Difference Between Legalization and Apostille Service

International Certification in the United States

International Certification in the United States

If you want to work, live or study abroad, you will need to certify your documents/certificates in order to be valid for use abroad.
Depending on your destination country, you might need “Apostille” or “embassy legalization.” This post will display the key information to know the difference between apostille and legalization.
We will also show you how you can certify your documents easily, timely, and above all, with the best available price.

Difference between Apostille and Legalization:

Difference between Apostille and Legalization

In the Hague, Netherland, 1961, the apostille treaty was signed and approved to abolish documents’ legalization requirements and replace it with a unified sample of the “Apostille Stamp.
Countries that have signed the treaty are no longer require document legalization from the embassy of the destination country in Washington DC and replace it with only an Apostille that can be obtained from the local Secretary of State or the U.S. Department of State in Washington DC for federally issued documents.
On the other hand, many countries didn’t join the Apostille treaty and still require the legalization of its embassy on any U.S. document to recognize its validity.

Documents issued in the United States and destined for use in a non-Hague country require certification from the Local Secretary of State, authentication from the U.S. Department of State, and finally, legalization from the embassy of the destination country in Washington DC.

How to apostille U.S. documents?

To apostille, a document is much easier than legalizing it. The Apostille is a one-step only, and then you are done.

While document legalization requires two steps before you can even go to the embassy for the final step, how can you obtain your Apostille by yourself? Here is how:

What is the type of your document?

If you have a state-issued document, then you can get your apostille from the local Secretary of State office in 50 States.
If you have a document issued by one of the federal agencies in the United States such as FDA, FBI, USPTO, USDA, EPA, U.S. Homeland Security, it will require an apostille from the U.S. Department of State in Washington DC.

Note: Documents signed by state officials such as (vital records) birth, death, marriage, article of incorporation does not require a prior notarization.
If you have documents signed by an individual, such as a power of Attorney, Affidavits, diplomas, then it will require being notarized in front of a notary public in the same State that issued the document.

Here are some documents you may have the Apostille on:

  • Circuit Court documents.
  • Birth and death documents.
  • School transcripts.
  • Marriage and divorce certificates.
  • Warrants.
  • Trademarks.
  • State criminal background checks.
  • Power of attorney.
  • Certificate of existence
  • Certificate of Incumbency
  • Patent Assignment
  • Trademark Assignment
  • Technical Data Sheet
  • Certificate of Free Sale
  • Certificate of Analysis
  • an ISO Certificate

What are the steps and procedures to request the apostille seal from the Secretary of your State?

  • Notarized document (if required, depending on the type of document).
  • A cover letter contains; your name, address, name of the country where you wish to use your documents, and an e-mail address.
  • A self-addressed envelope for the return & a prepaid airbill if you wish to use express mail.
  • A check or money order payable to the Secretary of State.

Some States may require a signature from the local county office prior to notarization
Most of the time, all Secretaries of State require the same points mentioned above.

How to legalize a US document?

If you are going to use your document in a non-Hague country, it will need to be legalized first. The document needs to be certified by the Local Secretary of State office, authenticated from the US department of State and legalized from the embassy of the destination country in Washington DC.

Legalization and Apostille Services

You can use the help of a legalization and Apostille service providers in the United States. One day apostille offers the lowest apostille and legalisation fee in the United States. Choose your destination country ( Apostille Countries or Legalization Countries ) to know fees, procedures and turnaround time.