Apostille certification refers to a special certificate that you can obtain through the New Mexico Secretary of State. The certification is used as a means of authenticating and legitimizing a document for acceptance in countries that are members of the Hague Apostille Convention.
The Hague Convention started in 1961 when several countries agreed upon a simplified process for legalizing documents, which was previously a long and burdensome process. The United States joined the Hague Convention in 1981.
Apostille certification provides the opportunity for streamlined certification of public documents for use in other member countries of the Hague Convention. If you have a document that will be used in a member country that participates in the Hague Convention, you should receive Apostille certification from the New Mexico Secretary of State office. Here are some examples of documents that might require authentication for use in a member country:
Apostille certification authenticates the notary seal and signature of your document for acceptance in a foreign country. Note, however, that Apostille certification only certifies the document’s origin, not any of the document’s content. Also, it is the issuing country that determines the document’s public designation. Additionally, once your document receives Apostille certification, it is the only certification that it will need.
The Apostille Convention applies strictly to administrative and public documents. It also requires that all Apostille’s be consecutively numbered with a unique number attached to each issued Apostille. Verifying Apostille certification requires only a simple request of information to the authority that issued the certificate.
The Apostille certification consists of a seal and several points of reference:
If you are interested in Apostille Certification for your document, you can submit your request in person or through the mail. Note, however, that if you make your request in person, your request can typically be processed during your visit. Requesting by mail will take longer. Processing can take 2 to 3 days (not including the time required to be mailed back to you).
In your request, you will need to submit the following information:
Note: When you request your Apostille certification, you cannot order a certified copy of your document at the same time. These requests are handled by different offices and cannot be processed simultaneously. If you require certification of your document, it must be done prior to your Apostille certification.
Apostille certification can be purchased from the New Mexico Secretary of State. Typical processing for Apostille certification is about 3 business days and costs $3 per certificate. Your payment options include either check or money order and should be made out to the New Mexico Secretary of State.
Also, note that there is not an expedited option available for Apostille certification. So, be sure to factor in the additional time necessary for mailing.
Once your order has been processed, you will receive the Apostille certification in the mail. You must provide a prepaid and pre-addressed envelope along with your order. Your certificate will arrive by regular mail. You have the option to request otherwise, so long as you provide a prepaid and pre-addressed envelope along with your order.
Note: There is not currently an option to receive your certification by fax or email.
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