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Regresar | Legalization of Documents

In order for a document issued by a competent United States authority to be legal in Ecuador, it needs to be APOSTILLED by the Secretary of State where the document was issued. Translations of documents should be APOSTILLED in order to be valid in Ecuador.

ENTRY INTO FORCE OF CONVENTION ABOLISHING THE REQUIREMENT OF LEGALIZATION FOR FOREING PUBLIC DOCUMENTS (THE APOSTILLE)
Since April 2005, the Republic of Ecuador has been part of the 1961 Hague Convention abolishing Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents, also known as the Apostille Convention. The purpose of this convention is to facilitate the circulation of public documents issued within countries that have signed the convention.

Ecuador and the United States are two of the 72 members of this Convention, therefore public documents, such as birth, marriage, death certificates, school diplomas, degrees, judgments, patents, notarial acknowledgments of signatures, etc. must be legalized with an Apostille. Once a document has been certified with the apostille no further authentication by a consulate is required.

Article 1 of the mentioned convention states the following: “Article 1 The present Convention shall apply to public documents which have been executed in the territory of one Contracting State and which have to be produced in the territory of another Contracting State.

For the purposes of the present Convention, the following are deemed to be public documents:

a) documents emanating from an authority or an official connected with the courts or tribunals of the State, including those emanating from a public prosecutor, a clerk of a court or a process-server ("huissier de justice");
b) administrative documents;
c) notarial acts;
d) official certificates which are placed on documents signed by persons in their private capacity, such as official certificates recording the registration of a document or the fact that it was in existence on a certain date and official and notarial authentications of signatures.


However, the present Convention shall not apply:

a) to documents executed by diplomatic or consular agents;
b) to administrative documents dealing directly with commercial or customs operations.”


In the United States the corresponding Secretary of State is the authority that issues an Apostille. For instance, if a birth certificate was issued in Maryland, to get an apostille you must contact the Secretary of State of Maryland. In order to consult the authorities of the Apostille in all and each one of the countries members of the Convention, we suggest visiting the website for Hague Conference on the International Private Law www.hcch.net

 

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