Does an Apostille Need to be Translated?
As we translate various vital records and other documents going overseas, we get this question almost daily: “Does an apostille need to be translated?”
The answer almost always is “yes, you will need to” – and we explain why.
What is Apostille?
An “apostille” is a form of authentication issued to documents for use in countries that participate in the Hague Convention of 1961. A list of countries that accept apostilles is provided by the US State Department.
If the country of intended use does not participate in the Hague Convention , documents being sent to that country can be “authenticated” or “certified”.
The Office of the Secretary of State provides apostille and authentication service to U.S. citizens and foreign nationals on documents that will be used overseas. Types of documents include corporate documents such as company bylaws and articles of incorporation, power of attorney, diplomas, transcripts, letters relating to degrees, marital status, references and job certifications, home studies, deeds of assignments, distributorship agreements, papers for adoption purposes, etc. The U.S. State Department provides general information about document authentications and apostilles under the Hague Convention of 1961 .
Why do I need to translate the apostille?
It’s a valid question: if apostille is an international certification, then why translate it – shouldn’t it be accepted as is? The reality is that most agencies in other countries where your documents are going operate under the rule that all documents they accept have to be fully translated into the language of the country. Which means, that even though apostille is a form of certification, it itself needs to be translated into the same language that your document is translated into.
What is the order for translation and certification?
Usually we do translate and certify all documents in the following order:
- We translate the document into the desired language
- We certify the translation
- We notarize it
- If the document is going overseas, get it apostilled
- We then translate the apostille page and certify the translation as true and correct
- The documents are good to go!
The whole process is extremely easy and painless from start to finish and takes only a few days.