Florida Apostille & Federal Authentication Services: Delivering Simple Worldwide Solutions
Local Expertise, Global Reach: Your Florida-Focused Apostille Solution
We specialize in providing fast, accurate Florida apostilles, federal document authentications, and embassy legalizations right from the Sunshine State. Our deep understanding of Florida-specific requirements sets us apart from out-of-state services. Whether your needs are local or international, count on us for reliable, seamless service.
Scaled for Success, Personalized for You: The Neighborly Touch
You’re not just another case number here; you’re a valued neighbor. We offer one-on-one guidance and real-time phone support to guide you effortlessly through the complexities of apostille procedures. Our tailored, Florida-focused approach provides both assurance and comfort, ensuring your success every step of the way.
Introducing Our Complimentary Document Inspection Service
Confused about the apostille process or the proper notarization of your documents? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Introducing our Complimentary Document Inspection Service, specifically designed to help you navigate through the complexities. We aim to pinpoint the right procedures for you and identify any errors or omissions in your documents, all without any financial obligation on your part.
Just upload your documents through our specialized portal, and we will promptly send you an email detailing your next steps, or outlining any necessary corrections that should be made.
Transparent Pricing for Florida Apostille Services
In contrast to some national firms, we’re dedicated to offering clear and upfront pricing options. With a range of service speeds to suit your timeline and budget, we make it easy for you to know exactly what you’re paying for. Explore our straightforward pricing plans, tailored to meet your specific needs. Click here to see pricing displayed in table format.
RUSH2-3 Business Days
$75 for Each Additional Document
Government Fees Included
Complimentary U.S. Return Shipping via FedEx
FAST< 10 Business Days
$50 for Each Additional Document
Government Fees Included
Complimentary U.S. Return Shipping via FedEx
STANDARD< 20 Business Days
$40 for Each Additional Document
Government Fees Included
Complimentary U.S. Return Shipping via FedEx
Pricing for U.S. Department of State Apostilles and Authentications
Federal Documentsand Non-Hague Countries 11-13 Weeks
Additional Documents are $75 Each
Government Fees Included
Optional Embassy Legalization
Free FedEx Return Shipping to the U.S.
International Shipping Available
FBI Background CheckRUSH 3-4 Business Day Service
Additional Documents are $95 Each
Gov't Fees Included
New Expedited Service
Free FedEx Return Shipping to the U.S.
International Shipping Available
Timing Update: As of September 2023, the U.S. Department of State requires an 11 to 13-week processing timeframe for apostille services. Embassy legalization will need extra time. To ensure you meet your deadlines, we recommend starting as soon as possible. On a positive note, our new expedited service can apostille your FBI background checks in just days.
Paper or Electronic Documents: We've Got You Covered
For over a decade, we’ve been your trusted provider of efficient Florida apostille services. Whether you need to apostille traditional paper documents or documents notarized online, our certified notaries ensure your documents are accurately notarized and accepted by the Florida Department of State, promising a hassle-free process and timely results.
Expanding Global Access with Remote Online Notarization
In an increasingly digital world, the need for remote solutions is more prevalent than ever. Recognizing this, we have extended our offerings to include remote online notarization services for clients both within the U.S and internationally. No matter where you are, our certified online notaries can ensure your documents are correctly notarized, facilitating acceptance by the Florida Department of State or other relevant entities. Our mission is to make this process as accessible and straightforward as possible, no matter your location, giving you the confidence that your documents are handled with accuracy and timeliness.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
A Florida Apostille serves as an official certification provided by the Florida Department of State. It validates the authenticity of the seals and signatures on a document that's meant for use outside the U.S., specifically in countries that are signatories of the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. Think of it as a seal of international credibility.
Regular documents may not be immediately recognized or deemed valid outside of their country of origin. An apostille acts as a bridge, ensuring that these documents are legally recognized in member countries of the Hague Convention.
No, the State of Florida only issues physical apostilles. Thus, a certificate will always be attached to your document, giving it a tangible mark of authenticity. However, for your convenience, we can provide scans of the apostille for your records. Please note that these scans are not considered official apostilles, but can be useful for reference or record-keeping purposes.
The Florida Department of State provides apostilles for:
Notarized Paper Documents: Original documents with a wet signature that have been notarized by a licensed Florida notary public, accompanied by the notary's stamp.
Online Notarizations: Documents notarized online by a certified Florida remote online notary (RON).
State-Issued Certificates: Certified documents issued either by the State of Florida or county governments within Florida. This includes items like birth and death certificates, articles of incorporation, annual reports, divorce decrees, and single status affidavits, to name a few.
Remember, the purpose of the apostille is to simplify international document recognition. If your document doesn’t fit these categories, it might require alternative authentication processes. Always consult with a professional when preparing documents for international use.
The cost of obtaining a Florida Apostille can vary. For the most accurate and up-to-date pricing, please refer to the pricing section on our website. We ensure transparency in our pricing and aim to offer the best value to our clients.
We pride ourselves on our transparent and fair pricing structure. Unlike some non-Florida companies, which might employ bait-and-switch tactics through misleading advertisements, we always ensure that what you see is what you get. Our commitment is not just to offer competitive pricing but also to maintain a level of trust and transparency with our clients. When you choose us, you're choosing honesty, clarity, and dedication to your needs.
We advise all our clients to be vigilant and to always compare not just the prices but the value and integrity behind them. If you have any further queries or need clarity on any aspect, please don't hesitate to reach out. We're here to help!
After you place your order, the process is straightforward:
Invoice Receipt: We will send you a detailed invoice directly to your email.
- Credit/Debit Card: Simply follow the instructions in the invoice to pay using your credit or debit card.
- ACH: If you prefer to pay directly from your checking account, you can also utilize the Automated Clearing House (ACH) payment method outlined in the invoice.
Certainly, Florida provides the opportunity to apostille a wide range of documents with specific guidelines:
Document Versatility: While most documents can be notarized by a licensed Florida notary and subsequently apostilled in Florida, there are particular nuances to consider. For instance, if you have a document from another part of the U.S. or certain international documents currently in the U.S., they can, in many cases, be apostilled in Florida.
Authentication for International Use: An apostille serves as a globally recognized seal of validation for countries participating in the Hague Apostille Convention.
County Records: County recordable records can receive an apostille, but they cannot be notarized. If you need to apostille such a document, you must obtain a certified original.
Vital Records: Only vital records (like birth and death certificates) issued in Florida can be apostilled in Florida. If you have vital records from another state, they must be apostilled in the state where they were originally issued.
The distinction lies in their participation and acceptance of the 1961 Hague Convention's standards on international document verification:
- These are countries that have joined the 1961 Hague Convention. As participants, they have streamlined the document authentication process by mutually recognizing an "apostille" as the sole certification required for a document's acceptance within their borders.
- For documents originating from a U.S. state, the apostille is typically issued by the Secretary of State of that state.
Countries that haven't become signatories to the 1961 Hague Convention don't adhere to the streamlined apostille process. Here's what you need to know:
Traditional Authentication: Non-Hague countries don't recognize the apostille as the singular authentication method. They typically demand a more layered and often prolonged chain of authentication or legalization.
U.S. Department of State and Embassy Legalization: For documents originating from the U.S., the authentication process usually begins with the U.S. Department of State. Following this, the document requires further legalization by the respective country's embassy or consulate in the U.S.
When dealing with non-Hague countries, it's crucial to be prepared for a more intricate authentication process. Always ensure you're familiar with the specific requirements of the intended recipient country to guarantee document acceptance.
Absolutely. Authenticating documents for Non-Hague countries involves a more extensive procedure compared to the straightforward apostille method for Hague countries. Here’s a breakdown of the typical 4-step process you'll need to follow:
Notarization: Your document must first be correctly notarized. It’s essential that the notary public follows all state-specific requirements.
Secretary of State Authentication: Once notarized, the document then needs to be authenticated by the Secretary of State from the state of origination.
U.S. Department of State Authentication: After this state-level verification, the document moves to the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC for further authentication.
Embassy/Consulate Legalization: The final step involves having the document legalized at the embassy or consulate of the country where the document is intended to be used.
Note: Regrettably, the U.S. Department of State authentication cannot be expedited. As of March 2023, the processing time averages between 10-14 weeks. It’s crucial to factor in this duration when planning, to ensure timely document acceptance in your destination country.
Our team is equipped to guide you through this multi-step process, ensuring that your documents meet all necessary requirements for acceptance in Non-Hague countries. Always stay informed and proactive to guarantee a smooth authentication journey.
The word "apostille" is pronounced as "Ahh Poh Steel." Originating from French, "apostille" directly translates to "Certification." It refers to a specific form of authentication used for documents that are to be recognized in foreign countries, especially those participating in the 1961 Hague Convention.
So, when you come across the term "apostille," remember you're essentially referring to an official certification that authenticates a document for international use.
No, an apostille's primary purpose is to authenticate a document for acceptance in foreign countries, particularly those participating in the 1961 Hague Convention. If your document is for use within the U.S., you do not need an apostille.
Remember, always ensure the intended purpose and destination of your document to determine the correct authentication method. For domestic purposes within the U.S., standard notarization or other state-specific verifications are usually sufficient.
Although benefit verification letters from the Social Security Administration are federal documents, they stand as an exception to the typical federal apostille requirement. Instead, the recommended approach is:
- Attach the letter to a notarized true copy affidavit.
- Process the attached document through the Florida Department of State to secure an apostille.
Managing this unique process might seem challenging, but we're here to guide you every step of the way. For more detailed information, consider exploring our blog post on the topic.
Certainly! We can ship your Florida apostilled documents back to you, whether you're located in the United States or anywhere around the globe. For international shipping, we use FedEx Priority International and DHL Express International to ensure timely delivery.
However, please note that carriers are currently not shipping to Russia, Ukraine, or Belarus.
For domestic shipping within the U.S., you have the option to choose between FedEx Express Overnight or FedEx 2-Day service, based on your preferences and urgency. We're committed to providing shipping solutions that align with your needs and schedule.
You have flexibility when it comes to return shipping of your apostilled documents. Here's what you need to know:
Use Your Own Prepaid Label: If you prefer, you're welcome to use your own prepaid shipping label.
Our Shipping Service: If you'd like us to handle your shipping, we'll include the cost of FedEx or DHL on your invoice and promptly provide you with a tracking number.
FedEx vs. DHL:
- FedEx: Although more expensive, FedEx offers evening pickups, allowing your documents to be shipped the same day we receive them from the Department of State.
- DHL: Generally considered the least expensive option and renowned in international document shipping, DHL won't accept shipments after 2 pm ET. This means your documents may be delayed by an additional business day compared to FedEx.
Regardless of your choice between FedEx and DHL, rest assured that both carriers are reliable and will ensure your documents arrive safely.
- Domestic Return Shipping: Within the U.S., you can opt for FedEx Express Overnight or FedEx 2-Day service.
We strive to offer versatile shipping options to suit your needs and budget. Feel free to consult with us to decide the best shipping method for your situation.
Regrettably, if you wish to obtain a Florida apostille for notarized documents, the notarization must originate from a Florida notary public. This requirement is why many of our customers take advantage of our remote online notarization (RON) service.
For instance, if you reside in California and urgently need a copy of your passport notarized and apostilled, Florida Document Specialists can notarize your document online and instantly start the apostille process without the need to FedEx anything. You'll have your notarized and apostilled passport copy in just a few days.
If you've already signed and notarized your documents outside Florida, you might want to consider having them re-notarized within the state. If the nature of the documents allows, we can remove the previous signatures and out-of-state notary seals, and you can re-sign them with one of our friendly online notaries. This “work-around” has assisted many customers in saving time, money, and alleviating frustration. It's an option worth considering if you find yourself in this situation.
Absolutely! Assisting with the apostille of birth certificates, passports, and Single Status Certificates for destination weddings is one of our most popular requests. We understand that planning a wedding is already filled with excitement and anticipation, so let us take care of these essential details for you.
The "Single Status Certificate" is a document that verifies you are not currently married, making it a requirement for many destination weddings. We can guide you through the process of obtaining and apostilling all of these documents to ensure they meet the standards of the country where your wedding will take place.
You can trust us to manage this part of your journey so that you can focus on the joyous occasion ahead. Feel free to reach out to us, and congratulations on your upcoming wedding!
No, you absolutely should not attempt to remove the staple from the apostille cover sheet. Once an apostille cover sheet is affixed to a document, it is meant to remain there permanently. Removing or tampering with the staple is unlawful, and such action can result in the invalidation of the apostille.
Many foreign authorities conduct meticulous inspections of the documents, looking for any signs of alteration, including evidence of double staple holes. If these are detected, your document may be rejected, leading to unnecessary delays and complications.
The message is clear: Don’t mess with the staple! If you have concerns or require further assistance, we are always here to guide you through the proper procedures.
No, an apostille cover sheet itself does not have an expiration date. However, it's worth noting that some foreign authorities may reject a document if they consider the apostille to be too old. This can be subjective and dependent on the specific requirements of the country where the document is being used.
To avoid any potential issues, it is recommended to use your apostilled documents as soon as possible. If you have concerns or anticipate delays, it would be prudent to consult with the relevant foreign authorities or contact us for guidance. We are well-versed in the intricacies of international document recognition and can help ensure that your apostilled documents are accepted without issue.
Local Expertise: As a Florida corporation with offices in Tallahassee and Daytona Beach, we understand the unique requirements of the Sunshine State, ensuring personalized and attentive customer service.
Quality Service: We take immense pride in offering fantastic work for our clients, ensuring that every detail is handled with precision and care.
Accessible Support: We provide real phone support during business hours and live chat support on our website, offering immediate assistance to your inquiries.
Pre-Screening Review: Our pre-screening review of documents helps identify common mistakes before payment, saving both time and money and minimizing the risk of rejection.
Specialized Focus: We specialize in Florida apostilles and documents requiring U.S. Department of State authentication and embassy legalization.
Accredited and Rated: We are the only Florida apostille service that is accredited and holds an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Proven Experience: Our family-owned business has been serving clients since 2014, reflecting our longevity and commitment to excellence.
Awards and Recognition: Our apostille coordinator was honored as the 2021 Notary of the Year by the National Notary Association.
In-House Notaries: With certified, Florida remote online notaries on staff, we can swiftly assist with your notarization needs.
Ethical Conduct: Our team operates by a code of ethics, ensuring the highest level of professionalism and integrity.
Fair and Transparent Pricing: Our fee structure is designed to be affordable and transparent, without the misleading bait-and-switch tactics sometimes found elsewhere.
By choosing Florida Document Specialists, you are entrusting your vital documents to a reputable and experienced team that prioritizes your satisfaction. Your peace of mind is our top priority, and we're here to make the process as seamless as possible. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions or concerns, and let's get started on your apostille needs today!
A wide variety of documents may require a Florida apostille, depending on the purpose and the country where they are intended to be used. Here's a comprehensive list:
- Power of Attorney
- Secretary Certificates
- Florida Articles of Incorporation
- Florida Certificate of Formation
- Florida Certificate of Good Standing
- Florida LLC or Corporate Certificate of Status
- LLC Articles of Organization
- Certificates of Origin
- Hiring Documents
- Company Invoices
- Identity Documents of Corporate Executives (Passport, Driver License)
- ISO Certificate
- Other Business Documents
- Social Security Benefit Verification Letters
- Documents for Destination Weddings
- Teaching Certificates (Educator Certificates)
- Final Judgements
- Passport Copies
- Driver License Copies
- FDLE Criminal History Background Checks
- FBI Criminal Background Checks
- Divorce Decrees
- Affidavit of Single Status
- Adoption Documents
- Marriage Certificate/License
- Florida Birth Certificates
- Florida Death Certificates
- Naturalization Certificate
- Car Titles
- Authorization Letter
- Statements – Bank/Utilities
- Consent to Travel for a Minor Child
- Official Records
- Other Personal Documents
- School Transcripts and Diplomas for Florida Public Schools
- School Transcripts and Diplomas for Florida Private Schools
- College Diplomas and Certificates
- High School Records
- Report Cards
- Teaching Certificate
- Other School Records
These documents encompass a broad range of purposes, from legal and business matters to personal affairs and education. If you are dealing with a document not listed here and need clarification on whether it can be apostilled, it's always a good idea to consult with a professional apostille service provider, like Florida Document Specialists, who can guide you through the process based on the specific requirements of your destination country.
The standard processing time for a Florida apostille is around 30 days if you send orders directly to the Florida Department of State. However, if you need your documents more quickly, we offer various tiers of service to suit your needs. Our expedited services can process your apostille and have it on the way back to you in just 2-3 business days. We also offer more budget-friendly options with processing times of 10 days and 20 days.
No, you must obtain an apostille from the state where the document was issued for vital records or recordable documents. Each state has its own procedures for apostille services.
However, properly notarized documents by a Florida notary can be apostilled in Florida, even if the document is from another state. This does not apply to vital records or recordable documents.
We are expanding our apostille services to other states. Please inquire if we service the state that you need.
Yes, you can submit your documents in person at the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations office in Tallahassee. If you are seeking apostille services, presenting your documents directly to the office can be an option for you. However, keep in mind that there may still be specific requirements and processing times to consider.
Florida accepts foreign language documents for apostille as long as the notarization itself is conducted in English. If the notarial language is not in English, the document must be translated, and the translation properly notarized.
Yes, notarized documents are eligible for a Florida apostille if notarized by a Florida notary. Ensure that the notary public’s commission is valid and that the notarial act complies with Florida law. This includes properly notarized documents from other states if a Florida notary performs the notarization. However, this does not apply to vital records or recordable documents, which must be handled according to specific requirements.
Yes, we provide translation services in 95 languages. Our translations come with a notarized affidavit of translation, making the translation itself eligible to be apostilled. This streamlined process ensures accuracy and compliance with legal requirements.
In most cases, original documents are required. However, properly notarized copies may be eligible for apostille in certain situations. We provide a remote online notarization service that has solved problems for many of our customers. Notarizing online with us ensures that the notarization is done correctly, and in most cases, eliminates the need to mail us the document, thus saving time and money.
It's important to be aware that there are unethical apostille services operating in other states, not governed by Florida laws, which sell apostilles for photocopies of Florida vital records. The result is a photocopy of a Florida document with a non-Florida apostille attached. In most cases, foreign authorities will detect this and reject your document, leading to further complications and delays.
An apostille is used for countries that are part of the Hague Convention, while embassy legalization is required for non-member countries. We can guide you based on your specific needs.
We adhere to strict security protocols to protect your confidentiality, including secure data encryption and controlled access to documents.
- Yes, we handle both commercial and personal documents, ranging from corporate agreements to personal identity documents, following the specific requirements for each type.
Terms of Service for Apostille and Online Notarization Services
Payment and Refund Policy
Payment Method: An invoice will be sent to your email upon order submission. Payment must be made in advance to secure your online notarization appointment.
Refund Eligibility: Refunds will be granted solely for technical issues or mistakes on our part. All other payments are considered final and are non-refundable.
- We reserve the right to cancel any transaction at our discretion.
- Orders left inactive for 14 business days are subject to cancellation.
Payment and Refunds
Prepayment Requirement: All Apostille projects must be paid for in full before any processing begins.
Custom Work: Given the specialized nature of our Apostille services, work on your project starts immediately upon payment. Refunds are not possible once a project has commenced, except if we are at fault.
Customer Service and Communication
How to Reach Us
Turnaround Times for Apostille Services
- RUSH Service: 2-3 business days (starts next business day if received after 12 pm ET)
- FAST Service: Generally, under 10 business days
- STANDARD Service: Approximately 20 business days
- FBI Check RUSH Service: 3-4 business days
- U.S. Department of State Authentication: Currently 11-14 weeks
Limitations of Liability
Our Role and Responsibility
We function as a courier service to expedite the apostille process. Our responsibilities are confined to facilitating the document exchange between you and the respective agencies.
Document Safety Clause
After your documents are handed over to a third party like the Florida Department of State or a shipping carrier, we can’t be held accountable for loss, damage, or other complications.
Exemptions for Government Errors
We cannot be held responsible for errors, omissions, or delays caused by government agencies, including but not limited to the Florida Department of State and the U.S. Department of State.
While we strive to use reliable carriers, we are not responsible for issues that arise during the shipping process by third-party carriers like FedEx, DHL, or USPS.
DHL Advisory: If you choose DHL for your return carrier, please be aware that an extra day is required due to their 2 pm ET cutoff. FedEx International is available as a quicker alternative.
Cancellation by Us
We reserve the right to cancel any transaction or order at our sole discretion. In such cases, you’ll be fully refunded, and any original documents in our possession will be returned to you.
Thank you for choosing our Apostille and Online Notarization Services! If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
Contact Us for Assistance
Documents That Commonly Require an Apostille
- Birth certificates
- Death certificates
- Marriage certificates
- Divorce certificates
- Adoption papers
- School Transcripts
- Professional licenses and certificates
- Power of attorney documents
- Corporate documents, such as articles of incorporation/organization and certificates of status
- Patents and trademarks
- Wills and trusts
- Affidavits and declarations
- FBI Criminal background checks and police clearance certificates
- Court documents, such as judgments, orders, and decrees
- Notarized letters and documents
- Deeds and property titles
- Military records
- Medical records
- Financial documents, such as bank statements and tax returns
- Employment records, such as letters of employment and termination letters
- Immigration documents, such as visas and residency permits
- Vehicle titles and registration documents
- Travel documents, such as passports and child travel consent authorizations
- Certificates of good conduct
- Certificates of origin
- Bills of sale
- Trade licenses and permits
- Insurance documents, such as policies and claims records
- Proof of residency documents, such as utility bills and rental agreements
- Adoption certificates
- Trust deeds and wills
- Consents and authorizations
- Home studies and evaluations
- Letters of reference and recommendation
- Business agreements and contracts
- Social security statements and benefit verification letters
- Academic records for homeschooling or online education
- Documentation for importing/exporting goods