California Apostille Process

California Apostille ProcessThere are many steps involved in authenticating California documents for other countries.

In order to provide you a good faith estimate in cost and processing time, we will need to know the type of documents you need apostilled or certified, and the country requesting your documents.  If you have documents from multiple States, be sure to let us know so we can assist you with those documents too.  We can apostille and certify documents issued from all 50 States and the U.S. Federal Government.

The processing time and cost can vary greatly from one country to another.  Countries who are members of the Hague Apostille Convention only require the California State apostille.  Countries who are not members require the State, the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., and the Embassy or Consulate office. Also, some Embassy and Consulate offices charge more for business documents than personal documents.  Our Schedule of State Fees provides the cost and processing time for each of the 50 States.  If your documents require Embassy or Consulate legalization, be sure to download our Schedule of Embassy and Consulate fees.

Before contacting our office, please have the following ready:

  1. The Type of documents you need apostilled.
  2. The country requesting your documents.

Based off of the questions above, our staff can provide you the cost, time-frame to complete your documents, and the office you will need to mail your documents too (Los Angeles Apostille office or San Francisco Apostille office).

In some situations, your documents will need to be sent to several of our offices to complete.  For example, if you have documents from California which require Qatar legalization, we will need to Certify your documents from the California Secretary of State’s office, the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., and the Qatar Consulate office in Los Angeles.  Our offices will coordinate with one-another in order to complete your documents quickly.

Obtaining an apostille 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.

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

Apostille Sacramento California

Sacramento ApostilleDo you need an apostille from the California Secretary of State’s office in Sacramento?

Our San Francisco office authenticates documents daily through the California Secretary of State’s office in Sacramento.  Documents received at our San Francisco office are processed the following business day.  We also provide FedEx overnight shipping at no additional cost for California residents and businesses.  For example, if we received your documents on Monday, they will be processed on Tuesday and returned to you Wednesday morning.

If you need your documents processed the same-day, we recommend that you mail-in your documents to our Los Angeles office for processing.  Documents received before 2:30 pm at our Los Angeles / Burbank office are processed the same-day and returned the following-business morning by FedEx.

One of the unique benefits in sending your documents to our San Francisco office is that we can also process documents from Washington State,  Oregon, Idaho, Nevada,  and Arizona.    If you have a document from California and another from Nevada, you can mail in both documents to our San Francisco or Los Angeles office for processing.

Copy of Map of the United States

The first step to obtaining an apostille is to find out what documents are being requested.  For example, if you are planning to get married in Mexico, the country of Mexico will request your birth certificate, and single status affidavit to be apostilled.

Once you have all of your documents together, you can mail them in to our office for processing.  It’s that simple.

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.  Our eight offices are strategically located throughout the United States to expedite the processing of your 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

California Department of Justice ApostilleDo you need a California Apostille on your California Criminal History Background Check?

If you are planning to move, start a new job, get married, adopt, obtain dual citizenship, or continue education in another country, you will be required to obtain an apostille on your California Criminal History Background Check.  In most cases, you will also be asked to obtain an apostille on your FBI Background check too.  More information here: FBI Apostille

During the past few months, we have noticed many countries who are not members of the Hague Apostille Convention request individuals to obtain their background check from the State and Federal Government.  It’s important to know what documents are being requested in order to avoid any delays.

The first step is to contact the California Department of Justice for step-by-step instructions.  You have the right to request a copy of your California background check.  To get started, visit this link: http://oag.ca.gov/fingerprints .  A local LiveScan operator will scan your fingerprints and submit them digitally to the California Department of Justice.  In about a few days, you will receive your results by mail.

Once you receive your results, the second step it to contact Anthony Molina, Criminal Identification Specialist I, you will issue you a signed letter (see below).

California Background Check
This letter is necessary in order for us to obtain a California Apostille.  If you have received a letter signed by Cindy Santos, you will need to call the California Department of Justice and request a letter signed by Anthony Molina.

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.

Certificate of Free Sale Apostille

Certificate of Free Sale ApostilleDo you need an apostille on a Certificate of Free Sale?

A Certificate of Free Sale can be issued by the local Chamber of Commerce, California State (Food and Drug Branch), and the U.S. Federal Government (FDA).  If the certificate is issued by the local Chamber of Commerce, it will need to be notarized.  A Certificate of Free Sale can also be called a “Certificate for Export” or “Certificate to Foreign Governments.”

The certificate of free sale is evidence that goods, such as food items, cosmetics, biologics, or medical devices are legally sold or distributed in the open market, freely without restriction, and approved by the regulatory authorities in the country of origin (United States).

Foreign governments who are members of the Hague Apostille Convention require a “Certificate of Free Sale”  when companies in California export products to them.  A local Chamber of Commerce can issue a Certificate of Free Sale for products legally sold in the United States. A Certificate of Free Sale states that the company selling the products has submitted evidence that the products listed on the certificate are freely sold in the United States.

Once you receiver the certificate, go ahead and mail-in your documents to our office for processing.  In California, we have an office in Los Angeles – Burbank and in San Francisco.  The processing time at our Los Angeles – Burbank office is same-day and our San Francisco office is the next business day.  We also provide FedEx overnight shipping at no additional cost.

We also have an office in Washington, D.C. to apostille your FDA issued Certificate of Free Sale.

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.

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.

Our Apostille Offices

International Apostille Services, Inc.International Apostille Services, Inc. is the leader in apostille services in the United States.  We have seven offices strategically located throughout the country to help in expediting your documents quickly saving you time and money.

Many of our clients have more than just California documents to process.  For example, you may be asked to obtain an apostille on your birth certificate, marriage certificate, and FBI background check.  If you were born in California, married in Nevada, and need a US Federal background check, you will need three different documents with an apostille from three different government agencies (California Secretary of State, Nevada Secretary of State, and U.S. Department of State).  Instead of working with three different companies or dealing with three State office, you can mail-in your documents to our office for fast same-day processing.

United State Apostille Offices

What sets us apart from our competitors is our excellent customer services and the resources in place to expedite the processing of your documents.  For example, in California, we can process your documents the same-day and return them the next business morning by FedEx.  In Arizona, New York, Washington, D.C., Texas, and Florida, we can process your documents in as little as one business day.  Our offices hours is Monday – Saturday from 8am to 7pm.

Here is a list of our offices:

Our Los Angeles Mailing Address:
International Apostille Services, Inc.
Attn: Richard M. Johnston

2600 W. Olive Ave. Suite 500
Burbank (Los Angeles), CA 91505

(By Appointment Only)
1-323-522-5809

 

Apostille San Francisco

Our San Francisco Mailing Address:
International Apostille Services, Inc.
Attn: Richard M. Johnston

1 Sansome Street #3500
San Francisco, CA 94104

(By Appointment Only)
1-415-582-4383

 

Our Washington, DC Mailing Address:
International Apostille Services, Inc.
Attn: Richard M. Johnston

700 12th St. NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20005

(By Appointment Only)
1-202-738-1412

 

Our New York Mailing Address:
International Apostille Services, Inc.
Attn: Richard M. Johnston

535 Fifth Ave. 4th Floor
New York, NY 10017

(By Appointment Only)
1-646-779-2989

 

Our Texas Mailing Address:
International Apostille Services, Inc.
Attn: Richard M. Johnston

100 Congress Ave., Suite 2000
Austin, TX 78701

(By Appointment Only)
1-512-640-4960

 

Our Florida Mailing Address:
International Apostille Services, Inc.
Attn: Richard M. Johnston

1221 Brickell Ave., Suite 900
Miami, FL 33131

(By Appointment Only)
1-850-270-6207

 

International Apostille Services Inc Illinois Office

Our Illinois Mailing Address:
International Apostille Services, Inc.
Attn: Richard M. Johnston

141 W. Jackson, Suite 300A
Chicago, IL 60604

(By Appointment Only)
1-773-231-5969

 

Pease call or email us before mailing in your documents in order to avoid any delays. All U.S. Federal and District of Columbia documents are to be mailed to our Washington, DC office for processing. Thank you.

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

Apostille San Francisco – California Apostille Services

As Low As $75 for Each ApostilleAs the leading California Apostille Services in San Francisco, many residents and corporations in the Bay Area have relied on us since January 2005.  With over 10 years of experience and thousands of documents authenticated every year, you can feel comfortable knowing that we can complete your documents quickly saving you time and money.

Our office hours are Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm.  You can stop by anytime to drop-off your documents or mail them in.  If you decide to mail them in, we recommend that you obtain a tracking number in case your documents don’t arrive on time. Our turn-around time is only two business days.  If you require faster processing, we recommend that you mail-in your documents to our Los Angeles office.

Our San Francisco Mailing Address:
International Apostille Services, Inc.
Attn: Richard M. Johnston
California Apostille Services
1 Sansome Street #3500
San Francisco, CA 94104
1-415-871-0759 or 1-888-810-4054

We are located in the Downtown San Francisco financial district area.

Unlike most of our competitors who charge exorbitant fees for each and every apostille, we discount our rates as much as 61% off of our regular price if you have six or more documents.

Have a question on how to apostille your documents?

Visit our “How to Apostille” guide for step-by-step directions.

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

Apostille for Ecuador

During the past year, we have expedited the document authentication process for several dozen families who have permanently moved to Ecuador.

If you are planning to move to Ecuador, you will be required to Apostille a few of your legal documents. We recommend that you first contact us so we can understand the type of documents you currently have in your possession.  Please note that the process of authenticating your documents can take 1-2 weeks to complete.  You do not have to come back to the United States if you are already in Ecuador.  We can facilitate the apostille process and FedEx/UPS the documents back to your location once complete.

We will need to know…

1. The type of documents you need authenticated.
2. The U.S. State that has issued your documents.
3. The year your documents were issued in.

Here is a list of documents you will need apostille for Ecuador:

1. Your FBI background check.
2. Your Social Security Income and Benefits Statement.
3. Your State background check.
4. Your Birth certificate
5. Your School Transcripts/Diploma (optional)

We will also need a color copy of your U.S. Passport.  The Embassy of Ecuador in Washington, D.C. will require a copy of your U.S. Passport before they will legalize your Social Security Income and Benefits Statement.  Both the FBI background check and Social Security Income and Benefits Statement will receive an apostille from the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C..  The rest of your documents will receive an apostille from the State they originated from.  Example: California birth certificate will receive a California apostille.

As mentioned earlier, the process to authenticate your documents for Ecuador can take 1-2 weeks to complete.  In certain situations, you may need to order new certified copies because the documents you have may be outdated.  In order to avoid any unexpected delays or costs, we recommend that you contact us so we can review the documents you currently have.

International Document ShippingApostilles 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!

 

 

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

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.

Apostille Costa Rica

Do you need an apostille for Costa Rica?  Costa Rica has been a member of the Hague Apostille Convention since December 14, 2011. Documents sent to this country only requires Secretary of State authentication.

As the leading California Apostille Service provider, we can apostille your documents the same-day and return them to you the next business morning by FedEx priority mail.

Recently, we have noticed an increase in the number of apostille requests for Costa Rica.  Costa Rica is a very popular destination for American relocating to this Central American country.  Whatever your reason is for moving to Costa Rica, we can process your documents quickly saving you time and money.  Our office in California can expedite the apostille process and we can even provide fast international shipping through FedEx and UPS.

Common documents we authenticate for Costa Rica are:

  • Birth Certificates
  • Marriage Certificates
  • Death Certificates
  • Divorce Decree
  • Single Status Affidavit
  • Background Check (FBI, DOJ, Police)
  • Power of Attorney
  • Copy of Passport
  • Copy of Driver License
  • Transcripts
  • Diplomas
  • Authorization Letter
  • Travel Consent
  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Certificate of Good Standing
  • Certification of Free Sale
  • Certification of Origin
  • Commercial Invoice

Please note that some documents may require notarization prior to being eligible for an apostille.  These documents include: Power of Attorney, Affidavits, School Transcripts, School Diplomas, Copy of Passport, Copy of Driver License, etc…  Please, Contact Us before mailing-in your documents for verification.  If you are currently in Costa Rica, you can also seek the help of the local US Embasy or US Consulate office.  These offices also have a notary on staff to assist you in notarizing important legal documents.

International Apostille Services, Inc. is the leader in document authentication services in California. We provide fast same-day California Apostille Services. We serve all of California including: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego and more. Documents received by 2:30pm will be processed the same-day and returned to you the following business morning by FedEx or UPS.

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