Legal documents for use in The Bahamas
Legal documents for use in The Bahamas must be authenticated by the Embassy or a Bahamian Consulate, or by means of an Apostille issued by the Secretary of State. (This only applies to countries which have signed the Hague Convention on Documents). If the document has an Apostille attached, no action is required by the Embassy and the document may be returned to sender. In the absence of an Apostille, the document requires notarization by a Consular Officer. These documents must have a notarial certificate issued by the County or Circuit Court Clerk of the administering county. The signature of the County or Circuit Court Clerk certifies the signature of the Notary Public who notarizes the document. If the notarial certificate is not attached, the document must be returned to sender to obtain the certificate.
Legal documents for use outside The Bahamas Legal documents for use outside The Bahamas also require authentication by the Embassy. These documents usually include among others, Powers of Attorney, Certificates of Incorporation, Articles of Associations and Marriage and Birth Certificates. An Apostille issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should accompany these documents. The Apostille certifies the signature of the local attorney or Notary Public in The Bahamas. The Apostille should be signed by an Officer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Specimen signatures of Officers so designated should be found on file. For those countries which have signed the Hague Convention the Apostille issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be sufficient. Where this is not the case, the document must be authenticated by the Embassy.
A fee of $20.00 per document is charged to process a document. If the main document is done in duplicate, the second and subsequent copies are $20.00 each. If several copies make up a whole, the main document is $20.00 and the others are $20.00 each. If more than one signature is required on a single document, i.e. there are several certificates attached to the same document, certification of the first signature is $20.00 and each subsequent signature is $10.00.
For the Request for Apostille/Legalization of Documents form please click here.