The Apostille Convention of 1961: What it is and What it Means

Often you will notice that on this blog we often refer to the Apostille Convention of 1961 also known as the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. Well, we thought it might be useful for people who do not have extensive experience with the services of an Apostille to know exactly what it is we are referring to when we bring up that convention. Here is what the 1961 Conference was, what it does and a list of some of its signatories.

On October 5, 1961 an international treaty was drafted by the Hague Conference on Private International Law. It sought to give certain public documents legal effect in other countries (those that are members of the treaty,). It helped to streamline how certain documents are to be legalized. The old method involved at least a dozen steps or so be taken in order to accomplish the same goal. To be clear here: an Apostille merely authenticates the signature of the person signing the document it does not attest to the veracity of the information contained therein.

Categories of Eligible Documents

  • Court documents
  • Administrative documents (e.g. civil status documents)
  • Notarial acts
  • Official certificates which are placed on documents signed by persons in their private capacity

States that are Party to the 1961 Convention

As we suggested earlier, not all countries are signatories to the 1961 Convention. Here is a brief list of those who are:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • The Bahamas
  • Chile
  • El Salvador and some 110 other countries around the world.2018-10-23_1421

An example of when an Apostille may be needed is the following: A defense counsel in Texas needs a plaintiff’s medical records from Chile. Unfortunately the standard Texas notary’s signature may carry no weight in Chile. Thus, since Chile is a signatory to the 1961 Convention, all would be in order for a Texas Apostille to certify the veracity of the signature contained on the document.

Our Texas Apostille is ready to certify any eligible document you need and do so rapidly. We know all that is required to by our Austin Apostille to make sure that your birth/death certificates, contracts, wills, conveyances, etc are prepared in a way that is acceptable by countries that are signatories of the 1961 Conference.


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