USA Apostilles: Authentications, Legalizations and Certifications:
Document requirements differ from country to country. The validity of certain documents can be dependent on local and regional rules and different from country to country. Sometimes records and documents are needed in one country from another. With so many standards in effect there needed to be a uniform way to exchange documents from country to country that were recognized as valid documents. In 1961 The Hague Conference on Private International Law established the Apostille. An Apostille is an authentication certification or a stamp. It is designed for use among nations that participate in the Hague Convention. These joint regions are called signatory countries as formed by the Hague Conference on Private International Law.
Apostilles pertain to public documents and private documents sworn or verified to. Primary examples of public instruments are marriage, birth and death certificates as well as court documents, patents and even diplomas.
The United States of America is a signatory to the Hague Convention and has been since October of 1981. Apostille is a French and meaning certificate. It is a uniform condensed and simplified mutually agreed upon document usable and accepted by these convention nations. Apostille seal proves validity and original signature source.