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Apostille Services for Birth Certificates & Vital Records | Antioch, CA

August 07, 20237 min read

Everything You Need to Know About Apostille Services for Birth Certificates and Other Vital Records

An apostille, meaning “certification” in French, is a seal that legitimizes legal documents for use outside the United States or country of origin. Normally, when we travel internationally, a US passport is more than enough to travel to and from a foreign country. 

But there are times when you will need to request an apostille for legal, personal, or public documents in order to travel, such as studying abroad, relocating to a new country, applying for a foreign visa, adopting a child from a different country, or getting married internationally. 

Let ACME LIVE SCAN & NOTARY apostille experts help you focus on the more important aspects of your overseas travel by calling (925) 237-9550 or going online to discuss your document certification needs.

This article will provide an overview of what apostille services are, how they work, and when they should be used for birth certificates or other vital records. For a general overview of apostilles, go to What to do when you need an apostille for a document 

What is an Apostille Service?

An Apostille Service authenticates a document for international use, and it involves the issuing of an Apostille Certificate by an authorized government agency that is attached to the document, verifying that the document has been certified by a government agency. This ensures that the documents are valid and accepted in foreign countries.

What are Vital Records?

Vital records are documents that record a significant event in a person's life and are often required for official purposes, such as applying for a passport or visa.

The most common vital record documents are:

  • Birth Certificates

  • Marriage Certificates

  • Marriage Licenses

  • Divorce Certificates

  • Divorce Decrees

  • Death Certificates

The Benefits of Getting a Vital Record Apostilled 

There are several reasons why you might need to get an apostille certificate for your birth certificate or other vital record. Here are some of the most common reasons:

  • You are planning to move to another country. Many countries require that you provide an apostille for your vital records when you apply for a visa or residency.

  • You are applying for a job or a scholarship that requires you to submit your vital records. Some employers and scholarship programs require that you provide an apostille for your vital records as proof of your identity and citizenship.

  • You are involved in a legal proceeding in another country. In some cases, you might need to provide an apostille for your vital records as part of a legal proceeding in another country.

If you are unsure whether or not you need an apostille for a vital record, contact the issuing authority or the country's embassy or consulate where you will be using the document for more information.

The benefits of getting an apostille for your vital record include:

  • Speeding up the process of getting your document accepted in another country.

  • Ensures that your document is accepted by the authorities in the other country.

  • Prevents your document from forgery or tampering.

What are the requirements for an apostille certificate?

Apostille certificate requirements vary by state, country, and document type.

A general apostille certification process might be:

  1. Obtaining an original or copy of the document. No copies.

  2. Notarizing the document with a Public Notary in the same state you are applying for the apostille.

  3. In some cases, submitting the document to the county clerk.

  4. If required, submit the document to the state or federal government for certification.

  5. Filling out the state apostille application form.

  6. Submitting the original, certified, or notarized document with applicable fees to the Secretary of State or competent authority.

Other quick tips for getting an apostille

If you need to get an apostille for your vital record, there are a few things you can do to make the process go more smoothly:

  • Start the process early. It can take several weeks to get an apostille.

  • Be sure to have all the required documents. The issuing authority will not be able to issue an apostille if you do not have all the required documents.

  • Check the apostille requirements for the country where you will be using the document. The apostille requirements vary from country to country.

Get an Apostille Certificate with Confidence Today!

Since 2016, ACME LIVE SCAN & NOTARY has helped countless businesses and customers get apostilles for their vital records and other documents. We are available during 8AM - 10PM to help you with anything you might need, so contact us any time with questions. 

We'll always be here to provide you with the assistance you need to get your work done right the first time. Call (925) 237-9550 to discuss your unique notary needs or go to to schedule online.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Looking for more information? See the following common questions about apostilles:

Which countries recognize apostilles?

Legal document certification used to be extremely complex, time-consuming, and varied greatly from country to country, but in 1961, the Hague Convention Treaty was signed to streamline the process and make it easier to follow. Countries that do not participate in the convention require documents to be “authenticated” according to their specific rules and regulations.

Currently, 91 members participate in the Hague Convention. Some of these countries are:

  • United States

  • United Kingdom

  • Ukraine

  • Mexico

  • Philippines

  • Italy

  • Israel

  • France

  • Brazil

  • Argentina

For a complete, up-to-date list of all participating countries, go to the HCCH Members webpage.

How long does it take to obtain an apostille or certification?

The State of California Secretary of State's office processes document requests daily, but that doesn’t guarantee you’ll hear back within a 24-hours. Expedited services are available to speed up the turnaround time of the apostille processing. Department of State's or Embassy authentications can take longer due to processing times. You can discuss any urgent requests with your agent to get a better estimate of what to expect. 

How much do apostille services cost?

The cost of getting a vital record apostilled varies depending on the issuing authority, the country where you will be using the document, and if you need the document expedited. You can discuss the fees with your agent to get an idea of how much processing your apostille will cost. 

Here are some of the factors that may affect the cost of getting a document apostilled:

  • How quickly you need your documents returned, expedited or rush services may cost more to process..

  • The country where you will be using the document. The cost of getting a vital record apostilled may be higher for countries that are not members of the Hague Convention.

  • The issuing authority. The cost of getting a vital record apostilled may vary depending on the issuing authority.

Get a quote today by filling out the apostille services request form here

What are the differences between a notarized, apostille, and authenticated document?

The differences between a notarized, apostille, and authenticated document are the application requirements, who certifies it, and where it will be used. Whether the document requires an apostille or authentication depends completely on which country will be receiving it.

Notarized document

A document is notarized by a Public Notary – a third-party, impartial witness who verifies the person(s) signing the document and adds a notary stamp afterward. In most states, notaries are registered at the state level, which is why an apostille must be requested in the same state issued by the notary.

Apostille document

An apostille is an international certification guarantee that requires a notarial certificate  (if the document is signed) and is certified as an authentic notarization by the Secretary of State or US Department of State. Vital record documents, such as birth certificates,  are not notarized but are authenticated by the Secretary of State. 

Authenticated or Legalized document

Document authentication or legalization is not the same as an apostille, but they are both meant to certify documents for legal use in another country. Authentication, or legalization, is unique to countries that don’t participate in the Hague Convention. Because of this, the process is country-specific and can be much more complicated and time-consuming.

Are you ready to start the Apostille Process? 

Contacting ACME LIVE SCAN & NOTARY for more information on apostille services for birth certificates and other vital records is simple. You can reach out to our expert team by calling [phone number]. Our knowledgeable staff is available during [HOURS OF OPERATION] to answer your questions and provide guidance.

Additionally, you can visit our website at to explore our services further and even schedule an appointment online. At ACME LIVE SCAN & NOTARY, we are committed to assisting you with all your document certification needs, ensuring a smooth and efficient process for your international endeavors. Don't hesitate to contact us for professional and reliable apostille services.


Jeffrey Clark


☎️ (925) 237-9550


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Jeffrey Clark


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