Apostilles Issued by the California Secretary of State
In an effort to achieve uniformity to the greatest extent possible with Apostilles issued by
other states of the United States, and to closely mirror The Hague Conference on Private
International Law’s model certificate, the Apostilles issued by the California Secretary of
State have changed. The new California Apostille is modeled on the trilingual model
certificate published by the Hague Conference. The changes noted below conform to the
Conclusions and Recommendations Adopted by the Special Commission on the Practical
Operation of the Hague Apostille, Evidence and Service Conventions (2003) and
Conclusions and Recommendations of the Special Commission on the Practical
Operation of the Hague Apostille, Service, Taking of Evidence and Access to Justice
Conventions (2009).

As of November 1, 2011, Apostilles issued by the California Secretary of State:

  • Have a standard header utilized by the Business Programs Division of the California Secretary of State;
  •  Are black and white with a black, non-embossed California State Seal;
  • Contain the California Secretary of State’s signature;
  • Conform to the trilingual version of the model Apostille certificate published by the Hague Conference on
    Private International Law in the form of a bordered box with sides at least 9 centimeters long on an allonge
    (a separate attachment) that is 8.5 x11 inches; and,
  • Have additional language below the 10 standard items contained in a bordered box.
  • Apostilles are affixed to the signature page of the document with staples. A red, rubber stamp impression of
    the California State Seal is overlapped on the Apostille and the document.