We have all had a day where we say to ourselves, you know I really could have done without the invention of the segway aka the douchemobile. They could have spent the time inventing the time machine instead. And we all have had that day when we certainly could have used said time machine. You know, the usual, “hey don’t go to that party, you are going to flunk that exam” or “brace yourself that lady in front of you is going to stop short” Heck I’ll even include a simple “seriously, you are going to eat another donut” spiel…ok that one I could have used a lot. The truth is, no other time would I have used that time machine more than today. First let me explain my fabulous day. I woke up full of excitement. Today I was taking most of the documents into NYC to be apostilled. This, of course, is the last step in completing the dossier that will go to Peru. It was raining and unseasonably cold but that was not going to get me down. I made the trek across the river for the hour ride by train into the city. I found the last parking spot in the entire lot so I was feeling lucky, unfortunately that is as far as my luck got me. Getting out of the car my right foot sunk into a puddle that just about reached my knee. I was in a hurry so I soldiered on in order to catch the next train. I ran to purchase my ticket from the machine and in a hurry I mistakenly bought the off-peak rate rather than the peak one which was the one I was about to board. I had no time to correct the error since the train had just arrived. Once inside, I went to the ticket taker (not really sure of their official title) and tried to just pay for the difference when I noticed that in my hurry to make the train I had only removed the receipt and the actual ticket, as I can see it from inside the closed train doors, had remained in the machine. Thank goodness the guy could see it too and he allowed me to just give him the difference of the peak ticket and be on my way. At this point I was slowly loosing all the excitement with which I had began the day.
I arrived in NYC an hour after, as I exited the station the rain became the strongest it had been, OF COURSE!! I held the folder of documents close to me and started my way downtown to the NY Department of State office. Now I had read the website and they said they take checks or money order for payment, however, that day they opted for only money orders….yup sounds about right for how my day was going. At least it was consistently crappy thus far. Seeing my startled look at the sight of the NO CHECKS sign, a gal on the line with a very thick german accent points across the street while saying ‘money order buy you there’ I was grateful for the heads-up. The line was as long as a DMV line at the end of the month….I’m from Jersey and that’s LONG, but I hurried across the street to purchase 190$ in a money order. I had 19 papers to apostille at 10$ a pop. I returned feeling victorious and made the line and waited, and waited, and waited. 1 hour later my turn had come, I gathered my papers and made my way to the next available window. As I proceeded to show her all the papers I needed, she stops me mid sentence and delivers the coups de grâce. Apparently I had to certify every piece of document before taking it to them. Here is where the time machine would have been invaluable. Future me could have come to present me two months ago and said “research what it means to certify documents, and for the love of all that is holy stop eating donuts”. I should have known there was yet another step in this already horridly long and tedious process. I should have known!!
This is what a certified/authenticated document looks like for the state of NY (orange county). It varies slightly by county and I am assuming state, but it is always an extra paper attached to the document with the seal going all the way through both.
CERTIFYING also known as AUTHENTICATING a document means if a document has been notarized you must go to the county court house where the notary received their certificate and they check that the notary’s license is up to date and the court puts a county seal on top of the already notarized document. Its about 3$-5$ per document to do this. For legal documents (birth certificates, marriage certificates) you must go to the county in which the certificate was issued.