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Secretary of State Apostille or SOS Apostille

US birth certificate apostille

An Apostille for the Secretary of State is a crucial authentication process that validates the signatures and seals on official documents issued by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State Apostille is often required when documents need to be presented in a foreign country for legal or business purposes

What is Apostille?

Apostille is a process of verifying the originality, Authenticity, and correctness of any public document issued in US or US associated departments or organizations. Any document with Apostille is accepted as a legal document in all 117 Hague Nation Countries.

Hague Nations are the countries which have come together to reduce the process of Authentication of any Public document. According to the Hague Nation if Any US issued document has an apostille there is no further verification required from the Embassy.

4 Easy steps to get US Apostille on the documents

  1. Register on Apostille Portal 
  2. Collect certificates that need US Apostille
  3. Deposit the photocopies / original certificates
  4. Receive Documents with Apostille directly at your doorstep

Why is Apostille Required?

Documents that have been issued in the US by any government organization or private organizations when they are being used in foreign country or being submitted to foreign embassy will need an Apostille. Foreign organizations are not sure that the documents that you are submitting to them are genuine or not, Hence in order to prove their authenticity foreign organizations will ask for Apostille.

Apostille will only to Genuine documents.

There are mainly 2 organizations that have authority to issue Apostille in US 

  1. Secretary of State – SOS
  2. US department of State – USDOS – Federal 

Depending on which Department issued the document the apostille will be done by that department.

List of the document that are issued by the state 

  • Birth Certificates
  • Marriage Certificates
  • Death Certificates
  • Divorce Decree
  • Single Status Affidavit
  • Background Checks (Local, State, FBI)
  • Power of Attorney
  • Copy of U.S. Passport
  • Copy of Driver License
  • Many more

Since the above documents are issued by the state apostille will be done by the state secretariat office Hence the name SOS apostille or state apostille or secretariat of state apostille.

Process of getting Secretariat of state apostille

There are 2 ways you can get apostille on the State issued document 

  1. Apostille on the original state issued document 
  2. Apostille on the Photocopy of the Document 

Below are the steps for Apostille on the Original State issued document 

  • You need to submit original State issued document 
  • State secretariat will check the details for correctness and if the corresponding entry is available in the registrar for the document then the document will be moved further to secretariat attestation department 
  • Attestation department will verify the documents and finally provide the SOS Apostille on the document.

Below are the steps for Apostille on the Original State issued document 

  • You need to submit original State issued document 
  • State secretariat will check the details for correctness and if the corresponding entry is available in the registrar for the document then the document will be moved further to secretariat attestation department 
  • Attestation department will verify the documents and finally provide the SOS Apostille on the document.

Below are the steps for apostille on Notary Attested State issued document

  • Present the photocopy of the original document along with the original document to Notary Public 
  • Notary Public will cross verify both the original and photocopy if both found to be correct Notary attestation will be provided 
  • Submit the Notary Attested copy to the State Secretariat office  
  • State secretariat will apostille the photocopy on the basis of notary public attestation 

Most Hague countries Accept both types of Apostille but however some countries mandate Apostille on the original document hence it is always advisable to verify with the authorities to whom you are submitting the document, whether they accept photocopy attested documents or not. 

If you are Submitting any state issued documents to countries other than that are mentioned in Hague nation list then the process is different and more complicated than that of Hague country apostille 

Below are the Process of attesting State issued documents for Non Hague Countries also known as Embassy Attestation

Step 1 – Notary attestation ( for photocopy documents only, original documents no need to go through this Attestation)

Step 2 – Apostille by state ( the state in which the document is issued will provide the state apostille on the document 

Step 3 – Authentication by the USDOS ( US department of state or federal government) also called as federal attestation

Step 4 – Embassy attestation – After all the above attestations are done, the document is submitted to the embassy of the target country and embassy attestation is obtained.

Note – In case of the Photocopy attestation Notary public attestation is mandatory for the photocopy some countries accept photocopy for embassy attestation check with the expert for the information.

For Federal documents you don’t need a State Apostille so you can skip step 2 for federal issued documents.

Suggestion – Some countries’ embassies accept direct submission after state apostille( Step 2)  for state issued documents such as US Marriage certificates.in this case you can skip the Step 3 USDOS Federal authentication this will save valuable time and cost.

This complete process of 4 steps is called the full legalization process. This will take 8-12 weeks and the cost verified depending on the document, state attestation, federal attestation and embassy time. Please check with Apostille experts for suggestions.

Apostille is a little complicated process and requires thorough knowledge about the complete process in order to suggest the best route to get apostille quickly. Speak to us or start the application form we will guide you throughout the apostille process.

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