US Department of State Apostille Washington, D.C.

Do you need your documents certified through the U.S. Department of State?

Countries who are NOT members of the Hague Apostille Convention may require California State certified documents to also be authenticated through the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C.

The process of completing your documents can either be a one-step, two-step, or a three step-process.  The number of steps depends on the country and the type of documents that require authentication.  Countries who are members of the Apostille Convention only require the one-step process.

From experience, we have a very good understanding on what the destination country will require from you.  Because every situation is unique, we recommend that you obtain a list in order to avoid any delays.  We can certify Birth Certificates, Death Certificates, FBI Background Checks, Marriage Certificate, Single Status Affidavit, Divorce Decree, Business Documents, and more!

One-Step Countries: Mexico, Spain, Colombia, Armenia, Russia, France, Greece, etc…

Countries who are members of the Hague Apostille Convention only require the California State Apostille.  The U.S. Department of State will not attach an Apostille to a document already apostilled by the State of California.  This rule holds true for every state and the Secretary of the District of Columbia. The processing time for these countries is the same-day.

Two-Step Countries: Brazil, Taiwan, China, Indonesia, Egypt, etc…

Some countries who are not members of the Hague Apostille Convention only require the two-step process.   These countries will legalize documents certified by the State of California without needing the U.S. Department of State certification.  The processing time for countries who require the two-step process is typically 1-2 business days.

Three-Step Countries: UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Iran,  etc…

Most countries who are not members of the Hague Apostille Convention will require your documents to be processed in a three-step-process.  The first step is to have your documents certified at the state level.  The second step is to have your documents certified at the U.S. Department of State.  The final step is to have your document legalized at the Embassy or Consulate office.  We have the knowledge and experience to certify documents from all 50 states and the U.S. Federal Government.  The processing time to complete documents for these countries is 2-3 weeks.

Here is an illustration of a the three-step process…

Our offices in Washington, D.C. can facilitate the process of certifying your documents quickly through the U.S. Department of State.  This ensures that your documents will be completed in 3-4 business days.

Every morning, our staff visits the U.S. Department of State to drop-off and pick-up documents.  Federal Government documents (Example: Social Security Letters, FBI Background Checks, Certificate of Naturalization, Federal Court Documents) can only be apostilled through the U.S. Department of State or the Secretary of District of Columbia (D.C.).  The California Secretary of State does not have authorization to certify U.S. Federal Government documents.  If you have been told otherwise, you run the risk of having your documents rejected by the Embassy or Consulate office.

Need more help?  Visit: Washington D.C. Apostille

Certifying documents can be complicated. Don’t leave this process to untrained employees or non-professionals who do not fully understand the document certification process and the unique requirements of certain countries. Your paperwork could be rejected costing you time and money. Don’t let this happen to you!

Click to download our California Apostille order form. Our Apostille service is fast, convenient, and saves you time and money.

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