NOTARY PUBLIC SERVICES/APOSTILLES
- A Notary Public is a state public officer appointed and commissioned by the Governor whose function is to administer oaths, take acknowledgments of deeds and other instruments,
attest to or certify photocopies of certain documents, and perform other duties specified by law. They are governed by
Chapter 117, Florida Statutes. The Leon County Clerk’s Office has a few employees who are commissioned as Florida notaries. It is the policy of the Clerk’s Office, however,
that these employee notaries are limited to providing notary services during business hours and will only be allowed to notarize documents that are for official clerk-related business.
As local government employees, these notaries are not permitted to neglect their duties of employment to provide the general public with notary services.
If you have a document you need notarized that is not official clerk-related business, please check the
yellow pages for a listing of private notaries. In addition, many banks, insurance firms, law firms, and real estate offices have notaries available. It is advisable, however, that you
contact these type offices first as many, particularly banks, will only notarize for clients.
- An apostille is a simplified certification issued by the Florida Secretary of State which can be attached to public documents that are to be used in any country that has signed the 1961
Hague Convention. With the apostille, the document is entitled to recognition in the country of intended use, and no further authentication or legalization by the embassy or consulate of
the foreign country where the document is to be used is required. Apostilles are not issued by county clerks in the State of Florida, as many are led to believe. Apostilles and Certificates
of Notarial Authority must be obtained from the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, Apostille/Certification Section. With the apostille, the document is entitled to
recognition in the country of intended use, and no further authentication or legalization by the embassy or consulate of the foreign country where the document is to be used is required.
Additional information concerning cost and contact information can be found on the Department of State’s website.