If you have legal documents that require notarization in the United States, you would need to seek the services of a notary public. The individual who provides the service must be in good standing with the state. This requirement validates the signatures on the document(s) as being authentic. Notaries do not have to read the documents or offer advice about what is contained in documents to individuals who request their services. Their duty is to ensure that they confirm the identity of individuals who sign documents and witness them signing the documents.
Notarized documents might require additional verification in certain circumstances. Documents that will be used outside the United States will usually require additional verification to ensure authenticity. An apostille signing is done in addition to a notarized document. An apostille aids in ensuring that fraudulent activities such as falsified documents are unlikely. The individuals who are responsible for apostille signing are appointed by the Secretary of State. The apostille process involves verification that documents are authentic and that a notary public signed the documents. The following points identify things that you can do to make the apostille signing process go smoothly.
Ensure Paperwork Accuracy
It cannot be stressed enough that you will need to get the document(s) notarized before an apostille can take place. You also need to ensure that all required signatures are on the documents. Notaries are usually astute and careful regarding checking documents to make sure there are not any blank signature lines that should be signed.
Decide on a Delivery Method
You can take the signed documents and get the apostille signing in person. There might be a nominal fee added for this option because it is an expedited process. You also have the option to mail the documents with your payment. A notary should be able to help you make the calculation after reviewing your documents. The state will likely accept a check or money order. Upon receipt of mailed documents, the Secretary of State's office will review the documents. If they are deemed authentic, the apostille seal will be affixed, and you can expect to receive them in the mail. The expected processing time will vary depending on your state. Mail processing times will likely be listed on your Secretary of State's website as well as options for expediting mail requests for an additional fee.
You must start the authentication process for documents you plan to use overseas with a notary public. When you request the apostille from the state, they will be expecting notarized documents and be prepared to investigate for authenticity. The process is straightforward, and there are costs associated with apostille signing. The cost is set by the respective state and will likely be per document rather than per signature. A notary is a good resource to use to get more questions answered about an apostille. They can help you with the initial step of the process, which is getting your document(s) signed.