NOTARIZATION/LEGALIZATION OF DOCUMENTS
Documents that will be used in the Philippines that are executed, signed, or issued in Hawaii must EITHER bear a consular notarization from the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu, OR an Apostille Certificate from the Office of the Lieutenant Governor in order for the documents to have legal effect in the Philippines.
I. PHILIPPINE CONSULATE GENERAL NOTARIZATION/ CONSULARIZATION/ ACKNOWLEDGEMENT of a Private Document such as affidavits, special powers of attorney, deeds, sworn statements, employment contracts, etc.
Documents that need to be executed and signed in the presence of a consular official may be notarized/consularized by the Philippine Consulate General. The notarized document will have as covering page an ACKNOWLEDGEMENT or JURAT, which is signed by a Consular Official and contains the Consulate seal.
Please note that public documents, or documents issued by government agencies of Hawaii, for use in the Philippines will no longer be legalized by the Philippine Consulate General. (Refer to Section II for legalization of documents by Apostille.)
Requirements for notarization/consularization/acknowledgement at the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu:
- Confirmed online appointment (for appointments, please click here)
- PERSONAL APPEARANCE OF THE SIGNATORY OR SIGNATORIES.
- Original and photocopy of the document/s to be acknowledged.
- Original and photocopy of valid identification with photograph and signature of the holder (e.g. passport, driver’s license or any other government-issued identification card). The identification must bear the name and signature that appears on the document to be acknowledged.
- A non-refundable fee of USD 25.00 per document to be paid in cash, US postal money order, debit/credit card, Manager’s check, or Cashier’s check.
- Self-addressed USPS priority mail envelope, with postage fee of US$8.95. (Pick-up option is temporarily suspended. All documents will be released by mail.)
II. NOTARIZATION/LEGALIZATION BY APOSTILLE
A. Private Documents such as affidavits, special powers of attorney, deeds, sworn statements, etc., for use in the Philippines that cannot be executed and signed in the presence of a consular official:
1. The original document must be acknowledged before a notary public then submitted to the State of Hawaii First Circuit Court (or the Circuit Court in which the Notary Public resides) for signature and commission verification.
2. Once the notary’s signature and commission have been verified, documents must be forwarded to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, together with an Application for issuance of an Apostille or Certification (downloadable from https://ltgov.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Apostille-Cert.-App-updated-2-2-18-CHIN.pdf). Send your documents and specify what country your documents are bound for, along with a money order, or cashier’s check for $1.00 PER DOCUMENT to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, State Capitol, 5th Floor, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813. NO PERSONAL CHECKS WILL BE ACCEPTED. Please include an addressed and stamped envelope if you wish the documents to be returned or forwarded by mail, or provide a local, toll free telephone number where you can be contacted when the documents are ready for pickup.
3. After the document has been “Apostillized” by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, it can be sent to the Philippines directly. There is no need for the document/s to be authenticated by the Philippine Consulate General.
B. Documents issued by the Hawaii government, and for use in the Philippines,such as school records, marriage/ birth/ death certificates, etc.
1. Birth, marriage, and death certificates and court documents (divorce decrees, probated will, judgment, etc.) and copies of documents on file in the State Bureau of Conveyances must first be certified by the custodian of those records before they may be presented to the Lieutenant Governor for Certification or affixing an Apostille. The certified copy must display the ORIGINAL SIGNATURE (not a stamped signature) of the custodian of the record. CONTACT the Department of Health or the respective Court or the Bureau of Conveyances for any information on any fees charged for certified copies. Certified court records must contain the signature stamp of the court clerk along with the seal of the court.
Note: If you are requesting an Apostille on a birth, marriage, or death certificate, you will be ordering your Apostille directly from the Hawaii State Department of Health. Please refer to the Department’s website for further information on obtaining an Apostille (http://health.hawaii.gov/vitalrecords/apostilles/).
2. CERTIFIED COPIES of the documents must be forwarded to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, together with an Application for Apostile or Certification. Send the documents, specify what country the documents are bound for and for what purpose, along with a money order, or cashier's check for $1.00 per document to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, State Capitol, 5th Floor, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813. NO PERSONAL CHECKS WILL BE ACCEPTED. Also include an addessed and stamped envelope if you wish the document to be returned or forwarded by mail or provide a local, toll free telephone number where you can be contacted when the documents are ready for pickup.
3. Once the document has been “Apostillized” by Office of the Lieutenant Governor, it can be sent to the Philippines directly. There is no need for the document/s to be authenticated by the Philippine Consulate General.
FAQs on Apostille
What is an Apostille and when do I need one?
- An Apostille is a certificate that authenticates the origin of a public document. It is issued by a country that is party to the Apostille Convention to be used in another country which is also a party to the Convention.
- On 14 May 2019, the Philippines will officially become a party to the Apostille Convention. Authentication is still required for all Philippine documents to be used abroad, but this time with an Apostille instead of an Authentication Certificate (“red ribbon”) as proof of authentication.
- After authentication (Apostillization) by DFA-OCA, as Competent Authority, there is no more need for authentication (legalization) by the Foreign Embassies or Consulates except for non- Apostille countries and those that objected to the Philippine accession.
In which countries does the Apostille Convention apply?
- The Apostille Convention only applies if both the country where the public document was issued and the country where the public document is to be used are parties to the Convention. For the updated list of all “Apostille Countries,” please visit this link: https:/Avww.hcch.net/en/instruments/conventions/status-table/?cid=41
- Aside from countries that have not acceded to the Apostille Convention, the Philippine Apostille will not yet apply to Austria, Finland, Germany and Greece. Documents from and to such countries will still require legalization by the concerned Embassy or Consulate.
What do I do if the country where I need to use my public document is not an Apostille Country?
- By 14 May 2019, DFA-OCA will issue Apostille Certificates to all documents submitted for authentication. If your public document is to be used in a country where the Apostille Convention does not apply, you should contact the Embassy or Consulate of the country where you intend to use the document in order to find out what your options are. This usually means that you need to present your documents to the said country’s Embassy or Consulate in the Philippines for its authentication/legalization.
- You may also ask the intended recipient of your document whether an Apostille is necessary in your particular case.
To which documents does the Apostille Convention apply?
- The Philippine Apostille will apply to the same types of documents that are subject to authentication by the DFA prior to the effectivity of the Apostille Convention in the Philippines.
- Moreover, an Apostille may never be used for the recognition of a document in the country where that document was issued. Apostilles are strictly for the use of public documents abroad. Thus, if your document is to be used in the Philippines, it cannot be submitted to the DFA for authentication/Apostillization.
What is the benefit of an Apostille and how is it different from the Authentication Certificate ("Red Ribbon")?
- The Apostille streamlines the whole authentication procedure of documents for use abroad resulting to more convenience, less cost and processing time for the applicants. Before Apostille, a Philippine document to be used abroad needs a Certification by the relevant government agency or office, Authentication by the DFA and Authentication (Legalization) by the Embassy of the country of destination.
- With the Apostille, the aforementioned document will no longer require legalization by the Foreign Embassy if the country of destination is already a Member of the Apostille Convention (or an “Apostille Country.”) Once Apostillized, the document can be validly used in any and all Apostille Countries.
- The Apostille Convention also establishes conditions that are more conducive to foreign investment thereby improving the country’s global competitiveness. It makes it easier for companies to start up a business in a foreign country such as the Philippines. More direct investments in the Philippines mean more jobs for the Filipinos.
I am an Overseas Filipino, how will the Apostille Convention affect me?
- Just as Philippine documents for use in Apostille countries will no longer need to pass through another authentication by the foreign embassies in Manila after they have been authenticated (Apostillized) by the DFA-OCA, foreign documents from Apostille countries will only need Apostillization by the host government for them to be validly used in the Philippines or in another Apostille country. (Note: DFA-OCA will not authenticate/Apostillize all types of foreign documents.)
- There shall be no change in the authentication process in non-Apostille countries and in Austria, Fintand, Germany and Greece.
What if I still want my document, executed in an Apostille country, to be authenticated by the Philippine Consulate General?
- By 14 May 2019, Philippine Embassies/Consulates shall no longer authenticate documents originating from Apostille countries. Such documents will still need the Apostille from the host government but not the authentication by the Philippine Embassy/Consulate.
- Embassies and Consulates are not authorized to issue an Apostille. However, Philippine Embassies/Consulates shall continue to provide acknowledgement and jurat services to walk-in applicants regardiess of whether the origin of the document is an Apostille country or not.
What are the effects of an Apostille?
- Just like the Authentication Certificate (or “red ribbon”), an Apostille only certifies the origin of the public document to which it relates: it certifies the authenticity of the signature or seal of the person or authority that signed or sealed the public document and the capacity in which this was done.
- An Apostille does not certify the content of the public document to which it relates.
- An Apostille may never be used for the recognition of a document in the country where that document was issued — Apostilles are strictly for use of public documents abroad. Thus, DFA- OCA will not issue an Apostille for documents that will be used in the Philippines.
If the recipient of my Apostille wants to verify my Apostille, what should I suggest?
- Each Apostille Country is required to keep a register in which it records the date and number of every Apostille it issues, as well as information relating to the person or authority that signed or sealed the underlying public document. Recipients may contact the Competent Authority identified on the Apostille and ask whether the information on the Apostille corresponds with the information in the register.
- In order to verify a particular Apostille, recipients may contact the Competent Authority. Contact information for the Competent Authorities, including phone numbers and website information, is available in the Apostille Section of the Hague Conference website: https://www.hcch.net/en/instruments/conventions/authorities
- Issued Philippine Apostilles may be verified through this link: www.dfa.gov.ph/verify-apostille. You may also scan the QR Code on the Apostille, using your smartphone, for a quick access to the verification link.
Acknowledgement/Notarization of Documents
For private documents such as affidavits, special powers of attorney, deeds, sworn statements, etc., executed in Hawaii to have legal effect in the Philippines, these must be signed in the presence of a consular official and notarized/consularized by the Philippine Consulate General. The notarized document will have as covering page an ACKNOWLEDGEMENT or JURAT, which is signed by a Consular Official and contains the Consulate seal.
|Office or Division||Notarials Section|
|Type of Transaction||G2C|
|Who may avail:||All|
|CHECKLIST OF REQUIREMENTS||WHERE TO SECURE|
|Confirmed online appointment (except for Filipino citizens who can avail of the Courtesy Lane including seniors, pregnant women, persons with disabilities, and minors 7 years old and below)||Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu website (honolulupcg.dfa.gov.ph)|
|Document/s for acknowledgement/notarization||For execution by client|
|Valid government-issued ID with photo and signature (original and 1 photocopy)||Client|
|Client Steps||Agency Actions||Fees to be Paid||Processing Time||Person Responsible|
1. Go to PCG on day and time of appointment; wait for number to be called
For Courtesy Lane clients, log-in at Qless kiosk and wait for number to be called
|1. Summon client||None||1 minute (to log-in)||
2. Submit application form and supporting documents for processing and evaluation
2.1 Sign document
2. Receive, assess and evaluate completeness of documents
2.1 Requests client to sign document/s
|3. Submit application with supporting documents to the Cashier and pay the required fee||3. Receive the documents and payment, and issue Official Receipt||USD 25 per document||3 minutes||
|4. Wait for processing of acknowledgement||
4. Prepare acknowledgement and attach to document
4.1 Review and sign acknowledgement
1 working day (if document received before 12 pm)
2 working days (if document received after 12 pm)
|5. Return to PCG, log-in at Qless kiosk and wait for number to be called||5. Summon client||None||1 minute (to log-in)||
|6. Present Official Receipt as proof for claim. If claiming passport on behalf of applicant, submit Authorization letter of applicant||6. Hand acknowledgement to applicant/representative. Request check of accuracy on document and signature on PCG copy of the acknowledgement||None||5 minutes||
|TOTAL||Depends on number of documents||2 days, 18 minutes (Steps 2-4, 6)|