How to Get Apostille in Illinois: A Step-by-Step Guide
If you are planning to use a document overseas, you may need to obtain an apostille. An apostille is a certification that verifies the authenticity of a public document, such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, and educational diplomas. In the state of Illinois, the Secretary of State is responsible for issuing apostilles. In this article, we will guide you through the process of obtaining an apostille in Illinois and answer some frequently asked questions.
Step 1: Determine the Type of Document
Before beginning the apostille process, it is crucial to identify the type of document you need to authenticate. Only public documents issued or notarized in Illinois can be apostilled. Examples of eligible documents include birth certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, educational diplomas, and notarized documents.
Step 2: Obtain a Certified Copy
If you do not have a certified copy of the document, you will need to obtain one from the appropriate issuing authority in Illinois. For example, birth certificates can be obtained from the Illinois Department of Public Health, while marriage licenses are available from the county clerk’s office where the marriage took place. Ensure that the document is recent and in good condition, as the Secretary of State will not apostille documents that are illegible or damaged.
Step 3: Notarize the Document
In some cases, you may need to notarize the document before it can be apostilled. Certain documents, such as powers of attorney or affidavits, require notarization. To get a document notarized, visit a notary public who will verify your identity and witness your signature. Ensure that the notary includes their seal and signature on the document.
Step 4: Complete the Apostille Request Form
Visit the Illinois Secretary of State’s website and download the Apostille Request Form. Fill out the form accurately and completely. Make sure to provide your contact information, specify the type of document, and indicate the country where the document will be used. You will also need to provide details about the document, such as the document’s title, date of issuance, and any applicable document numbers.
Step 5: Submit the Document and Request Form
Gather the certified copy of the document, the notarized document (if necessary), and the completed Apostille Request Form. Mail all the documents, along with a self-addressed stamped envelope, to the Illinois Secretary of State’s office in Springfield. The address can be found on the Apostille Request Form. It is recommended to use a trackable mailing service to ensure the safe delivery of your documents.
Step 6: Pay the Apostille Fee
Include a check or money order payable to the Illinois Secretary of State to cover the apostille fee. As of the publication date of this article, the fee is $2 per document. Ensure that the payment is attached to the Apostille Request Form before mailing it.
Step 7: Await the Apostille
Once the Secretary of State’s office receives your documents and payment, they will process your request. The processing time may vary but typically takes around 7-10 business days. If everything is in order, the Secretary of State will affix an apostille to your document and mail it back to you in the self-addressed stamped envelope you provided.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1: How long does it take to get an apostille in Illinois?
A1: The processing time for an apostille in Illinois is typically 7-10 business days from the date the Secretary of State’s office receives your documents and payment.
Q2: How much does it cost to obtain an apostille in Illinois?
A2: As of the publication date of this article, the fee for obtaining an apostille in Illinois is $2 per document.
Q3: Can I request an expedited apostille service in Illinois?
A3: No, the Illinois Secretary of State does not offer expedited apostille services. However, if you have an urgent need, you can contact their office to discuss possible options.
Q4: Can I request an apostille for a document that was notarized in another state?
A4: No, the Illinois Secretary of State can only apostille documents that were issued or notarized in Illinois. If you have a document notarized in another state, you will need to contact that state’s Secretary of State for apostille services.
Q5: Can I request an apostille for a federal document, such as a passport or Social Security card?
A5: No, the Illinois Secretary of State does not have the authority to apostille federal documents. For federal documents, you will need to contact the U.S. Department of State for authentication.
In conclusion, obtaining an apostille in Illinois involves several steps, including identifying the document, obtaining a certified copy, notarizing if necessary, completing the apostille request form, submitting the documents, paying the fee, and awaiting the apostille. It is essential to follow the process accurately to ensure a smooth and timely authentication of your document.