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Authentication & Apostilles-What are They?

What is an Authentication?

An authentication of a notarized document can be done at a New York State County Clerk office to verify the NYS Notary Public commission.  A New York Notary may NOT do this! This must be completed by the New York county in which the Notary Public is commissioned only!

This service must be completed at the County Clerk office where the Notary is commissioned as a New York State Notary Public.  This information can be found on the New York Notary Public Stamp. It will state: "Qualified in XYZ County" or "County of Qualification: XYX".

At times a New York Notary may register their commission in a different New York County Clerk office if they are employed in that county and are commissioned in another county in New York State.

Some states like New York require two authorities to complete the certification. The document must me authenticated at the County Clerks office and then sent to the Department of State offices in Albany, NY or the regional office in New York City for the Authentication certificate.  While other states, like New Jersey are single authority states. The State level apostille is all that is need for the Hague Convention Treaty.


What is an Apostille?

An “Apostille” is a form of authentication issued to documents for use in countries which participate in the Hague Convention of 1961. An Apostille certificate is used as proof of authenticity among the member nation of the Hague.

Hague Convention countries have agreed to accept this certificate as proof that the document was notarized by an official in the participating county . Non-Hague Convention countries require Embassy legalization and the US Secretary of State legalization before the document will be acceptance in their nation.

The participating countries of the Hague Convention of 1961 are as follows:

What is the Hague Treaty?

The Hague Legalization Convention abolishes the need for diplomatic and consular legalization or authentication of public documents originating in one Hague country, for use in another Convention country. Instead, public documents bearing a certificate of apostille are recognized in any Convention country with no further authentication or legalization required.

Neither the Consulate General nor the Embassy is authorized to provide apostilles or assist in obtaining them.

The Convention simplifies the procedures which one has to follow in order to have a document originating in any country which is a party to the Convention legalized for use in any other country which is a party to the Convention.

When did the United States Join the Hague Convention

Effective October 15, 1981, the United States of America became a party to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. Finland is also a signatory to this Convention.

What is a Legalized Document?

If you have a document which  requires legalization, you should contact the competent local authority who will affix a certification and or apostille to your notarized document.

Nations Belonging to the Hague Treaty

Albania
Andorra
Antigua & Barbuda
Argentina
Armenia
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijian
Bahamas
Barbados
Belarus
Belgium
Belize
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Botswana
Brazil
Brunei
Bulgaria
Burundi
Cape Verde
Columbia
Chile
Cook Islands
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Dominica
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
El Salvador
Estonia
Fiji
Finland
France
Georgia
Germany
Greece
Grenada
Honduras
Hong Kong
Hungary
Iceland
India
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Japan
Kazakhstan
Kyrgyzstan
Kosovo
Latvia
Lesotho
Liberia
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Macau
Macedonia
Malawi
Malta
Marshall Islands
Mauritius
Mexico
Moldova
Monaco
Mongolia
Montenegro
Morocco
Namibia
Netherlands
New Zealand
Nicaragua
Niue
Norway
Oman
Pakistan
Panama
Peru
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Russia
Saint Kitts & Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent & The Grenadines
Samoa
San Marino
Sao Tome & Principe
Serbia
Seychelles
Slovakia
Slovenia
South Africa
South Korea
Spain
Suriname
Swaziland
Sweden
Switzerland
Tajikistan
Tonga
Trinidad & Tobago
Turkey
Ukraine
United Kingdom
United States
Uruguay
Uzbekistan
Vanuatu
Venezuela