The worst words you can hear when trying to legalize your document is “We are unable to process your document because…” Unfortunately, this saying is all too common when it comes to trying to get your documents legalized. We wanted to help our readers avoid some of the pitfalls that can come up while trying to legalize your documents.
As a reminder, Document Legalization is a process during which documents are navigated through an assembly line of notarizations, certifications, and authentications so that these documents can be used in foreign countries to transact business.
There are many obstacles that can come up along the way because of all the steps and different processes it takes to do this right. Here is a step-by-step guide that can help you avoid some common mistakes:
1. Get your document back from the U.S. Department of state (after likely waiting a 1-3 week period)
2. Figure out what Embassy you need to send your document. Remember! This is not always as easy as picking the closest Embassy to you. There are particular factors that go in to deciding this so make sure to read through thoroughly.
3. Find your Secretary of State. Make sure you know whether the country the document is being legalized for has rules around which Secretary of State is used. For example, certain countries have rules around using the same Secretary of State as where the documents originated. This can often create a complicated path in getting your document legalized promptly and without an “error” letter back in return.
4. Decide whether you need to include a photo ID. Some countries (China for example) require a photo ID be submitted to put on file for any company that is hoping to legalize documents with the Consulate. This can be as simple as including a color copy of your U.S. driver license but again, something you need to check before sending your documents.
Hope you enjoyed hearing about some common mishaps that can happen along the document legalization process.
Washington Express is more than happy to help with the process of apostille or authentication. Contact us today for a consultation!