Notary for Apostille & International Documents

The Process for International Notary

Notary means something different to every country in the world. In the United States, a notary identifies you and affirms your willingness in a transaction. In Mexico, a notary is a high-ranking attorney appointed exclusively by the governor. All the rules change when things go internationally. Thanks to something called the Hague Convention, many countries have found a cooperative means of recognizing local authorities or public servants through a process called Apostille.

    1. First things first. We notarize your document. We identify you, recognize your willingness to sign. We stamp and Record it. Done!
    2. Second. For your document to be recognized internationally, we (the notary) must also be identified. You’ll take your notarized document to the California Secretary of State (SOS) office in Sacramento for an Apostille certificate. You can also drive to Los Angeles SOS and walk it in for an Apostille. The Secretary of State verifies us, that’s it.  These are the only locations where this can happen.
    3. Lastly, with us verified and your Apostille certificate attached to the notarized document. You are most likely ready to end your document internationally.*


*Before you start this process, seek full clarity of what your receiving agency needs from the receiving agency and their country’s guidelines. Notaries are unable to know what receiving agencies desire overseas and are unqualified to provide legal advice. 

More Information on Apostille & Authentication

For individuals and organizations sending documents around the world they may find themselves having to first coordinate for an Apostille or Authentication. Authentication is a special process where the California Secretary of State certifies the authenticity of a local official and the manner in which that official acted. Many persons getting a document notarized for international agencies will then find themselves needing to send their documents to the California Secretary of State to have it further authenticated so that it may be recognized internationally. The Apostille may recognize these officials: 

  • Notary Public
  • County Clerks or Recorders
  • Court Administrators of the Superior Court
  • Executive Clerks of the Superior Court
  • Officers whose authority is not limited to any particular county
  • Executive Officers of the Superior Court
  • Judges of the Superior Court
  • State Officials

Thanks to The Hague Convention, authentications and Apostille are recognized around the world by many participating countries. As can be imagined, every country handles document processing differently. The term ‘notary’ often has drastic differences from country to country, serving as different capacities and roles entirely. If your document is headed overseas, it is best to contact the foreign agency as to see what exactly they need. If your document requires authentication, apostille, or notary, review this ABCs of Apostille offered by the Hague conference.

SD Signings handles the notarization for documents going over seas often. We deal with international contracts for businesses and foreign adoptions that often require authentications. If you find yourself needing our services, we are glad to help with the process. We cannot provide legal advice concerning the documents or their processing. We are not attorneys. We can help with the notarization and provide you with the steps for authentications in California.

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