How To Avoid Apostille & Authentication Pitfalls
The apostille or authentication process has two components that must be met in order for your paperwork to work successfully, and both parts are out of our control. Following the apostille tips below, you will improve your chances. First, the Secretary of State must approve the notarization of your document. This means that the notary work must pass their standards.
Second, your foreign entity must accept and approve what is generated by the Secretary of State in the apostille process. Sometimes, what we need to do to get an apostille or authentication completed by the Secretary of State does not mesh with the expectations of your foreign agency.
Make sure the document you want to authenticate is correct before we begin the process with the Apostille Tips below.
Make sure your notary verbiage is correct
Is the notary portion of your document correct to today’s Minnesota or Wisconsin standards? If I am notarizing your document, this won’t be a problem, however, if another notary isn’t current and their paperwork isn’t up-to-date, your document will be rejected by the Secretary of State.
Get approval for a “loose notary certificate” first.
If your document does not have the correct Minnesota or Wisconsin notary verbiage, I will attach a loose certificate to your document in order to get your apostille or authentication completed by the Secretary of State. However, some foreign agencies do not allow a loose certificate. ASK first!
Make sure your foreign agency doesn’t require “Rolling Stamps.”
Some foreign agencies want a notary stamp across all page edges of a multi-page document. PNS Notaries are prohibited from using their stamp in this manner and your paperwork will be rejected by the Secretary of State. Make sure your agency understands that this is not possible.
Formatting your document!
Is there -or should there be- a place for today’s date? Is there a line for all the signers? Are the names correctly spelled? Foreign countries often make mistakes with names. Strike-outs and corrections might not be allowed by your foreign entity.
Check with your receiving entity to confirm that what we send is what they can use.