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Home » Information What Is an Apostille Seal? By William Lynch What Is an Apostille Seal? Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images An Apostille seal is used to authenticate legal documents for use in foreign countries. A document with an Apostille, which is gold foil seal, requires no further certification from an embassy or consulate in order to be legal. History Apostille seals were introduced thanks to the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents. The convention established rules governing the international recognition of legal documents. Significance An Apostille seal means the document can be used legally in a foreign country. However, only countries that signed Article 12 of the 1961 Hague convention will honor an Apostille. Use Apostille seals are used on such documents as adoption papers, diplomas, business authorizations, passports, police clearances and powers of attorney. Misconceptions An Apostille seal is not a normal notary public stamp. Apostille seals are administered only from the secretary of state’s notary public. Fact Apostille is French for “certification.” References Ohio Secretary of State: Apostilles & Authentications ForeignDocuments.com: Apostilles in Q&A Italian-Weddings.com: Apostille About the Author William Lynch has been a freelance writer for the past fifteen years, working for various web sites and publications. He is currently enrolled in a Master of Arts program in writing popular fiction at Seton Hill University. He hopes to one day become a mystery novelist.