An apostille is a certificate issued by a government authority that verifies the authenticity of a document. In Hawaii, the Secretary of State is responsible for issuing apostilles for both domestic and international use. Whether you need an apostille for your marriage certificate, birth certificate, diploma, or any other document, this guide will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to obtain an apostille in Hawaii.
Step 1: Determine the Type of Document
Before obtaining an apostille, you must determine the type of document you need to authenticate. The Hawaii Secretary of State provides apostilles for public documents only. These include birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, judgments, and more. If you need an apostille for a private document, such as a power of attorney or a private contract, you will need to contact a private company that provides authentication services.
Step 2: Obtain a Certified Copy of the Document
Once you have determined the type of document you need to authenticate, you must obtain a certified copy. You can obtain a certified copy from the issuing authority, such as the Vital Records Office for birth or marriage certificates. Be sure to request a certified copy as some places may give a regular copy, which is not acceptable for authentication.
Step 3: Complete and Submit the Apostille Application
To obtain an apostille in Hawaii, you must complete an apostille application. The form is available on the Hawaii Secretary of State website. You must provide information about yourself, the document you are seeking to authenticate, and the purpose of the authentication.
After completing the application, you must submit it along with the original or certified copy of the document to the Hawaii Secretary of State’s Office. You can submit the application and document by mail or in person at the office. Take note that there are different fees depending on whether the document is a paper copy or electronically transmitted.
Step 4: Wait for the Apostille to be Issued
The Hawaii Secretary of State’s office will process your application within a few days. Once the apostille is issued, it will be affixed to the document and stamped to verify its authenticity. If you submit the application in person, you can usually obtain the apostille on the same day.
Step 5: Receive the Apostille
After the apostille has been issued, you can pick up the document in person or have it sent to you by mail. If you submit the application in person, you can usually pick up the apostille on the same day. If you submit the application by mail, the office will send the apostille to you by mail.
Obtaining an apostille in Hawaii is a straightforward process that requires you to follow a few simple steps. By determining the type of document, obtaining a certified copy, completing and submitting the apostille application, and waiting for the apostille to be issued, you can have your document verified in no time. If you’re unsure about any aspect of the process, it’s best to contact the office of the secretary of state of Hawaii or a professional authentication service to guide you. Remember, once you have an apostille, it will make your document valid in other countries where apostilles are accepted.