Apostille and Notary Public: How Do They Differ?
It’s not uncommon for people to get tangled up when distinguishing between apostille and notarization. Do they mean the same thing? If not, how do they differ? These are vital questions, especially when handling documents that require international authentication. Let’s demystify this!
In simple terms, while both processes are about authentication, notarization is a local affair, while apostille has an international scope.
The Notary Public Process:
When a document gets notarized, it means a certified notary public has verified the identity of the person signing that document. After witnessing the signing, the notary stamps or seals the document, marking the date of signing. This process is primarily to confirm that the person who claims to sign the document is genuinely the one doing so. In the U.S., notarized documents are usually for domestic use.
On the other hand, an apostille is like the international version of notarization. It’s a seal or certificate verifying a document’s authenticity so that another country can accept it. Depending on the document’s nature, apostilles come from the Secretary of State where the document originated or the U.S. Department of State for federal documents. For instance, if you want to work abroad and need to present your academic transcripts from, let’s say, the University of Florida, you should first have the university’s registrar notarize those transcripts. Afterward, you’d need to get them apostilled by Florida’s Secretary of State.
How to Get Them:
Getting a document notarized is pretty straightforward. Many local establishments, like banks, legal firms, and shipping centers like FedEx or UPS, offer notary services. And if stepping out isn’t an option, mobile notaries can even come to your doorstep.
Securing an apostille, however, can be a tad more challenging. It requires you to discern whether a state or federal office needs to issue the apostille. Plus, navigating through governmental processes can be a bit tedious.
However, you don’t have to wade through this alone! For hassle-free notary and apostille services, visit our website or give us a call. We’re here to streamline the process and ensure all your documents are authenticated promptly and professionally.