Kenneth A Edelstein All Purpose Certified New York Mobile Notary
All Purpose New York Notary | Apostille Processing | Legalization and Fingerprinting
Old NYC issued "Vital Records" generally do not qualify for an Apostille.
A common problem many of my clients have faced is the "age" of their New York City issued Vital Records. The older records usually do not qualify for Apostille processing. This is often an unpleasant last minute surprise. In most cases I can pick up your application and walk the application thru the system - to quickly retrieve; and return to you, the correct version required for Apostille or Legalization Processing.
Birth Certificates: A common misconception is that the original birth certificate, issued many years ago, will qualify. Most of the older birth certificates are the "short form", shorter than an 8.5 X 11" page; these never qualify. What is needed is the newer full page certified copy; with a "Letter of Exemplification." What is now required to Apostille a Birth Certificate issued by the City of New York are two pages; two physical sheets of paper: The new form, full page certified copy, and the related Letter of Exemplification. Walk in service is available only for the short form birth certificate (which cannot get the Letter of Exemplification). The long form birth certificate is only sent by mail - when sent directly to me the process takes less time.
Marriage Licenses: To qualify for Apostille Processing a New York City issued certified copy is now required. Inspect the back of your document. If you do not see a multi colored seal, with the HAND SIGNED signature of the City Clerk (or Acting City Clerk); your document does not qualify. The machine generated signature under the word "CERTIFIED" is not accepted for Apostille Processing. For a $20 fee, the hand written signature can be added. Certified copies of Marriage Licenses do not receive or require a Letter of Exemplification.
Divorce Decrees: Certified court judgments, issued by a Supreme Court Judge; require a multi colored seal; usually on the back of the last page of the decree. They are issued based on the county where the Judge issued the final decree. The process requires a search, request, print and certification to be performed in the county where the decree was filed.
Death Certificates: Certified copies of Death Certificates are a full page in length. To qualify for Apostille processing they require a separate page called a "Letter of Exemplification." These documents are never available the same day, even when I submit the application in person. They mail the documents to me - then I can process the Apostille
Procedure to obtain a Certified Copy of a New York City Birth Certificate
Procedure to obtain a Certified Copy of a New York City Marriage License
Procedure to obtain a Certified Copy of a New York City Divorce Decree (Supreme Court)
Procedure to obtain a Certified Copy of a New York City Death Certificate
For the retrieval of Vital Records outside of the City of New York, consider using the following links and make your application directly by mail. Always include a signed copy of your driver's license with your application, even if they do not ask for it. Include a letter, if you intend to Apostille process the returned document; stating that the document is for Apostille processing. It's a good idea to include a Stamped Self Addressed envelope. If you include a FedEx or UPS envelope - be sure it is prepaid with your credit card information. I am willing to same day hand process these applications in Albany, and other distant locations; but at 150 miles each way; the costs are generally prohibitive. Regular mail processing is generally 2 weeks. Contact me when you receive the document and I can obtain the Apostille or Consulate/Embassy Legalization as required.
"An Official of the School, College or University must Certify the document as being an Official Record or a True Copy of the Original Document. The Official's signature must be Notarized by a Notary Public (within New York State)." - New York State Department of State Apostille Procedure
Educational Documents Originating (school location) from Within New York State
The above is the official policy (in New York State) regarding Educational Documents. In practical terms it means that you must arrange an appointment for me to meet with the Registrar (or custodian of documents) at the school. I cannot make the appointment - they will not allow me to. You will need to purchase a "certified" copy and make an appointment for me to notarize the "official's" signature (at the school) and pick up the "certified" copy. The school must provide a letter, on school stationary, that allows me to notarize the official's signature. I also need a letter from you (to give to the school) authorizing me to pick up the document - it's best if you include a copy of your ID (driver's license, passport, etc.) with your letter of authorization. Check with the school to see if your authorization letter needs your signature notarized, for me to be able to pick up your document at the school.
Educational Documents Originating (school location) Outside of New York State
Educational documents from schools outside of New York State are processed differently. If the document is a "copy" - then I need the student's (your) signature on a form (that I provide and notarize) that states that the copy is a true copy of the original. If it is the "original" - a slightly different form (that I also provide and notarize) is used attesting to the fact that you received it directly from the school. Thus, for educational documents for schools outside of New York State - it is the student's signature that is notarized, and the student directly provides me the document (copy or original).
While in many cases I can obtain an Apostille for an "unofficial copy" of a document, e.g. Vital records (Birth, Death, Divorce, Marriage, Educational - originating outside of New York State) - I cannot guarantee its acceptability at the destination of use. You are advised to check with the intended recipient of the document to determine their requirements. When an "unofficial copy" is processed - it is your signature, and statement, that forms the basis of the Apostille process, not the institution that originally issued the document. In my experience, "most of the time" the Apostille bearing "unofficial copy" is accepted. But, it is your responsibility to research suitability for purpose when "unofficial copies" are involved.
New York City's Professional Notary
Public - Kenneth A Edelstein
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