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How to Get an Apostille Fast in Nashville, TN ✉️ ⏩


In this blog, we're going to walk you through all things Apostille. What is an Apostille? How do you get an Apostille? What's the point of getting an Apostille? What's the difference between an Apostille and an Authentication? And more! Whether you are told to get an Apostille in Nashville, TN or somewhere else, this blog will set you on the right path and should make the process crystal clear.

So, what is an Apostille?

  • According to the TN Secretary of State, an Apostille certifies the authenticity of the signature, seal and position of the official who has executed, issued or certified a copy of a public document. An Apostille enables a public document issued in one country to be recognized as valid in another country.

  • Physically, it is an independent sheet that is attached to the public document and shows the signature and seal that guarantees its legality for receiving foreign countries.

  • While they accomplish the same objective, there are differences between Apostilles and Authentications...

So, what's the difference between an Apostille and an Authentication?

  • An Apostille is a certification form set out in The Hague Convention abolishing the requirement of legalization for foreign public documents (1961).

  • An Apostille may be obtained to transmit public documents executed in one signatory country to another signatory country in which the documents need to be produced, as stated before. Basically, these two countries are a part of a club that recognizes documents from one another as legitimate as long as they have an Apostille, reducing headaches and confusion globally.

  • The Hague Convention defines a “public document” as:

  1. Those originating in a court, clerk of a court, public prosecutor or process server;

  2. Administrative documents;

  3. Notarial acts; and

  4. Official certificates placed on documents.

  • An Authentication, on the other hand, may be obtained to transmit public documents to countries that have not subscribed to The Hague Convention.

Are you with me? Now, we know the difference. So, which companies are a part of the Hague Convention? If you know that, then you'll know which certification to ask for. However, even if you do not, our notary at NNN will research it on your behalf before taking the documents to the Secretary of State. No worries!

Which countries are a part of the Hague Convention?

  • In total, as of July 2023, there are 125 contracting parties (countries) in the Hague Convention. Some are members and some are not, but all accept Apostilles. You can find the complete list from the Hague website here. Any country not on this list will need an Authentication, instead, and will require extra steps.

Next, who actually issues the Apostille?

  • According to the TN SoS, the Tennessee Department of State, Business Services Division, issues an Apostille or an Authentication under the authority of the Tennessee Secretary of State with respect to documents executed, issued or certified by Tennessee County Clerks, the Tennessee State Registrar, and the Tennessee Secretary of State.

Riveting stuff, huh? Now that we have that information, let's talk a little about the Apostille process from start to finish. When you work with our mobile notary at NNN, we will follow this process to make sure your Apostille/Authentication is handled efficiently and legally.

  1. Document Certification by Custodian (Notarization)

  2. Certification of Notarization by Davidson County Clerk

  3. Certification and Processing by TN Secretary of State

  4. Apostille/Authentication granted

  5. Apostille/Authentication sent to you or shipped internationally for you

Well, it may not be hard per se, but it's certainly complex and follows strict protocols, which we at NNN will follow to a 'T' in order to make sure your Apostille is handled efficiently and correctly, without any mistakes.

Generally, this process will take an hour or so, but what if you need an Authentication because the country requesting it is not able to accept an Apostille?

  • If a document needs an Authentication, the United States Department of State must also certify the Tennessee Secretary of State’s signature on the Authentication. In this case, we will have to contact the USDS for further processing, extending the time it will take to get your documents approved.

You really are smarter now and we're glad we could help explain things. If you are looking for a way to obtain TN records such as Birth, Marriage, Death, or Divorce certificates for an Apostille you have coming up, use VitalChek or another service. Once you make a copy, book with us using one of our 3 convenient packages to make sure your Apostille is handled perfectly.

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