The Hague Apostille is something that all students in my program (UNC and Duke students spending the fall semester in Sevilla, Spain at CINECU as well as EUSA and Universidad de Sevilla) were required to obtain to verify the validity of our transcripts. Initially, this process looked simple, but as I tried to get my apostille, it soon became more complicated. Because of the many issues I had in obtaining my Hague Apostille, I thought I’d write a post on obtaining it so that you don’t have as much trouble as I did, especially if you’re from out-of-state!
Step 1: Order your Transcript
Ordering the transcript always takes some time, so don’t wait until the last minute!
Step 2: Print out a “True Copy” Form
The transcript won’t have anywhere for the notary public to notarize, so you’ll need to print out this form. Otherwise, if your bank is anything like mine, they’ll act confused and won’t give you the correct form because it’s considered “legal advice.”
Step 3: Go to the Bank
Bring with you your opened transcript, a blank True Copy form and your license. You’ll fill out the form in front of the notary and show them your license, and then they’ll notarize it.
Step 4: Fill Out a Cover Letter
You’ll need to fill out this cover letter, whether you plan to submit the documents by mail or in person. Along with the cover letter, you will have to submit a $10 fee for the one document by either money order or check. The payment can be made out to “NC Secretary of State.”
Step 5: Submit the Documents by Mail or in Person
If sending the documents by mail, be sure to include (in addition to the transcript, true copy form, cover letter and payment) a pre-paid envelope for them to send the documents back to you. When I did this the first time, I just asked the post office what I should do, and they put the necessary postage on two envelopes and folded the return envelope up inside the first one.
If you live anywhere near Raleigh, it may be worth going to the NC Secretary of State office in person. I did this the second time (I had to go back since my bank messed up the notarization.), and it was incredibly easy. I was able to find a paid meter spot right in front of the building and within 15 to 20 minutes, I had my Hague Apostille. The office is located at 2 South Salisbury St, Raleigh, NC 27601-2903.
If you want more information, you can read what the NC Secretary of State office has to say on their website: https://www.secretary.state.nc.us/authen/aposinfo.aspx
I hope this helps! Best of luck in obtaining the Apostille as well as in studying abroad!