If you’re looking for a firm that will focus on your individual needs, and always treat you like a client who matters, look no further. Our firm is large enough to offer a full range of professional services, but small enough to give you the individual attention that you deserve.
We will thoroughly and conscientiously study your personal situation, and tailor our advice to your specific needs.
I am a Certified Apostille Agent. As such, I am trained and equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to operate successfully obtain document authentication.
What is a Certified Apostille Agent?
A Certified Apostille Agent is a person trained and certified by the Apostille Agent Training Company to obtain correctly and promptly the required government authentications from the proper county, state, federal and embassy government authorities in the correct order for documents to be presented in foreign countries. The Agent knows what is required, where to go, what to do and how to correctly expedite the process as promptly as possible. As an agent, I am a private contractor and not a government employee. Please note that I am not a lawyer and cannot give legal advice.
The physical application of the required apostille/certification seal is placed by a U.S. Designated Competent Authority. As a Certified Apostille Agent, I perform serves as a professional fee paid agent for individuals, schools, corporations, etc. seeking signature authentications for documents that are destined for use in foreign countries. Apostilles generally are not needed nor approved for use inside the United States.
U.S. Citizens or residents:
- who are getting married or seeking employment in foreign countries
- students who are studying abroad
- companies that are conducting international business
- persons who are seeking dual citizenship
- graduates who want to use their U.S. degree or diploma in a foreign country
- anyone who needs to use U.S. documents in a foreign country
- anyone who needs to authenticate signatures on a Power of Attorney for use in a
- foreign country (example: to settle estates, provide dependent care, transact business, etc)
Who can obtain an Apostille?
Anyone who has the time and knowledge to go through the procedures may obtain an Apostille. There are certain rules to follow, agencies to contact, fees to agencies, and receiving the authenticated documents. Since anyone can do it, why hire me? You should hire me because I am trained and certified as an Apostille Agent. I can get the job done quicker and more efficiently. Some Apostilles can be processed within 24 to 48 hours.
How long does it take?
The actual time to complete an apostille depends on the complexity of the assignment, the destination country, the Competent Authority that needs to do the authentication, and whether the destination country is a member to The Hague Apostille Convention. Apostilles requiring legalization through an embassy will take longer. Some apostilles can be completed within 24 to 48 hours. Others may take several weeks.
What are the First Steps?
I will need to see a copy of the paper to be apostilled. Usually the document will need to be notarized. Vital Statistics must be certified copies, and must never be notarized. Divorce Decrees must be certified court copies. The divorce decree that your lawyer gave you USUALLY is not a certified court copy. Other documents usually need notarizations. I will perform notarizations at no additional cost to my clients if they are needed as part of the apostille process.
A notary public can help you to handle various business matters, including witnessing and authenticating document execution and signatures. We offer Notary Public services and are available when you need us. We can do e-notarizations but not web-based notarizations. The difference between the two is that in the case of the e-notarization, the signer(s) must be physically present with the Notary Public at the time of the notarization (the notarization is “wet” signed and the Notary’s seal is applied to a paper certificate), whereas the web-based notarization is distance-based where the signer is not present (the document is e-signed and an electronic seal is applied to the virtual document). Under current Florida law, only certain peace officers can perform web-based notarization.
- The document signer must personally appear before the Notary at the time of notarizations- not before and not after. A telephone call from the signer or the Notary’s familiarity with a signature is not a personal appearance
- The Notary must identify the signer through (1) Personal knowledge of the Notary Public (not a casual acquaintance) (2) vouching by two personally known, reliable, uninvolved witnesses who will be placed under oath to identify the signer, or (3) current government-issued ID card that has a picture, signature, and physical description of the signer. It must also have the issue date and expiration date clearly indicated. The ID must be current.
- The Notary must be impartial and disinterested and must not notarize a document bearing the Notary’s name or signature, or that of the Notary’s spouse or relative, or any document that will in any way benefit the Notary now or possibly in the future.
- The Notary should make a record of each notarization and require the signer to affix his or her signature and, if necessary, a thumbprint in his or her official journal of notarial acts.
- The Notary must hold the document that will be notarized in hand and visually scan the document to note unfilled blanks, and glean certain information (title, name of signer(s), number of pages, etc.) for recording in the journal of notarial acts.
- The Notary must not certify a copy of a birth certificate or other vital record of a recordable document such as a deed. Copies of these documents must be issued by the appropriate public records custodian.
- Unless the Notary is licensed under the Bar of the State of Florida, he or she must not give legal advice, nor can the notary provide Immigration advice unless legally authorized to do so. This also means that the notary may not suggest a form to use. The client must provide the correct form, or tell the Notary which form to use.
- A relatively “new” type of notarization is “on-line notary” of “Remote On-line Notary” or RON, recently approved in Florida in January 2020. Please ask if this service would be of benefit to you.