The intended destination of a document determines the required type of certification. An Apostille is issued for documents intended for use only in foreign countries that are party to the Hague Treaty. A Certificate of Authority is issued for all other countries, many of which will only accept documents certified at both the state and federal levels. The original document must be signed in front of a notary public and must contain original signatures.
An apostille is a form of authentication issued to documents for use in countries which participate in the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization of Foreign Public Documents. The completed apostille certifies the authenticity of the signature of the notary. Essentially any certified documents when sent with an apostille are to be considered acceptable for legal use in any Hague Convention participating nations. An apostille is an additional certification from the Texas Secretary of State confirming that we are authorized to certify such documents in our rolls as notary publics.