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Notary Bulletin

Apostille Issuance Procedures Unnecessary

In recent months, some signers have requested guidance from Notaries on obtaining official “issuance procedures” for apostilles issued by their Notary-regulating authority. These letters are being requested by foreign governments to further help “certify” apostilles issued by American Notaries are valid.

The U.S. Department of State has issued a reminder that, per The Hague Convention, these official letters are not necessary. Hague countries are obligated to accept the apostille as sufficient proof that a notarization performed in the United States is valid.

An apostille (pronounced ah-poh-stee) is a certificate that ensures a Notary’s signature and seal on the document being sent to another country is legal, and that the foreign reviving agency can trust it. Apostilles are used on documents exchanged between more than 90 countries that are parties to a treaty called the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents.

Notaries do not issue apostilles. A signer requesting one should be referred to the state’s Notary-regulating authority, most often the Secretary of State.

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