California Secretary of State Apostille

In California, the only government agency allowed to affix an Apostille on a document is the California Secretary of State.

The California Secretary of State authenticates signatures only on documents issued in the State of California signed by a notary public or the following public officials and their deputies:

  • County Clerks or Recorders
  • Court Administrators of the Superior Court
  • Executive Clerks of the Superior Court
  • Officers whose authority is not limited to any particular county
  • Executive Officers of the Superior Court
  • Judges of the Superior Court
  • State Officials

The process of obtaining an Apostille can be complex, time-consuming, and challenging.

You have two choices on how to get a California Apostille.
1. You can do it yourself.
2. You can hire a professional California Apostille Service Agent and consider it done!

Not every document qualifies for an Apostille. Common reasons why an Apostille may be rejected by the California Secretary of State in Los Angeles are:

1. Document not originated from the State of California.
2. Document not signed by the County Clerk.
3. Document signed by a Health Officer (Medical Doctor).
4. Improper notarization – missing signature, seal, proper notarial wording, errors, etc…
5. Not having an original certificate (birth, death, marriage, divorce, etc..) Certified copies are okay.  Black and white copies are not acceptable.
6. Destination county is not a member of the Apostille Convention.
7. Original document is outdated and the signature cannot be verified.
8. Deputy clerk from the California Superior Court forgets to print his/her name next to his/her signature.

You can take the guesswork out of obtaining a California Apostille because we have years of knowledge and experience processing documents directly through the California Secretary of State’s Office in Los Angeles. We’ve provided Apostille service to hundreds of clients and authenticated thousands of documents at the state and county level.  You don’t have to drive to any of the county / state offices and wait in line for hours because we can do the work for you.

We do charge a professional service fee for our Apostille service which covers the cost of our time (3-4 hours) for waiting at the Los Angeles Secretary of State’s office, traveling to the office in Downtown Los Angeles, parking fee, Apostille fee, authentication fee, and overnight shipping fee (FedEx or UPS).  We also provide complimentary pick-up and notarization of your documents if you are local (Up to three signatures notarized for each Apostille).  Notary Los Angeles

We also provide document authentication service from the Los Angeles County Clerk’s Office in Norwalk, CA.  This service is commonly referred as an “Exemplification”.  Birth Certificates and Death Certificates issued by the Los Angeles Health Department and signed by a Medical Doctor do not qualify for an Apostille.  Please call us to review your documents over the phone before you mail them in.  We do charge a service fee in addition to the Apostille fee to authenticate documents through the Los Angeles County Clerk’s office in Norwalk, CA.

Apostilles can be complicated. Don’t leave this process to untrained employees or non-professionals who do not fully understand the California Apostille process and the unique requirements of certain countries. Your paperwork could be rejected costing you time and money. Don’t let this happen to you!

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