- The Secretary of State’s Office does not offer translation services. The body of the document does not have to be translated in order for a document to be certified by our office; however, some countries require that the document be presented in that country’s official language. Montana law, however, does require the notarial certificate must be in English.
- Montana Language Services, located in Bozeman, MT can provide live, over-the-phone interpreter services as well as certified translations.
- An apostille agent is an individual who acts as an intermediary to assist people who need documents apostilled or authenticated for use in a foreign country. The apostille agent does not issue the apostilles or authentications, but they assist clients in obtaining them. Using an apostille agent is particularly helpful if: You are currently located outside the US; you will be dealing with several documents, especially if they are coming from multiple sources or states; or, if you are on a short timeframe and need priority handling services. If you are sending the documents to a non-Hague Convention-member country and will need the documents to be certified at the state, national, and/or embassy level, the services of an apostille agent may be well worth the additional cost.
Basically, the apostille agent is responsible for gathering the documents, checking them to assure that the documents can be apostilled (which includes getting them notarized properly if necessary), sending them to the appropriate state or national agency(ies) that issues the actual apostilles/authentication, and then returning the documents to the customer or forwarding them to the final recipient per the customer’s instructions.
Apostille agents set their own fees, usually based on the amount of time they will spend on managing and procuring your order, as well as shipping documents to and from various agencies and entities. Fees for apostille agents are not set or regulated by any government or private entity. Customers should be diligent in determining exactly what services are provided and the cost associated for those services.
An internet search will find a number of apostille agents operating throughout the United States. When choosing an agent there are certain questions that may help you determine the one that will most likely offer the services you require.
- What country will you be sending your document(s) to?
- How many documents will you need apostilled/authenticated?
- Where are the documents coming from?
- Do you have all of them in your possession currently or do some or all still have to be obtained?
- Can the documents be sent directly to the apostille agent or do they have to be sent to you first?
- Do any of the documents need to be notarized?
- Are any of the documents coming from a federal agency (i.e., an FBI background check, naturalization papers)?
- Are you currently located in the US?
- What state is the apostille agent/agency located in?