplified the authentication process of public documents to be used in nations that are members of the 1961 Hague Convention. The United States signed this agreement on Oct. 15, 1981. Only those nations who are party to the Hague Apostille Convention recognize the apostille certification.
For an up-to-date information on a country’s status in the Hague Apostille Convention, you can check the official site of the Hague Conference here.
If you are not sure about the country’s status, please contact us for assistance by visiting Contact us page.
No. Apostilles may vary in design, size and color as well as in any additional elements, from state to state.
It is a legal way to show to someone that a signature on a document is certified.
Practically any document issued within recent years (varies by state) can be apostilled/authenticated. Here are examples of documents that are signed by the following officials and that are commonly apostilled:
- County Clerks
- State Officials
- Notaries Public
Personal Documents that can be authenticated include:
- Marriage Licenses
- Divorce agreements and Decree
- Birth Certificates, Marriage and Death Certificates
- Adoption papers
- Certificate of Naturalization
Business and Corporate Documents include:
- Articles and Certificate of Incorporation
- Various Company Authorization letters
- Power of Attorney
- Sale Certificates
- Business Letter of Invitation
Please click here to find a complete list of documents.
Yes, we can assist in ordering certified copies of documents, whenever it is permitted. You can also order certificates of birth, marriage, divorce or death from most U.S. states on Vitalcheck.com and indicate our office address where the copies will be delivered. Not all states will allow shipping to a third party, in which case, you will need to indicate your mailing address and forward the documents to us once you receive them.
Global Apostille provides apostille certification and document authentication for the documents issued in the United States for use in foreign countries. If you need to apostille documents, please inquire about our apostille services. We help apostille documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, FBI background checks and many more. Global Apostille is your source for apostille USA!
Please visit How to Apostille page to find this information or click on the links below to read about each document.
- How to Apostille a Power of Attorney?
- How to Apostille a Driver’s License?
- How to Apostille a Diploma?
- How to Apostille a School Transcript?
- How to Apostille a Birth Certificate?
- How to Apostille a Death Certificate?
- How to Apostille a Marriage Certificate?
- How to Apostille a Divorce Decree?
- How to Apostille a Single Status Affidavit?
- How to Apostille a Background Check?
- How to Apostille a Social Security letter?
- How to Apostille a U.S. Passport?
- How to Apostille a Travel Consent Form?
- How to Apostille a U.S. Federal Government Document?
- How to Apostille a U.S. Corporate Document?
- How to Apostille a Car Title – DMV Record?
If the birth certificate is issued by an official authority of the state where the birth took place (for example, the department of vital statistics, state registrar, etc.) and has an official seal, then usually no additional certifications are required (exceptions exist for certian states). However, prior to sending us the original document, we advise you to scan/take a photo of it front and back and email it to us for review so we can make sure the document has proper signature(s) and seal(s). Please visit Our Services page and follow instructions to begin the process of making your birth certificate legal in a foreign country.
The processing time will depend on the type of document, on the state where the document was issued and the country for which the document is destined. We will start processing your documents as soon as we receive them. If the documents have proper seal(s) and signature(s), we will start processing them right away. In some cases, if the documents require additional certification, the process will take longer. If you can, please contact us in advance so we can review your scanned documents before you mail them to us and save processing time.
Yes, it is possible that your document may be rejected for a variety of reasons. Global Apostille will ensure that your documents have proper signature(s) and/or are properly notarized. If we find that your documents contain errors made by notaries, require additional certification, are not translated from a foreign language, are issued in another country or are going to be used in the US, we will contact you for clarification. If you can, please contact us in advance so we can review your documents before you mail them to us and save processing time.
Global Apostille partners with companies and individuals who provide notarized and certified translation services. Please let us know if you would like to receive a translation quote. We will confirm if we are able to locate a qualified translator based on the target language.
No. That is a special signature guarantee for the transfer of securities and is provided by financial institutions.
No. Do not remove the authentication or apostille certificate once it's attached. Removal will make the apostille/certificate invalid. Mail us the entire document once again and we will process it accordingly.
Please see our rates here.
Please see our Terms and Conditions here.
If you decide to cancel your request, please contact us in writing (by fax or email) to cancel it. If we have not started processing it, we will refund 100% minus the shipping charges if we ship your documents back to you. If we have begun the process, we will not be able to issue a refund or it can be issued partially (depending on how many services you have requested). To view our Terms and Conditions, please click here.
We will only refund your fee if:
1. You contact us in writing (by fax or email) to cancel the request before we begin processing it. We will refund 100% minus the shipping charges if we ship your documents back to you.OR
2. If your document is rejected an apostille due to our error.
To view our Terms and Conditions, please click here.
We recommend that you do not mail your documents via regular First Class mail. Please send your documents using a more secure method via USPS Priority Mail, UPS, DHL or FedEx.
Please use our mailing address:
3855 Holcomb Bridge Rd., Suite 300
Norcross, GA, 30092 USA
Please contact us during business hours 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM U.S. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except on major U.S. holidays.):
- by using the web form to send us a message on the right side of the screen or on Contact Us page (preferred).
- by telephone 770-447-0360 (please leave a message in case you are not able to reach us)
- by fax: 770-447-0790
- by scheduling an appointment at our office.
Yes, we ship documents abroad. We prefer using DHL for shipping abroad and can provide you an estimated cost once we know the exact address in the foreign country. If you prefer another mail carrier (FedEx, UPS or USPS Priority), we can use them upon your request.
You can also provide us a “pre-paid” delivery service shipping label to use (not a label with an account number).