How to Obtain an Apostille for a Notarized Certified Translation

Follow this guide to obtain an apostille to authenticate the notarization on our Certificate of Translation Accuracy for the international use of your translation.

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Understanding Apostilles for Notarized Certified translations

All certified translations from RushTranslate include a signed and stamped Certificate of Translation Accuracy. Optionally we offer notarization for certified translations, where a notary public authenticates the signer of the certification. This ensures the Certificate of Translation Accuracy is authentic.

Since notarization is subject to domestic law and we are a US-based company, the notarizations we provide are only valid in the US. If your end-user is outside of the US and they require a notarized certified translation, you’ll likely need to supply an apostille in addition to the notarized Certificate of Translation Accuracy. Much like how the notary authenticates the signer of the Certificate of Translation Accuracy, the apostille authenticates the notary. This allows the notarization to be valid internationally amongst any of the 116 countries that are members of the Hague Convention.

This may sound complex, but the process is straightforward and is significantly more streamlined than in the past. Prior to the Hague Convention, both the originating and receiving countries would perform the same authentication, which doubled the time and cost involved. Now only the originating country must authenticate documents and signers.

While apostilles have universal acceptance among countries that are a party to the Hague Convention, regardless of where it originates, it is essential to note that an apostille can only be obtained from the correct state or federal office that has commissioned the document or signer.

Our fulfillment team is based in Louisville, Kentucky, and the notary and signer from our company must both be physically present to execute the notarization. Therefore, you can only obtain an apostille for the notarized Certificate of Translation Accuracy from the Kentucky Office of the Secretary of State, since we must use a Kentucky Notary Public.

Step-by-Step Instructions to Obtain an Apostille

There are two steps to obtain an apostille in the state of Kentucky. First, the notary’s signature must be certified by the County Clerk’s office in the county where the notary took the oath of office. Next, the documents are submitted to the Office of the Secretary of State who will issue the apostille. Both offices typically handle requests within one business day and process documents on behalf of RushTranslate clients daily.

To streamline this process, the Jefferson County Clerk’s office has confirmed that they will mail our client’s documents directly to the Office of the Secretary of State if prepared following this process:

  1. Order a certified translation with notarization and shipping from RushTranslate. The Jefferson County Clerk’s office will require the original copy of our translation to certify the notary’s signature on the translation Certificate of Translation Accuracy.
  2. Print and fill out the request forms:
  3. Prepare checks for both the county and the state. Both charge a $5.00 per document fee for their services. The number of documents is determined by how many notarized translation certificates you submit. Make the checks payable to the Jefferson County Clerk and the Kentucky State Treasurer.
  4. Prepare two addressed envelopes with USPS First-Class postage. The Office of the Secretary of State will provide a return envelope and postage to ship your finalized documents back to you. Mailing addresses are provided below.
    • One envelope from the Jefferson County Clerk’s office to the Office of the Secretary of State. Include the check payable to the Kentucky State Treasurer and the request for apostille form. Once the county has certified the notary’s signature, they will add the translation and their certification in this envelope per the instructions on the request for notary certification form. Do not seal this envelope.
    • One envelope from you to the Jefferson County Clerk’s office. Include the check payable to the Jefferson County Clerk, the request for notary certification form, and the previously prepared envelope.

Mailing addresses:

Metro Hall
Jefferson County Clerk’s Office
527 W. Jefferson St., Room 100A
Louisville, KY 40203

Office of the Secretary of State
Authentications and Apostilles
P.O. Box 718
Frankfort, KY 40602

How to Reduce Turnaround Time

Both offices typically process requests within one business day, so the only option to reduce turnaround time is using a quicker shipping service. Follow the same instructions as above, but you will also need to prepare a third envelope from the Office of the Secretary of State to you as they only include First-Class mail. You will also need to use an alternative address for their office.

Office of the Secretary of State
Authentications and Apostilles
700 Capital Ave, Suite 158
Frankfort, KY 40601

Apostilles for Source Documents

Likely, you’ll also need to obtain an apostille for your source document. Keep in mind this is a separate document from the notarized Certificate of Translation Accuracy we provide, and unless your source document were issued by the state of Kentucky, you would obtain the apostille from a different State Department.

Apostilles are issued by the State Department, at both the Federal and State level, depending on where the document was issued. For example, a birth certificate is issued at the state level so an apostille would be obtained from the Secretary of State of the state that issued the document. An FBI background check is issued at the federal level so an apostille would be obtained from the US State Department.


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