Apostilles…

Hello.
I just posted my services on yelp and today this guy called me and he asked me if I’m only a notary public or if I also do apostilles. I said that I do both but tbh I’m not sure what is the difference. Can we as notaries public do apostilles? Or we need some other type of document to do them? What’s the difference? Please help me understand it.

Thank you !

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Google “Apostille, (your state)” for the best info & procedure.

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Quick explanation - you identify signers and notarize signatures - your regulating Authority (usually the Sec of State) issues the apostille or certification, which is their statement that, at the time of the signing, you were duly commissioned and are in good standing.

As Arichter said, look at your notary regulations for guidance on how to process these - you can help expedite the paperwork/process, but you do NOT issue the apostille.

P.S. Meant to add, you can also search this site for more info - in the bar up top to the right near your avatar there’s a hidden magnifying glass - click on that and search keyword “apostilles” or “apostille” - much has been discussed recently that may help you.

Good luck

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Notaries do not do apostilles. Apostilles are attached by the competent authority for the document in question. If the document is notarized, the competent authority would be some official in the state, usually the Secretary of State. If the document is signed by a state officer, such as the Commissioner of Health, again the competent authority would be some official of the state the officer is from, usually the Secretary of State. If the document is signed by some federal government official, the competent authority would usually be the United States Secretary of State.

Anyone who has possession of the document can ask for an apostille from the appropriate authority. A few notaries provide assistance in obtaining an apostille, but whoever has the document can get it without the notary, if they’re willing to figure out how.

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@estefanyfg10 Excellent question. As LindaH-FL mentioned above, there is a GOLDMINE of information available found within the Notary Cafe database by accessing the ever-elusive/nearly invisible Magnifying Glass (see image below).

This database is made available to help members Research it & to unlock the wisdom & knowledge of experienced fellow business owners/members on the Notary Cafe forums.

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I performed a cursory Search on your behalf & these results include 42 threads for your elucidation & growth on this topic. Reference the following direct Notary Cafe url to read those threads:

https://forum.notarycafe.com/search?q=apostille

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In addition, it’s always wise to research & vet a new client prior to providing a definitive confirmation to them for your initial Signing Order for them. A great start of research would begin within the Notary Cafe forums Search Function.

Accessing the database to locate info about potential clients has saved many of us an inordinate amount of time ‘chasing’ payments for Services professionally provided to potential non-payers . . .

:swan:

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A “Facilitator of Apostilles”, can be anyone with a functioning brain and a business plan. I you have any reverent questions, I will be happy to answer them off this forum.

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While volume of traditional LSA work is down, finding alternate sources of income becomes of more importance. As far as I have seen, the largest part of the Apostille service is couriering the documents to the Secretary of State’s office. If this has to be done personally the drive can be time-consuming. In my case around 3 hours one way. Even if you charge $300 for this service that is $50 an hour before expenses, wear and tear on the car and on the body having to drive a round trip. The only way I see this making sense from this distance is if you can process a batch of documents on one trip, or you can hire a courier to go in person on your behalf or use an overnight delivery service and send the documents with a return envelop included. Waiting for a batch means a delay in processing the documents and might not be an option and sending with a delivery service means you aren’t there to see the paper is stamped correctly and makes it back to you.

Any insight on that part of the process will be appreciated.

You may want to rethink your Apostille service. It can be taken care of through the mail, but you have to pay the cost both ways. Using USPS priority mail (flat rate with tracking) is a bit cheaper than FedEx or UPS express overnight for pretty much the same service. (Always asks the carrier when they guarantee delivery so you can be as exact as possible about return time.) It is usually a two week turnaround for the SOS to send the certificate back to you. In WA state we can request expedited service for an additional $50. This cuts the time down by a week, so I can usually guarantee a one week response. (I pass all costs back to the client.) If they want overnight Apostille service, I charge them half my usual Apostille rate to give them a tutorial on how to take the documents to Olympia and get direct counter service, and what to expect. If they want me to handle the full deal, which includes my driving the documents to Olympia (about a 90 minute drive) I charge them $500 for my services, plus any outside costs. They have to pick their documents up from me, otherwise I also charge them a courier fee, even if it’s me that’s delivering the completed package. So far I have had plenty takers and no complaints.

Just to clarify this … This is state specific

Florida SoS states they have an 8-day turnaround when, in reality, it’s more like 4-6 weeks. Further, Florida does not offer expedited service

The one I did I used priority USPS each way and included that price into my fee quote to the client. I also had her write the check to the SoS from her own funds. My fee was the notarization, the processing and tracking and keeping her up to date on its status , and personal delivery of the finalized document with the Apostille when it was returned back to me.

Depends on the laws/rules that govern your state.

In Washington, an Apostille is a function performed only by the Secretary of State’s office.

“An apostille is a document issued by Washington Secretary of State that verifies to a foreign government the official document – birth, death, marriage, divorce certificate, or single status letter – came from Washington state.”

Since notaries in Washington are prohibited from notarizing vital records, this means we cannot do Apostilles either.

https://doh.wa.gov/licenses-permits-and-certificates/vital-records/apostilles#:~:text=What%20is%20an%20apostille%3F,letter%20–%20came%20from%20Washington%20state.

What is an Apostille?

An “apostille” is a form of authentication issued to documents for use in countries that participate in the Hague Convention of 1961. If the country of intended use does not participate in the Hague Convention , documents being sent to that country can obtain a Certificate of Authentication.

The Office of the Secretary of State provides apostille and authentication service to U.S. citizens and foreign nationals on documents that will be used overseas. Types of documents include corporate documents such as company bylaws and articles of incorporation, power of attorney, diplomas, transcripts, letters relating to degrees, marital status, references and job certifications, home studies, deeds of assignments, distributorship agreements, papers for adoption purposes, etc. The U.S. State Department provides general information about document authentications and apostilles under the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961 .

For document types, and where to obtain them, please see APOSTILLE DOCUMENT GUIDELINES.

When performing apostilles services, it is very wise to be very proficient in your state’s statutes and execution of notarial acts. You definitely do not want to make any notarial errors. Performing apostilles are not like performing a loan signing assignments or general notary work, where you may get the opportunity to make a second trip to perform corrections. In my state the Florida Secretary Of The State handles issuing apostilles. Therefore any notarial errors made can potentially result in fines, loss of commission certificate, or other legal problems. Here’s a link that provides a listing of the United States of America - Competent Authority (Art. 6) - HCCH |

What’s a “reverent” question? (is this one??)