Apostille: What is it & Why?
What is an Apostille?
In a Nutshell: When you sign a document before a Notary Public, the Notary confirms your identity. Easy. But what if the Notary Public is a fraud? That’s where the Apostille comes in. It confirms the Notary is legitimate. The Notary confirms the Signer, the Apostille confirms the Notary. That’s it.
Why do I need one?
To prevent fraud by ensuring that the notary who confirmed your signature is really a notary and registered with the government.
What documents require an Apostille?
1) Any document signed before a notary public such as a power of attorney, an affidavit, a contract, a property deed, a lease, an application for a patent or for a pension, etc.
2) Any document issued by a government such as a birth, death, marriage, adoption or divorce certificate, university degree, transcripts, articles of incorporation, copy of a passport, etc.
How does this document prevents fraud?
A notary public, and a person who signs government documents, have their name and signature on file with their government. In the USA, it’s with the Secretary of State in the respective state. This is also the office that issues Apostilles. They take the original document and check to be sure that the signature of the Notary, or government-document signer, matches the signature they have on file. If so, they staple an Apostille to it.
That’s it. This paper simply confirms that notaries, and government-document signers, are legitimate. Once the Apostille is attached, the document can be used in foreign countries.
How much does an Apostille Cost?
For the USA, and most of Europe, they’re about 50€ ($55.). Online services charge about 125€ ($135.). For some countries, however, they’re very expensive and hard to get. Need help with one? Email me at, Mark Carr, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Apostille from Iowa, USA