We can process documents for all 50 US States, the US Department of State in DC, and the Secretary of the District of Columbia. With so many States, the District of Columbia, and the Federal Government, the United States issues 52 different Apostilles.
Not every Apostille issued will have a gold seal. For example, in the State of California, the Apostille does not include a gold seal but a red seal. Here is an example of a California Apostille.
An Apostille issued by the US Department of State also does not include a gold seal. Here is an example of an Apostille from the US Department of State. The Secretary of the District of Columbia issues an Apostille and a certificate with a gold seal.
There is a misconception that all Apostilles must have a gold seal. This misconseption is incorrect. This may seem difficult to comprehend, but the Secretary of State decides how they overall layout of the Apostille and the certificate will look.
An Apostille is simply the name for a specialized certificate, issued by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the District of Columbia or the US Department of State in Washington, DC. This document is affixed to the original or certified document.
Here is typically what’s included in an apostille:
- Country … [country name] This public document
- has been signed by … [name]
- acting in the capacity of … [function]
- bears the seal/stamp of … [authority] certified
- at … [location]
- the … [date]
- by … [name]
- No … [apostille registration number]
- Seal/stamp … [of the authority giving the apostille]
- Signature … [signature of authority giving the apostille]
Since October 15, 1981, the United States has been part of the 1961 Hague Convention abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents.
The Apostille Convention provides for the simplified certification of public (including notarized) documents to be used in countries that have joined the convention. Documents destined for use in participating countries and their territories should be certified by one of the officials in the jurisdiction in which the document has been executed.
The Apostille Convention requires that all Apostille’s be numbered consecutively, with individual numbers applied to each Apostille issued. The recognized standard Apostille contains a seal and 10 mandatory references: name of country from which the document emanates, name of person signing the document, the capacity in which the person signing the document has acted, in the case of unsigned documents, the name of the authority that has affixed the seal or stamp, place of certification date of certification, the authority issuing the certificate, number of certificate, seal or stamp of authority issuing certificate and signature of authority issuing certificate.
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