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.