Happy Holidays from International Apostille Services, Inc.

Happy HolidaysHappy Holidays from International Apostille Services, Inc.
We wish you a wonderful Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!

Our 2015 Holiday Hours
Christmas Holiday Hours: We will be closed December 24th to December 27th.
New Year Holiday Hours: We will be closed December 31st to January 3rd.

To check the status of your order, click here.

Apostille Offices

International Apostille ServicesDid you know that we have eight offices throughout the United States?  Unlike many of our competitors who work from home and only provide California Apostille Services, we have the staff, resources, and experience to apostille, certify, and legalize your documents from all 50 States and for over 180 countries.  Our offices are located in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Texas, Florida, New York, Washington, D.C., Illinois, and Colorado.  List of our apostille offices.

United States Apostille

There is no job too big or too small.  In the State of California, we can apostille your documents the same-day through our Los Angeles office and the following business day through our San Francisco office.  Most people decide to mail in their documents to save time, but feel free to stop by our offices to drop-off your documents anytime from 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday.

Step 1: The very first step is to find out what documents require an apostille.  The country requesting this information can provide you this information.  If even you are outside of the United States, we can accommodate you if you mail in your documents to our office.

Step 2: The second step is to contact our office.  Our staff is available Monday – Saturday from 8am to 7pm to answer your questions.

Step 3: Mail in your drop-off your documents for processing.  All of our eight offices have staff members ready to accept your documents 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday.  Our customer service helpline is available Monday – Saturday from 8am to 7pm.

Once we receive your documents, we will process them with the State and return them the following business morning through FedEx.  There is no additional fee for shipping your documents by FedEx.

International Apostille Services, Inc. is the leader in document certification, legalization, and attestation services. We process documents from all 50 U.S. States including documents issued by the U.S. Federal Government.

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

Weekly Apostille Talk by Richard M. Johnston

Apostille Frequently Asked QuestionsThe question for this week is, “Do my legal documents require U.S. Department of State and/or Embassy Consulate Legalization?”

Countries who are members of the Hague Apostille Convention rarely require Embassy or Consulate Legalization.  The only exception to this rule is for certain documents going to India, Ecuador, Italy, and Spain.

We know from experience that a power of attorney notarized in California and destined for India will require Indian Embassy or Consulate legalization.  The same is true for a Social Security Income and Benefits Statement (SSA) for Ecuador.  Italy and Spain require certain documents to be legalized (Apostille FBI background check w/translation) to be submitted with additional paperwork to the local Consulate office.  Keep in mind that some countries have several consulate offices throughout the United States.  If you are planning to move, obtain dual citizenship, or study in Italy or Spain, you should contact the local Consulate for more information.

For all other documents destined for member countries, all you will need is the State apostille.  For U.S. Federal Government documents, your document will need an apostille from the Secretary of D.C. or the U.S. Department of State.  These documents include FBI background checks, Social Security documents, FDA, USDA, and other documents issued by the U.S. Federal Government.

For countries who are NOT members of the Hague Apostille Convention, there are additional authentication and legalization steps that must be completed before the country requesting your documents will accept them.  For example, if you are planning to work in Dubai, the country of the United Arab Emirates will request your diploma to be authenticated by the State, U.S. Department of State, and the UAE Embassy in Washington, D.C.  There are also additional requirements that must be met at the Embassy level. You may be asked to provide a copy of your passport, power of attorney letter, diploma accreditation certification, etc…

Document Attestation Certification

Some countries only require the State certification and Embassy/Consulate legalization.  For example, Brazil, Chile, Guatemala, Indonesia, etc… do not require U.S. Department of State certification. For example, for the country of Brazil, they only require the State certification and Consulate legalization.

Before mailing in your documents, please call us for a good faith estimate and processing time.  With office spanning six states and the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.) we have the experience and knowledge to process your documents quickly saving you time and money.

This weekly apostille talk has been written by:
Richard M. Johnston, President
California Apostille services in San Francisco & Los Angeles

International Apostille Services, Inc. is the leader in document authentication services. We process documents from all 50 U.S. States including documents issued by the U.S. Federal Government. Our in-house California notary has at least 10 years of notary experience. Call us anytime from 8am to 7pm Monday through Saturday.

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

Apostille College Degree and Transcripts

Apostille Diploma and TranscriptDo you need an apostille for your college degree and transcripts?

If you are planning to continue your education in another country who is a member of the Hague Apostille Convention,  your employer will requested an apostille on your school degree and/or college transcript.  In order for us to authenticate your document, you will need to mail-in a notarized copy.

We can apostille notarized degrees from middle school, high school, college, university, and trade school.  We can also apostille certificates and awards issued to you.  For example: Yoga certification, certification to teach, life coach certification, etc…

The first step is to contact the school’s registrar and request to have your degree and/or transcript notarized.  This may involve having to hire a traveling notary to visit the campus and meet with the school’s registrar. If your school’s registrar is unavailable, you can meet with a notary and have your official documents copy certified.  The notary will fill-out the copy certification form and stapled to the original or color copy of your original document.  In some States, the notary cannot copy certify your degree and/or transcripts.  If your college is in the States of California, New York, and Washington, D.C., go ahead and contact us so we can provide you step-by-step instructions.

Once your documents have bee notarized, the next step is to mail in your notarized degree and/or transcript to our office for processing.  Our seven offices are strategically located in California (Los Angeles & San Francisco), Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, and in Washington, D.C. to help expedite the process of authenticating your documents. It’s important that you mail-in the original notarized document as the state will not accept copies.

Only the State office has the authority to issue an apostille on your documents.  The process is very time-consuming and can be confusing.  Every day, our staff visits the California Secretary of State and the Department of State offices to complete your documents.  Unlike most of our competitors, we don’t mail your documents to the State.  Authenticating your documents is a time-consuming process that can take many hours to complete.  If the notarization has been completed correctly, the State will attach an apostille to your documents.  If the notary fails to follow the proper notarial laws, your documents will be rejected and you will have to start the process over.  About 20-30% of notarized documents we receive at our offices have been notarized incorrectly.  We recommend that you work with a professional notary who will follow the laws of the state.

The purpose of the apostille is to authenticate the official (notary public) who signed the diploma and/or transcript.  We recommend that you review your transcripts and/or diploma for accuracy before the apostille is attached.  In some countries, they will request that your diploma and/or transcripts be translated.  Translation of documents should be done after the apostille is attached.

International Apostille Services, Inc. is the leader in document authentication services. We process documents from all 50 U.S. States including documents issued by the U.S. Federal Government. Our in-house California notary has at least 10 years of notary experience. Call us anytime from 8am to 7pm Monday through Saturday.

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

Happy 4th of July – Apostille Hours

Fourth of July American Independence DayHappy 4th of July!
Our offices will be closed today in observance of Independence Day.
Our Los Angeles Apostille & San Francisco Apostille offices will
reopen on Monday, May 6, 2015 at 8am to answer your messages.
Thank you!

Apostille Guide

The fist step in obtaining an Apostille for your documents is to understand what is being requested.  For example, if you are getting married in Mexico, the requesting party will ask you to Apostille your Birth Certificate and a Single Status Affidavit from the County Clerk.

Below, we’ll give you a simple Guide on obtaining an Apostille:

Step 1: Documents Requested.  The requesting country will request specific documents from you.  Example: Birth Certificate, Death Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Divorce Decree, Power of Attorney, etc..  Be sure to take note on what is being requested and gather all necessary documents to avoid any delays or additional costs.  If you don’t have your documents, Contact Us and let us know how we can help.

Step 2: Call for Verification.  Once you have gathered all the necessary documents, it’s important that you Contact Us to verify your documents before mailing them in to our office.  Not every document qualifies for an Apostille.  For example: photocopies, altered or damaged documents, etc…  You can also mail in your documents and we’ll review them for authenticity.

Step 3: Mailing-In Your Documents. Please mail-in your documents using a professional shipping carrier.  We recommend UPS, FedEx, DHL and USPS Priority Mail.  Be sure to obtain a tracking number.  We’ll send you a message once your documents arrive at our office in Los Angeles or in Washington, DC.

Once we receive your documents and your payment, we’ll verify each of your documents with the State or the Federal Government for authenticity.  If we find any issues, we’ll contact you ASAP and provide you the steps you need to take to resolve the issue.  We can process documents from all 50 US States and the Federal Government in Washington, DC.

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

Why Do I need an Apostille?

California ApostilleIf you plan to live, work, teach, conduct personal or professional business in another country who is a member of the Hague Apostille Convention, you will be asked to have your documents authenticated by the California Secretary of State (Apostille) or the State which issued your documents.

We Apostille documents for all 50 US States including the District of Columbia (DC) and the Federal Government Apostille (DC).

This authentication process ensures that the signature on the document is authenticate and on file with the Secretary of State.  Some documents will require notarization prior to an Apostille.  These documents include: Power of Attorney, Affidavit, Copy of Driver License, Diploma, Transcripts, and Copy of Passport.  Please contact us so we can help you with your documents.

A common question we’re asked is, “Why do I need an Apostille?”

Most people who contact us have never heard of the word “Apostille” until the country requesting your documents asks for one to be placed on your documents.  An Apostille is a document issued by the Secretary of State which is attached to the original or a certified copy of the original.  This helps ensure that the signature on your documents are authentic so the other country will accept them.

Countries who are not members of the Hague Apostille Convention will request your documents to be certified by the Secretary of State.  Depending on the country, your document may also require Consul / Embassy Legalization.  Please keep in mind the country which is requesting your documents dictates if your document will receive an Apostille or Certification.  Hague Apostille Member Countries receive an Apostille.

The requesting country will provide you information on what document is being requested and what authentication steps you should take.   If you are unsure, please Contact Us and let us know how we can help or help clarify the process.  Thank you.

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

United States Department of Agriculture Apostille

We provide fast Apostille service for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) documents.  These US Federal documents require authentication by the US Department of State in Washington, DC for an Apostille.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), also known as the Agriculture Department, is the U.S. federal executive department responsible for developing and executing federal government policy on farming, agriculture, forestry, and food. It aims to meet the needs of farmers and ranchers, promote agricultural trade and production, work to assure food safety, protect natural resources, foster rural communities and end hunger in the United States and abroad.

You can mail-in your documents for fast 5-8 business day processing.  Your document will be hand-delivered to the US Department of State in Washington DC.  Once completed, we’ll overnight your document by UPS Air for next business morning delivery.

Apostilles can be complicated. Don’t leave this process to untrained employees or non-professionals who do not fully understand the Apostille 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!

Please Contact Us so we can email you the correct order form.  Thank you.

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

California Corporate Documents Apostille

If you have a California Corporation and need an Apostille for your Corporate Documents, we’re here to help.

You will need to have a certified copy or original stamped by the California Secretary of State.  If you don’t have the original, please contact the Secretary of State in Sacramento for information or visit http://www.sos.ca.gov/ .  Certified copies will have the following stamped purple seal on the back of the document.  We’ve included a sample for reference image to your right.

Here is a list of documents we can obtain a California Apostille for:

  • Articles/Certificate of Incorporation
  • Merger Agreements
  • Certificates of Amendment
  • Bylaws
  • Corporate Board Resolution(s)
  • Distribution Agreement,Agency etc.
  • General Power of Attorney
  • Appointment of Distributor
  • Authorization of Agent
  • Deeds of Assignment
  • Patents and Patent Applications
  • Trademark Applications
  • Certificate of Good Standing
  • Certificate of Free Sale
  • Price List
  • Financial Statements
  • Certificate of Origin
  • Certificate of Assignment
  • Certificate of Analysis
  • Certificate to Foreign Government
  • Certificate of a Pharmaceutical Product
  • Food and Drug (FDA) Administration Documents

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

California Criminal Background Check Apostille

The first step in obtaining a California criminal background check with the California Deparment of Justice is to first visit the State of California Department of Justice web site.  The California Department of Justice provides an automated service for criminal history background checks that may be required as a condition of employment, licensing, certification, foreign adoptions or VISA/Immigration clearances.

Individuals have the right to request a copy of their own personal criminal history record from the California Department of Justice to review for accuracy and completeness.

You may also request a background check from the FBI.  In most cases, this may not be required as the criminal history background check from the California Department of Justice is sufficient.

Once you have obtained the results, you will then need to mail it to our location in Los Angeles.  Please included our California Apostille order form and complete the sections required.  We ask that you send us your documents by FedEx, UPS, or USPS Priority mail.  If we receive your documents by 10:30am,  we can obtain your Apostille and overnight your documents back to your location.  Your documents will arrive by the following business morning.

Obtaining an apostille for your criminal background check is easy.  We’re here to help answer your questions.

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