Can the U.S. Embassy or Consulate apostille a public document?
No, unfortunately we cannot. Most Embassies or Consulates in Ecuador do provide this service but the U.S. Embassy or Consulate does not certify or apostille U.S. issued documents or diplomas. State issued documents can only be apostille/certified by the Secretary of State of the issuing state.
What is an Apostille?
The United States and Ecuador are parties to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents.
The Convention abolishes the requirement of diplomatic and consular legalization for public documents originating in one Convention country and intended for use in another. Therefore, for U.S. public documents to be valid in Ecuador, including birth or marriage certificates, divorce decrees, court documents, school transcripts or diplomas, one should obtain an apostille.
An apostille can be obtained from either (1) the U.S. Department of State, in the case of documents issued by U.S. federal agencies; (2) Clerks and Deputy Clerks of U.S. Federal Courts, for U.S. Federal Court documents; or (3) the Secretary of State, or other state authority, for documents issued by authorities and notaries public in one of the fifty states or other jurisdiction.
Under the Hague Convention, neither Ecuadorian consular certification, nor any other authentication other than the apostille from one of the three sources listed above, depending upon the authority which issued the document, is required for a U.S. document to be used before an Ecuadorian civil authority.
U.S. Documents with an Apostille may require translation
A foreign public document with an Apostille that will be used in Ecuador must be translated into Spanish. In most cases this translation must be certified by an Ecuadorian Embassy or Consulate. Please check the Ecuadorian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for information regarding the closest Embassy or Consulate to your location.
For more information about the Apostille process, please visit the Hague Convention, U.S. Civil Registry Records or the Department of State website.