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Notary Business: How to offer apostille services

Updated 8-21-23. Mobile Notaries across the country constantly look for ways to grow their business. One of the ways they do this is by adding services. One of the new services they can add is apostille services. This service fits nicely with a Notary business because customers often ask Notaries to provide apostilles.

While Notaries cannot issue apostilles — only an authorized state agency can do so — you can earn extra income by assisting customers in getting their documents in the correct form to be accepted by the agency that issues apostilles.

There are a number of elements you need to understand as you consider adding this service to your business:

  • What is an apostille
  • What is an apostille agent?
  • What are Some of the Functions of an apostille agent?
  • How much can I charge for apostille services?
  • What are the benefits of becoming an apostille agent?
  • Important facts about obtaining apostilles

What is an ‘apostille’?

In the modern world, countless documents are signed and sent between countries, many of them notarized or including the signature of some other public official. The challenge for individuals receiving the documents is knowing whether the Notary’s signature is legitimate.

An apostille is a certificate issued by a government agency verifying the authenticity of the signature of a Notary Public or other public official. In other words, an apostille confirms that the seal and signature of the Notary on a document is valid, and the notarization can be accepted by the receiving agency in the foreign country.

They are specifically used for documents going to the 156 countries that are signatories to the Hague Apostille Convention. Documents sent to countries that are not part of the Hague Convention may require additional certification from the U.S. Department of State.

What is an ‘apostille’ agent?

An apostille agent assists customers in obtaining apostilles or authentications.

However, it’s important to make one thing clear: You (the Notary) do not issue apostilles or attach them to documents. That is the role of the state agency authorized to issue apostilles, usually the Secretary of State’s office.

Only an authorized government agency can place the actual certificate of apostille on the document. But an apostille agent can provide other valuable services to assist customers in need of apostilles, as described below.

What are some functions of an ‘apostille agent’?

Apart from notarizing the signatures on a document, an apostille agent can provide a variety of services.

For example, an agent can provide courier services to deliver notarized documents requiring apostilles to the appropriate agency. This might entail sending the notarized document, a check for the processing fee, the apostille request form and a return mailing label to the apostille-issuing agency on the customer’s behalf. The agency would then process the request, attach the apostille and mail the document with the apostille back to the Notary or the customer.

Apostille agents also may contact the issuing agency on the customer’s behalf to request instructions related to obtaining an apostille. For example:

  • You might be asked to find out if the agency requires the customer to submit the original notarized document, or if the customer can provide a certified copy of the document instead. Please remember that not all states authorize Notaries to certify copies of documents, and Notaries are never allowed to certify copies of vital statistics documents such as a birth certificate, a death certificate, a marriage license or a divorce decree.
  • You also may be asked to confirm with a state agency if they will issue an apostille for a document notarized using remote notarization, or other details such as if the document requires translation, a cover page, or contacting a federal agency to ask if the receiving country will require additional documentation.

How much can I charge for ‘apostille’ services?

Because apostille services are not part of your duties as a Notary, the fees you charge are not limited by your state Notary laws. As such, you may set your fees for those services at your discretion. You should consider the following factors when deciding what to charge:

  • How many documents you are sending for processing and what are the state fees;
  • Where the documents are being sent for processing;
  • What kind of shipping costs you are incurring; and
  • Whether you are asked to provide expedited service.

Remember that fees you charge for apostille-related services (such as submitting documents to the issuing agency on a customer’s behalf) should be charged and recorded separately from your fees for notarial acts, which are regulated by your state’s Notary laws.

Like any new business service you decide to offer, there is a learning curve with becoming an apostille agent. However, it can be profitable and enjoyable.

What are the benefits of becoming an ‘apostille’ agent?

In my experience, becoming an apostille agent affords you several benefits.

It complements traditional Notary businesses very well. You will have numerous opportunities to offer apostille business services to your existing customers. I do quite a bit of general notarization work and never miss a chance to tell a client that I am also an apostille agent. Often that client has never heard of an apostille. I explain what it is, give them my business card and wait for the phone to ring — and it has.

It’s very easy to offer apostille agent services as either a part-time or full-time business because you have a flexible schedule. If you work out of a specific location, you can arrange appointments to accommodate your own schedule. If you are a mobile Notary, you may want to charge a travel fee to go to the client to pick up the documents and deliver them back to the client.

Many Secretaries of State are now accepting documents for apostilles that have been notarized using remote online notarization (RON). If you are authorized to perform RONs, you might remotely notarize documents, then also offer services sending and delivering remotely notarized documents requiring apostilles to issuing agencies for your clients.

Important facts about obtaining ‘apostilles’

Here are important details about apostilles you should know if you want to offer apostille agent services:

Every apostille is issued by the government agency (usually the Secretary of State’s office) in the state where the document ORIGINATED. For example, let’s say our client went to school in California, now lives in Pennsylvania and needs an apostille for his California school diploma. Because the diploma was issued in California, the apostille must be obtained from the California Secretary State’s office.

The destination country may affect whether the customer needs authentication documentation instead of an apostille. In 1961, many countries joined the Hague Convention, which allows expedited authentication of documents sent between member nations. Most countries in the world are members of the Hague Convention, but some are not.

If the destination country is NOT a member of the 1961 Hague Convention, the document may require additional paperwork from the U.S. Department of State in addition to the apostille. In some instances, a client may also want you to present the documents to an embassy of the destination country on their behalf.

So you will need to ask clients several important questions:

  • What is the type of document(s)
  • Where did it originate (STATE OF ORIGINATION); and
  • Where will it be going (COUNTRY OF DESTINATION)

If you decide to add being an apostille agent to your business, it can be a profitable and enjoyable line of work.

Judith Lawrence is a Notary, educator and apostille agent, and is the author of the upcoming book ‘The Not So Secret Guide To International Document Service.’ For more information, please visit her website.

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Add your comment

Jonnie M Barkley

07 Sep 2021

I am interested in becoming an apostille. I am currently in the process of renewing my commission which expires in January 2022, but I would like more information to apply for apostille.

National Notary Association

10 Sep 2021

Hello. There is not a specific application or certification process for Notaries offering apostille services.


08 Sep 2021


National Notary Association

10 Sep 2021

Hello. There is not a specific authorization or certification program for Notaries offering apostille services. However, if you do not have a commission and are interested in becoming a Notary, you can find information for getting started at


09 Sep 2021

I am interested apostille

Cheryl Hicks

09 Sep 2021

I an a certified notary and signer and have had experience getting an apostle signature. I want to add this to my list of services.

Kathy Merrill

10 Sep 2021

What training courses are there to become an Apostille Agent?

National Notary Association

10 Sep 2021

Hello. The NNA does not offer courses for offering apostille services at this time.

Gricelda anaya

11 Sep 2021

I'm interested to became an apostille.

Pamela Vines

09 Oct 2021

What are the best apostille agent training classes?

22 Oct 2021

Very interesting. Thank you for this information.

Jennifer Stokes

18 Nov 2021

I'm interested how do I become one.


23 Dec 2021

How can you do this remotely? Is it possible to take clients in other states?

National Notary Association

28 Dec 2021

Hello. Apostille services do not involve notarization of documents, so remote notarization is not a part of those services. Please see the section of the article above titled "What are some functions of an 'apostille agent'?" for more information.

08 Feb 2022

I am a notary in Texas and i am trying to also include apostille how and what does the notary do in Apostille? is a Texas notary able to to Apostille and notarize an original vital document. can a Texas notary notarize an original vital document from a foreign country

National Notary Association

18 Feb 2022

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

Federico Mendoza

11 Feb 2022

I am currently a notary public and I am interested in becoming an Apostille Agent as well as a Field Inspection Agent. Could you please send me information on adding these services?

National Notary Association

11 Feb 2022

Hello. Please see this article for more information:

Sandra Ajuzia Nkem Ajuzia

18 Feb 2022

I am a notary in texas. I want to know if a texas notary can become apostille agent.

National Notary Association

28 Feb 2022

Hello. Offering apostille services is a separate business from official duties as a Notary Public. Please see the sections "What is an 'apostille' agent?" and "How much can I charge for 'apostille' services?" in the article above.

Amber-Nichole Hess

15 Jun 2022

How do I become an Apostille? Is there some sort of sign up for this so the Sec. of State acknowledges this?

National Notary Association

22 Jun 2022

Hello. Please see this article for more information:

Alexandria Norka Mancebo

29 Jul 2022


Nichii Namaha-Ono

07 Aug 2022

I have read the comments. Has NNA considered adding a training platform to becoming an apostille agent?

National Notary Association

08 Aug 2022

Thank you for the suggestion. We'll pass it along to our Product Development team.


23 Aug 2022

Hi Im Very much Interested in Becoming an Apostille agent could you please send me information thank you in advance

Joe Ewing

19 Sep 2022

I’ve been offering and expedited service assisting clients in obtaining apostilles, authentications, and embassy legalizations for decades. What your guest contributor failed to mention is that every State’s Secretary of State offers this service through US mail. The California SOS for example charges $20 per document and a stamped self addressed envelope. How unscrupulous could an “agent” be to charge someone $100 to lick a stamp on the clients behalf? Inserting clueless middlemen in this procedure can do a lot of harm and shed an unsavory light on what should be viewed as a public service.

David Fuentes

23 Sep 2022

There no “apostille Agent” designation. Don’t be mislead. The only one to provide an Apostille is the Secretary of State. The person who needs a Document apostilled should and could do it themselves, in person or via mail. The consulate of a foreign country does not apostille documents, they legalize the document.

YorDany Tabares

22 Oct 2022

I'm a certified apostille agent how can I do online apostille? Is there a certification for that as well or what platform can get to?

National Notary Association

10 Nov 2022

Hello. We're sorry, but we're not clear what you mean by "online apostille," can you please clarify? Typically, apostille service involve delivering a notarized document to the appropriate state agency that issues apostilles, so normally, performing this process online would not be possible.

Lynnette Iverson

13 Jan 2023

…and why does she think there are 52 states? That alone gives me pause to listen to anything being said here.

Bob will

26 Jan 2023

A question can a notary charge another notary for documents notarized.

National Notary Association

30 Jan 2023

Hello. If a person holding a Notary commission requests that you notarize their signature on a document, you may do so and charge a fee up to the maximum permitted by your state, as long as the request meets all requirements of your state's laws .

Jamie S. Blair

06 Mar 2023

What are some strategic ways to market yourself as an apostille agent? Would there be certain institutions or locations where individuals would be more apt to look for someone to carry out this task on their behalf? I know about good places to leave one's mobile notary business card; I'm referring to businesses or public places germaine to this particular service. Thank you!

America Blandon

13 Apr 2023

Hi. How could a Notary obtain Apostille letterheads for the different notarized documents that the notary issues and that will be used in another country? Thank you in advance.

National Notary Association

13 Apr 2023

Hello. Notaries are not authorized to issue apostilles; that must be done by the appropriate government agency.

Aida sanchez

06 May 2023

I’m a notary public for many years and like to become a certified apostille agent but I don’t know how or where to go. Thank you in advance.

National Notary Association

08 May 2023

Hello. We're sorry, but the NNA does not offer certification for apostille services.

15 May 2023

Thank you for sharing.

Obdulia Polimeni

10 Jun 2023

I am interested Apostille Certification.

Inderjit Sandhu

25 Jul 2023

I Would Like To Become A Document Apostille N Authentication Services Agent N Add This Services To My PAKMAIL Store In Bellevue,Washington. Could U Please Guide Me As To How I Can Apply For It.


12 Aug 2023

Thank you for this information, I just started my notary services and thinking to adding this services.


20 Sep 2023

I am trying to get documents in order to teach English in China. I know that China is joining the Hague Convention on November 7, 2023. Will China be required to accept an Apostille created before November 7th? My diploma will likely have an Apostille date of late October.

National Notary Association

26 Sep 2023

Hello. We would recommend you contact a Chinese consulate or embassy to ask if they will accept a document with an apostille.

Charl M Jones

28 Sep 2023

Very much interested in adding this Service. Please in form as to Maryland requirements.


20 Oct 2023

i am very interested in

Jessica carrillo

22 Jan 2024

Hi I would like to add apostille to my notary services, can you give information? Thank you

07 Feb 2024

How some of the notary's claim to get the documents apostilled in one or two days, if they are not located near SOS?

Deidra Marie Boyle

07 Mar 2024

Hello, do I need a certification to be an apostille? I am commissioned in Texas.

National Notary Association

11 Mar 2024

Hello. Notaries do not issue apostilles, they are issued by the appropriate state agency. You do not require a special certification to provide apostille-related document delivery services.

12 Mar 2024


National Notary Association

13 Mar 2024

Hello. There is no specific certification to perform document delivery services related to apostilles.

Judith Mitchell

12 Mar 2024

I would like to start offering the Apostille services. Where do I start?


03 Apr 2024

I would like to become an apostle and a apostle agent in Florida.

Imad Chaer

07 Apr 2024

Hello, If Apostille is not a regulated business by the state, so is it legal to charge customers fees for the service?

National Notary Association

08 Apr 2024

Hello. To help us answer your question, can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in?

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