Apostille: What It Is and Why It’s Important

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Apostille: What It Is and Why It's Important

In 1961, a group of European countries recognized the need for a simplified method of document legalization across their borders. Member countries met in a scheduled convention called the Hague Convention. There, they agreed on the adoption of a document called "Apostille". This document will serve as a universal way of recognition by all member countries.

What is an Apostille?

Apostille is a French term that means certification. It is a form of specialized certification papers that are attached to documents to ascertain its authenticity and legitimacy for use and acceptance across countries of the Hague Convention.

In the United States, Apostille is issued in all 50 states by the secretary of state.

Importance of Apostille

Before the adoption of Apostille, the formality of authenticating foreign documents by international public authorities was burdensome and time intensive. The introduction of the Apostille abolished the requirement of legalization for foreign public (including notarized) documents. Ever since documents that are to be used in foreign member countries are certified by a jurisdictional authority from the country of origin. The delivery of this certificate (Apostille) along with a document in a participating country reduces all the formalities of legalization to a simple verification from the source.

Requirement for Apostille

The Hauge Apostille Convention requires that all Apostilles be registered, dated, and numbered. A standard certificate carries the name of the country of origin, the name of the person signing the Apostille, and the capacity in which he/she is acting.

For unsigned documents, a stamp or seal of the authority issuing certificate and the address of certification are necessary. Today, there are 117 members countries in the Hauge Apostille Convention including the United States.

Why Do You need a Notary?


 A notary is more than just some fancy rubber stamp. Getting a document notarized means getting it verified for its authenticity and purpose.
Many times, notarizing a document corresponds to a life-changing moment for someone. You may need the approval of a notary public for your next mortgage. A daughter in California may need the power of attorney to get funds for an ailing parent. In essence, a notarized document protects the signer and the purpose of the document.

 Importance of Document Notarization
So, if you are still thinking; why is document notarization important? Below are some reasons why up to 1.25 billion documents are notarized yearly in the United States.

Deter Fraud
In an era where fraud and forgery are on the rise, a trustworthy notary is required to verify the authenticity of crucial documents. A notary details such as a seal, stamp, or signature add an extra layer of protection to business transactions

Self Authenticating
According to the law of evidence, a notarized document is self-authenticating. It is the same as swearing under oath in a court of law. Meaning, a notary can stand in place of a witness in court. This saves time and money.

Legal Protection
The possession of notarized documents helps prevent litigation and contract dispute.

Establish Credibility
Some documents are not legally binding until they are notarized. Deed of trust is one kind of document that doesn’t escape notarization. In mortgaging, for instance, the agreement between the lender and the borrower needs an authorized third party to serve as a trustee. That’s where the notary public comes to play.
Need more clarification about notaries? Or not sure you need it? Contact Jamesees Notary Services today.

Notary Public in Georgia


The following is a description of a Notary Public in Georgia:

A Notary Public is a person authorized to perform certain legal formalities, especially to draw up or certify contracts, deeds, and other documents for use in other jurisdictions.

A Notary Public is a person authorized to perform certain legal formalities, especially to draw up or certify contracts, deeds, and other documents for use in other jurisdictions.

In most countries the term notary public is synonymous with “notary” and it’s commonly used in both speech and writing. However, it has no equivalent meaning in civil law systems as those countries do not have this historical feature of common law called “notarial system”.

Notaries public are appointed by the Secretary of State.

To become a notary public in Georgia, you must:

  • Be a resident of Georgia.
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Be a U.S. citizen with no felony convictions on your record (unless pardoned).
  • Have had your identity verified by the Secretary of State or other designated officials in the county where you reside and meet one of the following requirements:
  • Attain a score of 650 or higher on each part of the exam taken from an approved testing service such as Pearson VUE; or
  • Complete an educational course on notarial law through one of these approved providers:

a) American Institute Notaries (AIN);

b) National Notary Association (NNA);

Each notary public applicant must be a Georgia resident and have no felony convictions.

The notary public applicant must be a Georgia resident, at least 18 years of age and must have no felony convictions. In addition, the notary public applicant must be a citizen of the State of Georgia.

All applicants for appointment as a Notary Public in this state shall make application to the Secretary of State (or his designee), complete with all required information and documents required by § 50-13-1 et seq., O.C.G.A., which are incorporated herein by reference as if fully set forth herein; provided that any person who is currently serving as Deputy Clerk or Assistant Clerk in any capacity within any county court system may submit an original oath with certification from the chief judge or clerk certifying their service as such without having first obtained an appointment from the Secretary of State (or his designee).

A notary public’s jurisdiction extends throughout the state.

A notary public’s jurisdiction extends throughout the state. This means that all notaries public in California may perform their duties anywhere in the state, whether or not they are physically present at the location where the act is performed. Thus, if you are located in Los Angeles and need to have a document certified by a notary public who lives on the other side of the San Francisco Bay Area, it’s perfectly legal for you to request this service from your local secretary of state branch office (assuming that branch office has its own power over appointment).

The term of office of a notary public is four years from the date of appointment.

A notary public is an officer authorized to take acknowledgements of deeds, mortgages and other conveyances; administer oaths and affirmations; take depositions to be used in courts of justice; protest bills of exchange or promissory notes when there appears on the face thereof some irregularity or defect not apparent from the endorsement thereon; and certify true copies of any paper writing which he may have executed for any person.

The term of office for a notary public is four years from date of appointment by the Secretary of State.

A person who desires to become a Notary Public must file an application with The Secretary Of State’s Office along with two passport size photographs and one letter from current employer verifying employment status.

A notary public may execute an official seal as required by law on documents he or she has executed.

If a notary public is required to affix an official seal, he or she may do so in the presence of the person who signs the document. If such an individual is physically incapacitated and unable to be present when the seal is affixed, another witness must be present and attest to this fact.

In addition to using a stamp-type device, some states permit their notaries public to use hand stamps which make impressions on documents. These impressions are made by impressing ink or paint into paper or parchment documents that have been signed by people seeking them due to being important legal documents. It may also include embossing seals into paper or parchment documents that have been signed by people seeking them due to being important legal documentation for proof purposes later down road when needed in court cases involving fraudulent allegations against one another as well as other types of disagreements between two parties over business contracts that need resolving quickly before any further damage occurs financially at stake here.”

A notary public may charge a fee for each signature acknowledged. However, if you are receiving more than $1,000 in cash for your signature, then you must sign in the presence of two witnesses who are signing as well.


An appointment as a notary public is issued for the purpose of allowing the notary to administer oaths and affirmations and to take acknowledgments of deeds, mortgages and other conveyances.

  • The notary public is a public official who is authorized to perform certain legal formalities.
  • The notary public is authorized to draw up or certify contracts, deeds, and other documents.
  • The notary public is authorized to administer oaths and affirmations.


Notary Publics have been around for a long time, but they’re still needed today. They help take the guesswork out of transactions and make sure that everything goes smoothly.

Be Careful Writing ‘2020’ When Notarizing

Remembering to write the correct date when a new year starts is challenging. This year, Notaries must take additional care because writing the 2-digit form of the year “2020” on certificate dates could potentially leave a document vulnerable to changed dates.

Many people typically shorten the year when writing out dates, such as abbreviating “February 12, 2019” as “2-12-19.” Notaries contacted the NNA this month to point out that if the year 2020 is shortened to just “20” when dating Notary certificate wording, an unscrupulous person could write in additional numbers later to alter the date of notarization. For example, the date “1-28-20” could be:

  • Backdated by adding the number 17 at the end, changing the date to “1-28-2017”
  • Post-dated by adding a “21” at the end, changing the date to “1-28-2021”

To avoid potential tampering, the safest course is to write out the full year as “2020” when completing Notary certificates or any other important records such as your journal entries.

Original Publication: National Notary Association

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.

What makes a moving company good or bad?



Not all low cost movers are bad, unfortunately, not all of them are good, either.

Moving your home can be pricey, and we’d all like to reduce the costs of our relocation. People usually avoid hiring low cost movers as they are afraid that low costs mean bad service. We’re here to tell you that they’re wrong! You can have a satisfying move without paying a lot of money. If you know what to look for, cheap movers can provide you with moving services in Georgia you’ll be happy with.

First of all, we’ll have to talk about what makes a moving company good or bad.

Your movers are doing a good job if they show:

  • Professionalism – if they’re polite, punctual and efficient.
  • Reliability – you’re trusting your movers with transporting your entire household. You’ll want to be sure you can count on them.
  • Experience – movers who’ve completed a lot of moves don’t have to be expensive. You can find cheap movers with a lot of experience to assist with your relocation.

Your movers are not doing a good job if they:

  • Don’t arrive on time
  • Damage your items
  • Behave impolitely

Does low cost equal low quality?

Now that we know what makes good and what makes bad movers, you can see that there’s no price range that determines this. Even though people believe that paying more will guarantee a better relocation, this is generally not the case. Because moving is a competitive business, many movers have competitive pricing. And so, many experienced movers don’t charge an arm and a leg to relocate you, which is perfect! With a little searching, you can find affordable movers who can provide you with the best service!

Research your movers

In order to get reliable and cheap moving services, you should look into a lot of moving companies. After you have your list, you should get a moving labor cost estimate from each of those companies and compare them. When you find the lowest costs, research the companies until you find the one you like the most.

Get to know the movers you’re planning to hire a little better to make sure they’re cheap and reliable.

Avoid scams

Unfortunately, some movers with low costs are not what they seem. These usually offer unbelievably cheap moving services which turn out too good to be true. Before you start searching for your reliable and cheap movers, learn how to avoid the most common moving scams. Making sure you don’t fall for these will greatly increase your chances of finding a high quality and low cost moving company.

Not all low cost movers are bad, unfortunately, not all of them are good, either.

How to find reliable cheap movers?

If you want to find affordable movers who aren’t bad, you’ll need to do a bit of work. Don’t go for every company that offers low costs. You’ll need to make sure the movers you choose are capable and professional. You can do this in a few ways…

Ask around

When searching for low cost movers you can count on, the best thing to do is rely on previous experience. If you don’t have any, you should ask the people around you for suggestions. Ask friends and coworkers if they can refer a reliable but cheap moving company.

In addition to this, you can rely on the advice of people you don’t know but who’ve moved recently. Check out the reviews of our clients and see why we’re the best choice for a safe and affordable move.

Get estimates

Another way you can avoid getting a low quality moving service is asking for as many moving labor rates in Atlanta as you can. Getting and comparing estimates will allow you to find high quality, low cost movers. If it’s too high or too low, you’ll know this is not the company you’re looking for. In addition to this, you should avoid movers who refuse to give you an estimate altogether.

Getting an estimate can help you decide.

Make your move cheaper

Finally, instead of relying solely on finding cheap movers, you can make your relocation less costly by yourself.

Do some parts yourself

In some cases, the cost of your relocation will depend on which services you choose. So, if you start preparing for your move early, you can complete some of the moving tasks yourself. For example, if you pack your household yourself and just hire moving labor, the whole relocation can end up cheaper.

However, if you do choose to take care of some of the chores yourself, be careful and avoid property damage. The last thing you’ll want is to damage your belongings right before the move. Find the perfect balance between what you need and what you can do yourself, and your move will be affordable.

Be careful not to break anything if you’re attempting to take care of some of the moving tasks.


Try to bargain with the movers you hire. In all fairness, this won’t always work because some affordable moving companies have already lowered their costs as much as they could. However, it can’t hurt to try. Just make sure you don’t push it if the movers you chose show no interest in negotiating.

Find professional and cheap movers by negotiating the price of your relocation.

Reduce the load

Moving fewer items costs less. So, you can lower the cost of your move by getting rid of some of your things before the move. This, paired with finding cheap movers you can trust means that you’ll have a super affordable relocation.

So, not all cheap movers are bad. Even though fraudulent movers use extremely low estimates to draw in unsuspecting clients, it doesn’t mean all low cost moving companies are bad. There are some very good affordable movers to choose from. Once you get to know a little about each company, you’ll be able to find the best possible services for the price which perfectly fits your moving budget.