Frequently Asked Questions about Apostilles
Q: What is an Apostille?
A: An Apostille is a form of authentication that verifies your document is a true copy of the original. When you are submitting your documents to certain foreign countries (ones that are a part of the Hague Convention of 1961), you will need to have them apostilled.
However, the country you are working with may not require an apostille. In these cases, you may be expected to begin an Embassy/Consulate Legalization process to certify the authenticity of your documents.
Please understand that while apostille is a certification that your document is an exact copy of the original – it does not certify that the original document’s contents are correct.
Q: I don’t have my documents yet, can you obtain them for me?
A: No, we are not legally authorized to do so. For vital records, you can do so at https://vitalchek.com/. For Background Checks, you can visit https://www.ncrcredit.com/ and request a PDF version that can be submitted to us electronically. For all other types of documents, please check with the issuing entity.
Q: Should I notarize my birth/death/marriage certificate?
A: 99% of the time, NO. Vital Records should not be notarized as that renders them invalid. New Hampshire is the ONLY state with this exception where Vital Records do require need a notarization.
Q: Will I need to send the physical document or is the scanned copy enough?
A: For Vital Records, paper FBI Background Checks, and already notarized documents, we will need the originals mailed to us after we’ve reviewed the electronic version for accuracy. Documents like PDF FBI Reports, Diplomas, Transcripts, Passport/Driver’s License copies, and others can be submitted electronically. We will notarize them in house and then process them for Apostille. Currently, documents intended for use in Italy may not be able to use this approach and the original will be required.
Q: Can you ship everything back to me in a country other than the US?
A: Absolutely! We ship worldwide!
Q: Is my document valid for Apostille/Legalization?
A: We offer a FREE document review with every request submission. Our Apostille and Legalization specialists will review your document for any errors and get back to you quickly with the results as well as quote/invoice for your service.
Q: What’s the total cost?
A: Our online Order Form provides an estimated quote based on your selections. You will get an estimate prior to submitting on the right hand side. You will get a final quote via email once we’ve reviewed your submission.
Q: Is payment required upon submission?
A: Nope! We will review your documents for free then will issue you a quote/invoice for the service.
Q: How do I know if my documents need Apostilling or Embassy Legalization?
A: If your destination country is a member of the Hague Convention of 1961, they you need an apostille. All non-member countries require legalization. When selecting your country within our order form, the appropriate options will automatically populate for either Apostille or Legalization! But either way, we know which countries require each and can worry about that for you.
Q: Will my passport be OK shipping it to you?
A: When you mail us your documents, we suggest tracking your package with a company such as FedEx, DHL, or UPS so you can ensure it makes it to us safe and secure. Once we are done, we will securely send all documents back to you and notify you of the tracking number.
Q: How long does it take?
A: Most documents can be apostilled within 4-14 business days (don’t forget to take holidays into account), but we do offer expedited services when needed.
Q: I need an embassy legalization but I’ve already gotten my document certified through the Secretary of State’s Office
A: We offer a Federal and Embassy service for the last two steps of the Embassy Legalization process. All we need to get started is your original document with its accompanying Secretary of State certification!
The Apostille process can be a daunting task, hopefully this cleared up some confusion. If you still have questions, please feel free to Contact Us, we are here 7 days a week! Don’t be shy, call or email us with anything you are concerned about.
Once you are ready, fill out the Order Form here to get started.
We look forward to talking with you.