Apostilles and Notarization of Official CGU Documents
International students and students seeking work in foreign government agencies may be asked by prospective employers to provide certification of their credentials from the United States. Certification means that a sworn affidavit of a document's authenticity is obtained in an acceptable form from either the creator of the document or an official representative of the agency that issued the document.
Authentication on an international level is accomplished by a two-step process that was adopted in 1961 by the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalization of Foreign Public Documents.
A document is first notarized, meaning that the document is presented to a Notary Public for affixing of the notary's seal. The document may only be presented to a notary by the creator of the document or by an authorized representative of the creator of the document. In the case of diplomas and transcripts, this representative is the registrar. The presenter takes an oath regarding the authenticity of the document and is required to present valid identification to the notary. If satisfied, the notary provides the Jurat as official validation. Commonly referred to as the notarization, this Jurat consists of the notary's seal and signature.
Notary Publics are representatives of the Department of State for the state in which they operate. And because there are numerous notaries throughout the nation, the apostille serves as a second validation for documents that are being sent for official uses outside the United States. In effect, the apostille validates and endorses the right of the Notary Public's action.
Certification of CGU Documents
The Registrar's Office provides notarization of official CGU transcripts and CGU diplomas as needed. Students and/or requesting parties, however, must submit notarized documents direct to the State of California for affixing of the apostille.
Per state regulations, only original documents may be used in the notary process.
Diplomas. Bring the original document to the Registrar's Office for notarization. If the original document is not available, you must order a replacement diploma. It is not CGU's practice to affix a notary seal on the diplomas itself. A copy will be made and used with a sworn statement of authenticity by the registrar. Copies may only be made from originals that have been determined to be authentic by the registrar. As a result, only original documents may be submitted to the registrar. Copies of documents will not be accepted.
Transcripts. Requests for the notarization of transcripts must include a request for a new transcript. Originals and copies or documents previously ordered may not be used for notarization.
The notarization process is provided free by CGU but requires some processing time since the registrar must contact and meet with a notary.
An apostille is a validation or verification of the notarization. It is provided by the State office to whom the notary reports. In California, the apostille is a service of the State of California Department of State. The State's website on notary authentication provides complete instructions and fees for this service.
The procedure instructs consumers to mail documents to the Office of the Secretary of State in Sacramento (phone 916-653-3595). For those who are geographically in southern California, you may also contact the Office of the Registrar/Recorder for the County of Los Angeles (12400 Imperial Highway, Norwalk, CA 90650, phone 800-815-2666) and the Los Angeles Regional Office of the Secretary of State for the State of California (300 South Spring Street, Room 12513, Los Angeles, CA 90013) for assistance.