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Can A Notary Issue An ‘Apostille’?

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Am I able to issue someone an apostille? I am uncertain what this is and what it would entail. Would this be something better done by an attorney or consulate? A. N., Washington

No, you may not issue apostilles as a Notary. Apostilles are certificates that authenticate that a Notary’s commission is valid. In Washington, they may only be issued by the Secretary of State. An apostille is usually requested for a document that is going to another country. The signer should contact the Washington Secretary of State’s Corporations Division Apostille and Certification Program at 801 Capitol Way South P.O. Box 40228 Olympia, WA 98504-0228 Telephone: 1-360-725-0344.

Hotline answers are based on the laws in the state where the question originated and may not reflect the laws of other states. If in doubt, always refer to your own state statutes. – The Editors

Confronted with a tricky notarization? Unsure how to proceed? NNA members have unlimited access to our expertly trained NNA Hotline counselors to help you with all of your notarial questions. Call 1-888-876-0827, Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST.

Related Articles:

Notarizing Documents From Other Countries

3 Questions For Notaries To Ask When Dealing With Foreign-Language Issues

Additional Resources:

NNA Webinars: Commonly Asked Questions


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Rockell Y. Brown

11 Oct 2016

A Paralegal for over 25 years, I work for the largest Homeowners Association in the United States, located in Florida. This community overlaps two (2) counties. Having the greatest diversity of citizens, one of the fundamental need is notarization. Some citizens, not many, often require documents being sent to other countries, especially the Caribbean to be notarized. After their notarized document is forward to their country, that country often return a request for an Apostille, and obviously the client would return to me. Your Q&A above is what I communicate to the client repeatedly, that they should seek that service from the Office of the Secretary of State, which such an answer is often met with pessimism because of the lack of understanding as to what an Apostille actually is.

Sharon M. Bennett

11 Oct 2016

What is an Apostille?

National Notary Association

11 Oct 2016

Hello. Please see the definition in the above article.

david Boyd

16 Apr 2020

apostille training is what I need where can I sign up

National Notary Association

17 Apr 2020

Hello. Notaries do not issue apostilles. Please see here for more information:

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