What is an Apostille?

If you conduct foreign business, are moving to a foreign country, or moved here from a foreign country, you may need to authenticate certain documents before they will be accepted – enter an apostille.

You will need an apostille if you ever need a foreign country to recognize an official public document such as birth, adoption, marriage, or death certificates, a judgment, articles of incorporation, a diploma, a college transcript, or any other notarial attestation.

An apostille is a certificate that authenticates the origin of a public document.  It must be issued by the proper public official (often the secretary of state) in the jurisdiction in which it originated (was signed and notarized) for a foreign country to accept it.

Historically, apostilles have been sent to the foreign country by paper after going through that countries consulate in the US, which can be costly and cumbersome. Kansas is now the first state to successfully transfer an apostille eletronically (it went straight from the Kansas Secertary of State to Columbia).

In the future, other states may be able to provide this E-Apostille system. Now you know what an apostille is!

By: Kelley G. Shirk, Esq. Arnold & Arnold, LLP