It is more necessary than ever that you will need an apostille when doing business internationally. The popularity of this type of certification has made it a breeding ground for not properly certified apostilles to be used. It’s important that you always check that you have an authentic apostille. There are lots of clues that could let you know that you should double check (for example, the documents could be in a different order than you sent them and re-stapled).
The first place you can start to make sure your apostille is authentic is the issue office or the Competent Authority. The Competent Authority is the agency that issues apostilles and therefore, has records on all apostilled issued. The agency should have all the required information regarding your documents being apostilled correctly. One important piece to note when confirming your apostille with the Competent Authority this process may tell you the apostille is verified but it does not confirm the content of the original document. Therefore, you can’t rely on this process by itself but it is part of the process of understanding if it authentic.
To contact the Competent Authority you can reach the agency by phone or online. However, some jurisdictions may require you reach them by phone so please make sure to know which process your document requires. The online electronic registries can verify its origin which can make the process less complicated than contacting them by phone.
You may be wondering, how do I find the Competent Authority? Well, in the United States this agency is often the Secretary of State of the individual state. A handful of these states have the electronic process available but the rest you will need to reach by phone or in person.
The next time you are interested in verifying your apostille, have no fear, there is a process! Washington Express Visas is more than happy to help with the process of apostille. Contact us today for a consultation!