What is an Apostille?
Translated from French “Apostille” literary means “certification.” The purpose of Apostille is to authenticate the origin of a public document issued by a public authority (such as birth or death certificates, court orders, marriage certificates, etc.) intended for use in the countries that are members of the Hague Apostille Convention. If your public document will be used in a country that is not a member of the Hague Apostille Convention, it will require a different type of authentication called Certification.
What are the effects of an apostille?
An Apostille or Certification on a document does not attest to the validity or the content of the document itself (with rare exceptions). An apostille only certifies the authenticity of the signature of the person and/or a seal of the authority that signed and sealed the public document and the capacity in which it was done.
What is the Hague Convention?
The Hague Convention of 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization of Foreign Public Documents was created to facilitate the use of public documents abroad. The Hague Apostille Convention simplifies the authentication process of public documents to be used by the member countries of the 1961 Hague Convention. The United States joined this treaty on Oct. 15, 1981. Only those nations participating in the Hague Apostille Convention recognize the Apostille certification.
How do I find out if the country where I need to send the documents is a member of the Hague Apostille Convention?
You can find up-to-date information on a list of member countries of the Hague Apostille Convention at the official site of the Hague Conference here.
If you need help with determining your country’s standing with the Hague Apostille Treaty, you can also contact us at our Contact us page.
Do all apostilles look identical?
No. Different states can have their own apostille forms which vary in format, design, size, color, and in any additional elements.
I was instructed to get my document authenticated. What is authentication?
Authentication is a legitimate way to attest that a signature on a document is certified.
What documents can be apostilled/authenticated?
Generally, any document issued within recent years (this varies by state) can be apostilled/authenticated. Below are some examples of documents signed by the following officials and that are commonly apostilled:
• County Clerks
• State Officials
• Notaries Public
The examples of Personal Documents that can be authenticated are:
• Birth Certificates, Marriage and Death Certificates
• Marriage Licenses
• Divorce agreements and Decree
• Certificate of Naturalization
• Adoption papers
The examples of Business and Corporate Documents are:
• Articles and Certificate of Incorporation
• Power of Attorney
• Various Company Authorization letters
• Sale Certificates
• Business Letter of Invitation
You can view the complete list of documents suitable for Apostille/Authentication here.
Can Multichoice Apostille help me with obtaining certified copies of documents?
Yes, we can provide assistance with ordering certified copies of documents, if it is permitted. You can also request your vital records, such as certificates of birth, marriage, divorce, or death from most U.S. states on Vitalchek
and list our office address for the certified copies delivery. Note that not all states allow shipping vital records to a third party. If you are a resident of one of those states, you will need to indicate your mailing address and then forward the documents to our office after you receive them.
My U.S. birth certificate needs legalization. What are my steps to legalize it?
If a birth certificate was issued by an official state authority in the state of birth (the Department of vital records, State Registrar, etc.) and bears an official seal, usually no additional certification is needed (although, there are some exceptions to this rule). We advise you, however, to email us a scanned copy of the front and back of your certificate for initial review before you send us your original document. We will check your certificate to make sure it has all proper signatures and seals. For more detailed information and instructions on how to make your birth certificate legal in a foreign country, please visit our Our Services
After I submitted my documents, how long will it take for them to be processed and returned to me?
The processing time is generally determined by the type of document, by its state of issue, and the country where this document will be used. We begin processing your documents as soon as we receive them. If your documents meet all the requirements for legalization (have proper seals and signatures, etc.), the processing starts immediately. In some cases, when the documents require additional certification, the process may take longer. It will be easier to determine your exact processing time if you contact us
in advance and we can preliminary review your scanned documents before the originals are mailed to our office for processing.
Can my document get rejected for an apostille/authentication?
Yes, there is a possibility that a document may get rejected for a variety of reasons. That’s why Multichoice Apostille always does due diligence to ensure that your documents have all the required proper signatures and/or are properly notarized. We will contact you right away if our review reveals errors made by a notary public, or we find out that your documents need additional certification or translation from a foreign language, or that they are issued in another country and are intended for use in the US. Please, contact us
before mailing your originals, so that we can review your documents first.
Can you provide translation for my documents to another language and then authenticate/apostille them?
Multichoice Apostille partners with companies and individuals providing notarized and certified translation services. If you are interested in receiving a translation quote please let us know. We will confirm if we can provide a qualified translator based on your target language.
Do you provide a medallion signature guarantee service?
We don’t provide this service. Medallion signature guarantee is a special seal used when you transfer securities and can only be provided by financial institutions.
Can you help me to get the FBI background check authenticated?
You should first contact the FBI and request your Background check directly through FBI website. As soon as you receive the letter from the FBI, please proceed with the instructions on Our Services
I need to add a page to a document that already has been attested to the Apostille certificate. Can I remove the apostille, add the page and reattach the apostille certificate?
No. You should not remove the authentication or apostille certificate once it's been attached. Removal will null the apostille/certificate. If you need to add any pages to your document, please mail all the necessary pages to us and we will process it accordingly.
How much do you charge for your services?
You can view our rates here
What are your Terms and Conditions?
Please review our Terms and Conditions here.
I realized I don’t need an apostille and would like to cancel my order. How can I do it?
Any cancellation requests should be done in writing (by fax or email). If we have not started processing your document, you will receive a 100% refund except for the shipping costs if we ship your documents back to you. If you need to cancel the order after we have begun the process, we will not be able to issue any refunds or could offer you a partial refund (depending on services you have requested). Please read our Terms and Conditions here for further details.
I want a refund. How can I get one?
Your fees will be refunded only if:
1. You send us your cancellation request in writing (by fax or email) before we begin processing your documents. In this case, you will receive a full refund with the exception of the shipping costs to return your documents back to you.
2. If your document is rejected an apostille as a result of our error.