Apostilles Services

Planning to use vital records, corporate papers or even diplomas abroad? At Town Notary, we know obtaining a little-known authentication called an apostille is key to avoiding document headaches overseas. As globetrotting notary experts based in California’s East Bay Area, we secure apostilles from the Secretary of State that legitimize U.S. paperwork in over 100 foreign nations. Without this crucial certification, a majority of the time, your American documents won’t be recognized as legally valid, potentially derailing international travel, study or commerce plans. Thankfully, our seasoned team guides you through apostille requirements unique to each country quickly, correctly and affordably. Read on for insider tips on navigating document legalization!

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Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is an apostille used for?

Great question! An apostille is an international certification verifying the authenticity of official signatures, stamps and seals on U.S. documents so they can be legally recognized abroad. This special attachment allows American records to bypass “chain certification” in foreign nations, saving you months. Without it, overseas officials can’t confirm paperwork like educational transcripts or birth certificates came from legitimate sources, causing delays or rejection when emigrating, getting married or registering a child for school. Simply put, apostilles open doors for your documents overseas!

Why is an apostille required for using U.S. documents internationally?

You can thank the 1961 Hague Convention for that! This treaty simplified acceptance of foreign records between member countries by standardizing one certification – the apostille. Previously, documents needed a complex series of verifications. Now over 110 nations including the EU, Australia and Japan mutually approve records carrying this universal seal alongside individual country rules. So if you need your paperwork honored abroad, getting documents properly apostilled is essential!


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What’s the process of obtaining an apostille certification?

At Town Notary, we make the apostille process easy by handling everything for you. First, supply your original documents for authentication. We’ll verify their eligibility for apostilling under Secretary of State guidelines. Next we’ll submit paperwork to their office, track progress and collect the files once the apostille seal is attached. Finally we provide certified copies for international use. Handing perplexing red tape for you is our specialty!

What types of records commonly need apostille legalization?

Great question – apostille requirements vary by country, but frequently requested documents include adoption papers, birth/marriage/death certificates, divorce decrees, diplomas, transcripts, homeschool records, FBI background checks, patents and trademarks, powers of attorney and more. Corporations might need articles of incorporation or mergers apostilled too. Evaluate your overseas plans and we’ll advise if that country accepts apostilles to authenticate any U.S. paperwork you need to take with you.

How long does the apostille process take?

Another great question! Turnaround time depends on how quickly the Secretary of State can certify and return documents. Regular submission of non-urgent documents usually takes a practical minimum of two weeks. But at Town Notary, we offer premium rush processing if needed, receiving your certified papers back in as little as 1-3 business days for time-sensitive situations. No matter what deadline you’re facing for overseas paperwork, we’ll get your American documents overseas-ready with an apostille as fast as possible!

Don’t let confusion over apostille certification keep you from taking American records abroad! The document specialists at Town Notary will ensure you obtain needed certifications for your overseas adventure quickly and correctly. Contact us today to have your paperwork internationally certified through streamlined apostille processing!