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10 Ways to Ensure That Your CA Notarization Goes Smoothly Before It Is Apostilled

There are few things to keep in mind when getting a document notarized:

  1. Make sure you, or whoever the signer is, has photo ID that covers all parts of your name that are included on the document.
  2. Make sure the signer will be present/in front of the notary at the time of the notarization. (In most cases, the signature also needs to be signed in front of the notary as well, so it’s better to wait to sign and date the document in front of the notary as well).
  3. Make sure your signer is lucid and can communicate directly with the signer in the same language, where no translation is needed.
  4. If the signer has any kind of issue with his or her signing hand, you should discuss that in advance with the notary.
  5. Be sure your signer is lucid and can explain what he or she is signing.
  6. Make sure your notary has the latest California-approved notary language. It gets updated somewhat frequently. Should have a bar at the top that discusses how the notarization only identifies the identity of the signer and not the accuracy or validity of the document.
  7. If document provides a notary section for the notary to complete, be sure there is enough room provided in the notary section for the notary to write in your name.
  8. If the notary section specifies a title for the signer, the signer should have some proof of that capacity in writing.
  9. It’s best to have an extra copy of the document with you in case anyone makes a mistake (or be able to print another one easily from your home or office or from a nearby Fedex or Staples store).
  10. If your name is pre-printed on the document, be sure it is spelled correctly.

Guyana becomes Apostille-member country and makes South America fully apostille-country continent

With Guyana recently joining the Hague Convention of 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents, documents can now be apostilled in California and throughout the US instead of going through the cumbersome legalization process that involves going through the Guyana’s consulate authentication system.

New California “Apostille” Causes CA-China Rift

“California disasters” are typically related to earthquakes, wildfires and mudslides, but the California Secretary of State has created a man-made disaster with a recent decision. Starting on January 1, 2017, they combined the CA Apostille (used for Apostille countries) and the Certification Certificate (used for non-apostille countries) into one certificate…and called it an “apostille” of all things! There is some confusing footnote on the new certificate that says “this certificate does not constitute an Apostille when it is presented to a country which is not a member of the Hague Convention,” which as clear as something Trump’s Kellyanne Conway or Sean Spicer would say.

As a result, we now have Washington DC’s Chinese Embassy in an international document dispute and stalemate with California’s Secretary of State over the new certificate as the embassy will not accept this revised certificate titled “Apostille,” since they are not an apostille country. Apostille companies dealing with Washington DC’s Chinese Embassy have documents piling up in their offices. California should come to their senses and quickly revise the form to more clearly represent an Apostille/Certification combo document. And maybe the California government could spend a little more time thinking of the possible consequences of their actions and getting some feedback from companies and government agencies that accept the certificate before doing something like this again.

Notarizations and Apostilles for Hollywood, West Hollywood and North Hollywood just an email or phone call away

Whether you need a Power of Attorney notarized and apostilled with a California Apostille for use in another country or a CA prenup agreement signed and notarized or have any other type of legal document for notarization, apostilles or authentications, we can help you.  We also have worked with a number of celebrities and we always keep the names and the circumstances completely confidential.

We Are Ready to Help Customers in Beverly Hills, CA

beverly-hills-ca apostille agents la los angeles

If you live or work in Beverly Hills, CA and need California apostilles for your business or personal documents, California Apostille Agents can help you.

Give us a call at 213-999-4176 or email us at and check out our website at We have extensive experience in obtaining California apostilles and know all the ins and outs of making sure your document gets apostilled properly.

The Critical First Step in Getting a California Apostille

To save yourself a lot of time and money when ordering a birth certificate, marriage certificate or death certificate that you will be using to obtain a California apostille, make sure you order it from the county clerk and ask for a certified copy “for an apostille.” Many people try to use the wrong version of the birth, marriage or death certificate, one that is not signed by the County Clerk, and it ends up being rejected and you have to start from scratch.

If you have a non-vital record (not a birth, marriage or death certificate) being apostilled , it will first need to be notarized by a California notary (except for Certificates of Incorporation) before it can be authenticated by the CA Secretary of State.

Contact California Apostille Agents at or 310-526-8419 once you have your certificate ready and we can help you with the rest, especially if you are in a rush.



CA Secretary of State Makes Big Change in LA Office

We noticed a big announcement on the California Secretary of State’s website that took affect on February 1, 2012: That the Los Angeles regional office of the Secretary of State can now authenticate notaries’ signatures. This is a bigger deal than it sounds, as previously when you needed a California apostille for many foreign-bound public documents, you had to travel to the County Clerk where the notary that notarized your document was commissioned (which is indicated on the notary’s stamp).

For Los Angeles residents and businesses, that meant traveling to Norwalk, CA to the Los Angeles County Clerk to get an LA notary’s signature authenticated or your local county clerk in the county where the notary is commissioned (unless ordering by the more time-consuming mail or online method). Norwalk is about 17 miles away from the Secretary of State’s office in downtown Los Angeles, the last step in the apostille process.

Now the notary authentication (of the notary’s signature on notarized documents) and the apostille processing can all be done at the Los Angeles Regional Office of the Secretary of State…with one exception: If the receiving authority still wants the County Clerk to be the official authenticating the notary’s signature. Then you would still need to go there before it is processed at the Secretary of State. It  makes no sense why the receiving authority would still require that a county clerk authenticate the notary’s signature when the Secretary of State is a higher level of authentication…but that’s the often illogical world of dealing with authenticating documents.

If the receiving authority is fine with the Secretary of State authenticating the notary’s signature, then this has the potential to save an enormous amount of time and money for apostille customers and companies. Previously, the main Sacramento Secretary of State office was the only office to authenticate all notary signatures in one location.

People still definitely need to make a trip to Norwalk county clerk or another CA county clerk (unless obtaining by mail or online) when getting a  CA birth certificate, marriage or death certificate apostilled, as a “certified” birth, marriage or death certificate has to first be obtained there. People who receive their certified certificates from the County Clerk and don’t have time to go to the Secretary of State as well can contact California Apostille Agents to handle that part of the process for them (at 213-999-4176).

Please click here Take Me to Your Home Page to obtain details on our service and what details we will need from you.

California Apostilles: Learning Process the Hard Way

As the owner of the California apostille processing and expediting company, California Apostille Agents, I get a lot of opportunities to watch people submit their documents to the California Secretary of State to try to obtain a California apostille for their foreign-bound documents. I am amazed by the number of people who do not have the proper instructions and necessary steps to get their documents properly processed. I have seen many people wait for long periods at the Secretary of State’s office after traveling far distances to be told that the document that are presenting “is not ready yet.”

In the case of people who go the regional office of the Secretary of State’s office in Los Angeles, people are often told they either need to first go to the County Clerk in Norwalk, CA, which is a good 18 miles away, to get a “certified” birth certificate (or marriage or death certificate).  Then, they can have to return to the Secretary of State’s office to finish the birth certificate apostille process. Depending on what time of day it is, there is a good likelihood that that person will not be able to get to Norwalk and back the Secretary of State’s office the same day and may have to take off another day of work to get the document processed…not to mention all the extra gas and time expended.

Or, if not a vital record like a birth certificate, the apostille customer may not have notarized their document and will have to locate a notarypublic and then return to the Secretary of State’s office for notary authentication and the apostille.

Consumers Need to Be Aware of All the Steps

With the way California is so spread out, consumers need to find out all the steps involved in this process to avoid learning the hard way that they missed a step. You can give California Apostille Agents a call at 310-995-8225 to discuss your apostille project or you can review the CA Secretary of State website information at In the case of birth certificates, marriage certificates, and death certificates, they need to be certified by a California County Clerk, with a county clerk signature. Typically, that means ordering a completely new birth, marriage or death certificate, as the one you currently have is likely not certified unless you asked for it specifically and told them it was for an apostille. For most other documents needing a California apostille, the document needs to be notarized or there needs to be some type of statement attached or written on the document that can be signed in front of the notary. Then this notary signature needs to be authenticated (in LA, it can be done by the Secretary of State regional office).

Getting Bad Information about Going Directly to CA Secretary of State’s Office

One of the other main causes for this confusion is that people are often given bad information from the non-governmental organization or company that requests the apostille in the first place. These organizations often advise people to go directly to the Secretary of State’s office to pick up their apostille, and leave out critical earlier steps.

To avoid having any problems with getting an apostille for your birth, marriage or death certificate documents, you can contact California Apostille Agents. Only you can order the certified birth, marriage or death certificate from the County Clerk’s office. But, we can take it from there once we receive the county clerk-certified documents from you. Call us at 310-995-8225 or email us at



If you ever need a NY Notary or NY Apostille, call 917-693.3692.