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Apostille is a French word, which means a certification.
What is an Apostille?
Often one needs copies of notarized documentation to utilize them in the international arena. However, most states do not recognize simple certified copies.
It is often difficult to obtain notarized documents according to the laws and regulation in a foreign country. Consequently, there is an international treaty, called the Hague Convention on the Legalization Convention the Authentication Act.
Some believe that an American Public Notary is capable of notarizing documents. This, however, is not the case. According to the requirements, nearly anyone can become a Public Notary. In the United States a law degree is not necessary to become a Public Notary!
With regard to the notarization of documents, an Apostille can be submitted.
An Apostille is the simplified form confirming the legality of a document that is used for the purpose of an application in a foreign country, or as the case may be in Germany, where the authenticity of a signature is confirmed through a domestic accredited agency, without the assistance of a Consulate.
When do you need a Apostille?
Documents issued in one country which need to be used in another country must be "authenticated" or "legalized" before they can be recognized as being valid in the foreign country. This is a process in which various seals are placed on the document. Examples of documents are: powers of attorney, affidavits, birth, death and marriages records, incorporation papers, deeds, patent applications, home studies and other legal papers.