Apostille FAQ

What is Apostille?

 

An Apostille is a form of Authentication/Certification to allow a document to be used in a foreign county or territory.

What is purpose of an Apostille?

 

The purpose of an apostille or authentication is to verify that documents have been issued or notarized by certain officials that are listed in good standing.

Depending on the destination country, the authentication is issued either as a Great Seal or an Apostille. The apostille or authentication verifies that the Notary or issuing institution is authentic.

What documents can be Apostilled?

 

  • Vital Records (birth, death, marriage, divorce, single status)

  • Marriage records issued by a Virginia Circuit Court (You must ask for a triple seal to be attached to your marriage record. It will be returned if there is no triple seal.)

  • Circuit court documents (divorce decree, name change, single status)

  • State Corporation Commission issued documents

  • Other documents that are approved for foreign use. 

Does all documents need to be notarized before they are apostilled?

No, if fact some document cannot be notarized. See list below of document that typically require a notarization and those that cannot be notarized prior to an apostille.

Document that typically MUST be notarized: 

  • Powers of Attorney (POA)

  • School transcripts/ Diplomas

  • Translations

  • Background checks

  • Other document not listed as prohibited below.

Document that CANNOT be notarized:

  • Vital Records (birth, death, marriage, divorce, single status)

  • Marriage records issued by a Circuit Court (You must ask for a triple seal to be attached to your marriage record. It will be returned if there is no triple seal.)

  • Issued circuit court documents (divorce decree, name change, single status)

  • State Corporation Commission issued documents

Can the document be written in a foreign language?

Yes,  however,  the notarization section must be in English.

How long does an Apostille take to process?

 

This  typically takes 7 - 10 business days.