Is an apostille the same as a notary?
Many people often ask this question, "Is an apostille the same as a notary?". The answer is no. They are two different acts taken on a document. Each act is also used for different situations. First lets start with a notary or notarization. Getting a document notarized means that the document has been certified by a notary public. The notary public verifies the identities of everyone signing the document and also witnesses the signing. The notary public marks the document with a stamp or seal. The notary process is someone signing a document in front of a notary public and the notary public verifies the identity of those signing. Documents that are notarized are usually used in the US.
Next is an apostille. An apostille is a separate authentication process that is done by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State verifies the signatures of officials that have signed documents. An apostille is a certificate, issued by the Secretary of State that is attached to your original document to verify it is legitimate and authentic so it will be accepted in other countries. Documents that require an apostille will usually be used in other countries.
A notary is the process of verifying and witnessing a document being signed. The notarized document will usually be used in the US. The apostille is a certificate issued by a Secretary of State that authenticates the document for use outside the US.
Some documents may need both a notary and an apostille and other documents may only need one. Always check with the requesting entity to confirm what your document needs.