What to Know About the Florida Apostille Process
Paperwork makes most people cringe, and when it’s government paperwork, that feeling only gets worse. If you’re dealing with public paperwork that crosses an international border, it adds even more complications to the mix, and one of those complications may be an apostille.
If you’re not familiar, an apostille is a certification that verifies that the notary who notarized your document held a valid notary commission at the time of the signing. It’s a way to authenticate that your notarized document is valid.
As your friendly Florida notary service, we’re here to help you understand the Florida apostille process and make it simpler for you.
What Is the Florida Apostille Process?
Florida has a rather straightforward process for obtaining an apostille. Follow these simple steps:
1. Get your document notarized either in person or through remote online notarization.
2. Complete the Florida apostille request form.
3. Pay the apostille fee, which is currently $10 per document in most cases or $20 per document in select circumstances.
4. Submit the request to the Florida Department of State’s Division of Corporations.
5. The Florida Department of State will complete the request and send you your document with the apostille attached.
When Might You Need an Apostille?
How do you know if you need an apostille for your document? In many cases, the party who is receiving the document will tell you.
Apostilles are used for sending public documents to other countries. Specifically, an apostille is required if you’re sending public documents to a country that is in the Hague Apostille Convention of 1961 treaty. These countries agreed to a unified notarization authentication process to simplify sending documents internationally.
To send documents to countries that aren’t part of this treaty, you’ll typically need several authentication certificates, including certificates from the notary commission, the US Department of State, and the consul of the receiving country, as well as possibly another specified government official in the receiving country.
Top Dos and Don’ts for Florida Apostille Requests
As with any government process, you want to make sure you check all the boxes when you send your apostille request. Follow these dos and don’ts.
● Don’t send a photocopy of your document when submitting your apostille request. It must be the original notarized document.
● Do make sure the receiving country requires an apostille rather than authentication certificates so you don’t lose time following the incorrect process.
● Don’t assume your notary will take care of your apostille. An apostille must be requested by you, the person who needs the document, not by the notary.
● Do ensure Florida is the appropriate state to provide your apostille. If your document was issued in another state or was signed by a notary in another state, you need to submit your apostille request to that state instead.
Taking Care of Your Documentation Needs
If you have a document that needs a notarization and an apostille, we’re the perfect place to begin. Our team of skilled notaries can take care of your Florida notarization needs with the utmost convenience and professionalism.
Brittney T. Palmer
Notary Public, State of Florida