What is an Apostille?


An Apostille is a document that is provided by the California Secretary of State as authentication of public official (e.i.: Notary Public) signatures on documents to be used outside the United States of America. The country of destination determines whether the authentication is an Apostille or Certification.


Apostilles and Certifications only certify to the authenticity of the signature of the official (notary public) who signed the document, the capacity in which that official acted, and when appropriate, the identity of the seal or stamp which the document bears. The Apostille or Certification does not validate the contents of the document.


Authentication Certificates are issued for documents which are destined for use in non-participating Hague countries, and Apostille Certificates are issued for documents destined for use in participating Hague countries.


Please click Apostille Services to find more information about how we can help you obtain an apostille.


An "ABCs of Apostilles" (PDF) brochure that provides basic information about the Apostille Convention and the Convention's operation has been prepared by the Permanent Bureau (Secretariat) of the Hague Conference on Private International Law and is provided with the Permanent Bureau's permission. The Permanent Bureau hopes this brochure will assist the millions of users of the Apostille Convention around the world.



The most common types of documents include:

Personal documents


  • Adoption Documents

  • Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificates, Death Certificates

  • Marriage Licenses, Divorce agreements

  • Single Status to Marry, No record of a Marriage

  • Criminal Record, Criminal Background Check

  • Police Records

  • Power of Attorney

  • Notarized copies of Passport, Affidavits, and other documents

  • Transcripts (High School, College, University, or any other issuing agency)

  • University Degrees, Degree Certificates, Graduation Records

  • Permission to Travel, Consent by Parent(s) to travel with Minor Children


Corporate documents


  • Articles of Incorporation, Certificate of Incorporation

  • Merger Agreements

  • Authorization letter for Bank, Finance, Office, and related company matters

  • Certificates of Amendment

  • Certificate of Good Standing

  • Certificate of Status

  • Power of Attorney

  • Certificate of Incumbency

  • Corporate Resolution

  • Certification of Free Sale

  • Certificate of Origin

  • Certificate of Analysis

  • Corporate Forms

  • Joint Venture Agreements

  • Stock Purchase Agreement in Foreign Companies

  • Business Letter of Invitation



Refer to our Apostille Services page to learn how to obtain an apostille for your documents.