Getting an Apostille: Step by Step Process

The situation may require you to secure an apostille to legalize your important documents. This can be a problem if you don't know how to go about with the process. Hence, it pays to have basic information on how to acquire such legal service, even before it is needed.


There will always be notary and authentication services everywhere. In fact, apostilles are even available online. The initial step you need to do is to send the notarized papers for Apostilles:

  • Birth or death records - send to the Department of Health o Passport - You can check at your State department website to know where you can get one.

  • Marriage certificate - send to the country office where you were married with your spouse.

Charge for authentication certificate costs $5.00 each. Make sure that you will have the correct name where payment will be made. Often times, this will be the Secretary of State.

For mailing instruction for online order, use the authentication Request Form when the request for authentication was done by mail. The request must state the document's country of designation. You need to send the application fee together with the certified or notarized documents. The document will be sent back to you using the address stated on the check unless you have provided a specific instruction that this has to be sent somewhere else or you have provided a return envelope. You can include USPS Priority Mail. FedEx or UPS label if you opt for a mail tracking service. You must also provide a pre-paid aid bill. However, if you do not use a prepaid service, the apostille service provider will mail your documents using Postal Service regular mail. Sometimes, they will not as any charge for this.

You may also avail of an apostille service in person. Just check the provider's time for processing requests, usually, this is at 8:00 am to 4:00 pm during weekdays, except holidays. Go to their office early, most preferably before 3:30 pm to make sure that your authentication can be processed within the day. Hence, you can just wait for the document. Usually, there is no need to schedule an appointment since these offices serve their clients on a "first come first serve" basis. You will need to pay for their service in person as well. You can pay by check, cash, money order or major credit cards like Discover, MasterCard, and Visa.

Availing for apostille services is not an ordinary daily transaction. For personal use, this is not something that you do every day. However, it pays to learn what this is and how to avail such in case you will need it in the future. If you wouldn't need this, at least you will have the chance to help a friend who may need it one of these days. If living in Los Angeles, start looking where you can avail of apostille services in Los Angeles. The apostille Los Angeles can be everywhere in the city but it pays to know where you can avail the best service.

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