PROVIDENCE, RI – Earlier this week, Secretary of State Gregg M. Amore and the RI Department of State Business Services Division convened a Consular Roundtable to discuss recent updates and advances in apostille processes.
Secretary Amore and the Business Services Division were joined by representatives from 11 countries: Nigeria, Cabo Verde, Canada, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Philippines, Portugal, and Turkey (Turkiye).
"I am grateful to the many attendees of this week's Consular Roundtable for taking the time to meet with our Business Services Division and learn about these important updates," said Secretary of State Gregg M. Amore. "Ensuring the security and modernization of our document authentication services is a priority of the Business Services team, and I'm confident that the changes being implemented will only strengthen our relationship with our partners at the consulates and internationally."
An apostille is a form of authentication established at the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents, to which the United States is a subscriber. An apostille is used to authenticate public documents, certifying the authenticity of the issuing official's or notary public's signature on the document, the capacity in which the person has acted, and identifying the seal or stamp which the document bears.
During the Roundtable, members of the Business Services Division and consulate representatives discussed new initiatives of the Business Services Division to modernize the apostille process.
E-Apostille Services The Business Services Division introduced consulate representatives to the office's new pilot program to provide electronic apostilles for digital corporate documents such as Certificates of Good Standing. This pilot program is expected to begin in the coming weeks and will offer a secure, convenient, and cost-effective solution for the legalization of digital documents issued by a RI public official or notary public.
Uniform Apostille Certificates Rhode Island documents that are being used in countries that do not participate in the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents currently receive certifications instead of apostilles as a form of authentication. Documents that have received a certification typically require additional authentication by the U.S. Department of State after receiving state authentication.
At the Consular Roundtable, the Business Services Division announced it is transitioning to the Hague's model uniform apostille certificate, meaning all authenticated documents will receive the same authentication certificate. Rhode Island is the eleventh state in the United States – the first on the east coast – to adopt the model uniform certificate. The new uniform certificate will include tri-lingual instructions for the customer that inform them of possible additional authentication requirements, if the country to which they are sending the document is not a participant in the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. This change will streamline the document legalization process for the Business Services Division and provide useful information for the customer and the recipient country.
Roundtable attendees also received an update from the United States Department of State regarding recent and upcoming updates to apostille programs around the country, including adoption of the uniform certificate and e-apostille. Participants viewed a demonstration of the technology being used to ensure the security of the e-apostille process as well.
The Business Services Division is proud to continue partnerships with consulate offices to host pop-up consular services in the Division's West River Street office. Monday's Consular Roundtable represented the first event of its kind for the RI Department of State and offered attendees a unique and valuable opportunity to collaborate with many international partners.
The Business Services Division has made additional resources available on its Notary Public and Apostille webpages to inform customers of these changes. To learn more about the Notary Public and Apostille services of the RI Department of State, click here.