Do I need an apostille a California background check?
A background check requires an apostille if you plan to use your document outside of the United States and in a country – member of the Hague Apostille Convention. A background check is typically requested when individual plans to start a new job, adopt a baby, get married, etc. If you plan to move to a foreign country for work, education, or permanent residency, your background check will require an apostille.
How do I know which background check I need?
Depending on the country of your destination you may be asked to provide a state background check or a federal background check. You will need to check with the requesting country authorities what type of background check you will require. If a state background check is sufficient you will need to clarify where you can obtain it. In California, a background check can be obtained from the local Police Department, Local Sheriff’s Station, or the California State’s Department of Justice – Office of the Attorney General.
California State-issued background checks (including reports from the local Police Department, Local Sheriff’s Station, or the California State’s Department of Justice – Office of the Attorney General) can only receive an apostille from the California Secretary of State office. The State of California cannot apostille background reports issued by the FBI or by another state. If you have the FBI background check, it will receive an apostille from the United States Department of State. If your background check was performed by the state authorities, an apostille will be processed by the Secretary of State office in the same state. So, if your background check was done by the Police Department in Texas, the apostille on it will be obtained through the Texas Department of State.
Where can I get a background check and how can I get it apostilled?
You should always start by clarifying with the authorities that requested a background check what type of report they will accept. On a state level, a background check can be issued by a local police station, a local sheriff’s department, or by the State Department of Justice (DOJ).
Local Police Station Background Check – If you were instructed to get a local police background check, you will need to contact your local police department and have them write a report on a police department stationery. This letter should be then notarized by a local notary public. If your police station does not have a notary public, you must arrange for a traveling notary to come to the police station and notarize a signature of an officer signing your police report. When choosing a notary public make sure you select an experienced notary with a valid license. A signed and notarized report can then be mailed to our office for apostille processing.
Local Sheriff’s Department Background Check – If you were instructed to get a background check from a local Sheriff’s Department, you will need to contact your local Sheriff’s department and have them write a report on a Sheriff’s department stationery. This letter should be then notarized by a local notary public. If the sheriff’s department does not have an in-house notary public, you must arrange for a travelling notary to come to the Sheriff’s department and notarize a signature of an officer signing your background check report. When choosing a notary public make sure you select an experienced notary with the valid license. A signed and notarized background report can then be mailed to our office for apostille processing.
Department of Justice Background Check (DOJ) – Office of the Attorney General – If you were asked to obtain a background check from the State’s Department of Justice, you will need to contact the Department of Justice in your state. For example, if you are in California, you will need to contact the California Department of Justice (DOJ), or if you are a resident of Texas, you will need to request your background check from the Texas DOJ.
FBI Background check – To obtain the FBI background check you will need to contact the FBI directly or an approved FBI Channeler and ask them for detailed instructions on getting your background check application, including fingerprint submission. As soon as you get your report (which can be sent by email or by mail), please forward it (if you have a PDF copy) or mail it (if you received a hard copy) to our office for apostille processing. Since the FBI background check is a federally issued document, an apostille on the FBI background check is always processed by the US Department of State.
How can I apostille a California background check?
To receive a copy of your background check from the California State’s Department of Justice (DOJ), California residents will need to submit live-scan fingerprints. In California, fingerprinting services are available at most local police departments, sheriff's offices, or a public applicant Live Scan site. If you are located outside of California you will need to submit manual fingerprint cards (Form FD258). When you receive your fingerprint card, please review it to make sure it states your full name, your date of birth, your gender, and your return mailing address.
If your California background check is needed for immigration/visa purposes, please make sure you receive your results in a form of an official letter from the California Department of Justice bearing the signature of the official. Once you receive your signed background check report, you can mail it to our office for California apostille processing.
If a country of your destination requires that your background check is done by the FBI, then you will need to contact the FBI directly or an approved FBI channeler to receive your FBI background check. In this case, we will process the apostille on your FBI background check through the US Department of State.
Obtaining an apostille on an FBI background check is a complex process and should only be handled by professionals. Remember that trusting your important documents to incompetent people unfamiliar with the specifics of each country, may lead you to additional expenses, and delays of your important business by weeks, or even months. That’s why we recommend that you should let Global Apostille take care of obtaining an apostille on your FBI background check. We process apostille on background checks issued by all fifty states in the USA. For any questions, please visit our FAQ page or Contact Us page.
Our experts are available Monday through Friday from 10.00 AM to 6.00 PM. Please call us at 1-770-447-0360 or toll-free 866-416-0747, and we will answer all your questions and offer easy-to-follow detailed instructions.