Apostille and notarization are both forms of legal certification that are used in Panama and other countries. However, they serve different purposes and have distinct processes.
Apostille is a form of international legalization that is used to verify the authenticity of public documents, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, and powers of attorney or letters of attorney. An Apostille is a certificate that is attached to the document and certifies the authenticity of the signature, the capacity in which the person signing the document acted, and the identity of any stamp or seal affixed to the document. In Panama, the Apostille is issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, other Panamanian government entities have the power to issue apostilles such as the Judiciary of Panama.
Notarization, on the other hand, is a process where a notary public certifies the signature on a document and attests to its authenticity. In Panama, notaries are public servants who are appointed by the government to perform notarial acts and to certify the authenticity of signatures and documents. Notary attestation is required for a wide range of transactions, including the sale and transfer of property, the execution of contracts, and the granting of power of attorney. It is worth mentioning that a notarized document can be apostilled too.
In conclusion, both Apostille and notarization play important roles in the legal process in Panama. Apostille is used for international legalization of public documents, while notarization is used to certify the authenticity of signatures and documents in a wide range of transactions.
If you ever need to obtain an apostille certificate or a notarized translation service in Panama, please let us know.