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Montana Notary Division

e-APP Symposium
August 15, 2024

A day-long opportunity to learn how technology can help you, your business, or your organization handle international transactions faster, easier, more securely, more reliably, and more cost-effectively.

When you require documents to be apostillised for use in a foreign country, you may now have the option to obtain the necessary Apostille electronically, completing the entire process online and/or via email in hours instead of weeks!

Join us to discover how Montana and six other states are implementing e-Apostilles so you have the power to manage international transactions at the speed of life!

  • Individuals working, living, studying, or selling/purchasing property abroad; couples adopting children from other countries.
  • Businesses and Non-profit Organizations operating in foreign jurisdictions currently, or those planning to expand into international markets.
  • Lawyers & Law Firms with clients living or doing business abroad.
  • Apostille Agents wanting to provide faster, more efficient, more responsive service to their customers
  • Government Agencies that issue records that are being sent around the world.
  • Competent Authorities currently issuing paper Apostilles that want to learn more about how they, too, can offer the benefits of e-Apostilles to their constituents.
  • Consular & Embassy Officials from other countries interested in learning about the e-Apostilles they will receive from various Competent Authorities in the United States.

Dr. Christophe Bernasconi

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Christophe Bernasconi took the office of Secretary General of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) on 1 July 2013. In 2018, he was reappointed for a further term of five years; and in 2023, he was appointed for another five-year term (effective 1 July).

Dr Bernasconi had joined the Permanent Bureau (the Secretariat of the HCCH) in September 1997 as Secretary, became First Secretary in May 2000, and Deputy Secretary General in July 2011. He holds a law degree from Fribourg University in Switzerland (magna cum laude; bilingual German and French), an LL.M. degree in comparative law from McGill University in Montreal (Canada) (concentration on International Commercial Law, with a Master’s Thesis on oligopolies in unfair competition law), and a doctoral degree (Dr. iur. utr.) in Private International Law from Fribourg University (summa cum laude). 

William P Fritzlen

Bill serves as Senior Counsel in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State.

Melissa Ford

Melissa is the Secretary of the Transnational Litigation and Apostille Division at the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference.

Timothy Reiniger

Timothy serves as a Special Advisor to private companies, national associations, and governments.

Christopher Jackson

Christopher is the CEO and Co-founder of Paradigm, Inc. and recently @Gov, Inc. 

Montana Secretary of State Notary Division Symposium FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Powers of Attorney
  • Copies of Passports
  • Copies of Driver’s Licenses
  • FBI Background Reports
  • State Background Checks
  • Financial Dossiers
  • Medical Certificates
  • Contracts
  • Marriage Certificates
  • Transcripts
  • Business Filings
  • School Records
  • Diplomas
  • Teaching Certificates
  • Proof of Insurance
  • Sales/Purchase Agreements
Almost any notarized document may be e-Apostillised; certified copies of official records such as birth and death certificates or other records printed on security paper may not be eligible for electronic processing at this time.

It’s a one-day event to introduce electronic Apostilles (e-Apps) to individuals, businesses, lawyers, government agencies, and others who currently transmit documents internationally or intend to do so in the future.

An Apostille is a certificate issued by a “competent authority” that verifies the signature of the notary public or other official who signed or notarized a record that is intended to be used abroad.

Anyone who lives, works, or studies in a foreign country will often require Apostilles to validate personal documents like background checks, employment history, and school records. Any business offering products or services in other countries must provide documentation of business records, financial statements, and authorization for local representation in foreign countries. Millions of Apostilles are issued by 126 participating countries every year.

An electronic Apostille is a digital version of the paper Apostille. They can be electronically attached to documents that originated as either paper or electronic records.

Hometown Hospitallity

Helena, MT

Nestled amidst the breathtaking Rocky Mountains, Helena is a charming city that offers a blend of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking a tranquil retreat, Helena has something to offer for everyone.

What to Do

ENTERTAINMENT & RECREATION

Gates of the Mountains

Nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of Montana, the Gates of the Mountains offers a gateway to nature’s wonders. Whether you’re casting a rod or embarking on a scenic boat tour through the majestic limestone cliffs or venturing out on a hike along pristine trails where you’re sure to see mountain goats and bears, you’re sure to be captivated by the beauty that surrounds you.

Brewery Tour

Craft beer enthusiasts find your hoppy haven! Embark on a tantalizing journey through our city’s vibrant brewery scene, where each sip tells a story of passion, creativity, and Montana’s rich brewing tradition. With a diverse array of breweries scattered throughout our picturesque streets, there’s always something new and exciting to discover.

Farmers Market

Local Artisanal Products: A variety of artisanal products made by local craftsmen and artisans. From handmade soaps and candles to pottery, jewelry, and textiles, you’ll find a wide range of unique items to browse and purchase.

Live Music and Entertainment: Enjoy the sounds of local musicians as you stroll through the market and shop for fresh produce and handmade goods.

Food Trucks and Prepared Foods: Hungry shoppers can sample a diverse selection of ready-to-eat foods from local food trucks and vendors. 

Adventure Awaits!

Helena is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you crave the adrenaline rush of mountain biking down rugged trails, the tranquility of casting your line into pristine waters for a day of fishing, or the serenity of hiking through lush landscapes, you’ll find endless opportunities to explore and connect with nature.

Website developed, hosted, and maintained by the staff of Christi Jacobsen at the Montana Secretary of State’s Office.

sosmt.gov

Looking for more Montana Secretary of State services? You'll find more info on Elections & Voter Services, resources for Small Business, info and education for Notaries and much more at https://sosmt.gov/.

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Dr. Christophe Bernasconi

Dr Bernasconi had joined the Permanent Bureau (the Secretariat of the HCCH) in September 1997 as Secretary, became First Secretary in May 2000, and Deputy Secretary General in July 2011. He holds a law degree from Fribourg University in Switzerland (magna cum laude; bilingual German and French), an LL.M. degree in comparative law from McGill University in Montreal (Canada) (concentration on International Commercial Law, with a Master’s Thesis on oligopolies in unfair competition law), and a doctoral degree (Dr. iur. utr.) in Private International Law from Fribourg University (summa cum laude).  He has been actively involved in numerous normative projects and non-normative activities of the HCCH, covering the full range of its mandate, from transnational litigation and Apostille (incl. the e-APP), to international family and child protection law, as well as commercial, digital and finance law. As Secretary General, he is focusing on the good governance and strategic development of the HCCH, spearheading efforts towards its universality and inclusiveness. Before joining the Permanent Bureau, Dr Bernasconi lectured Private International Law at the University of Fribourg, worked as Legal Expert at the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law in Lausanne, and as Scientific Collaborator at the Federal Office of Justice in Switzerland. He also advised practitioners on various Private International Law matters.

William P Fritzlen

He is an acknowledged expert on consular issues, in particular international judicial cooperation, domestic and international notarial law and document authentication, and has extensive experience with the related Hague and Inter-American Conventions. He is a coauthor of the first edition of the Hague Conference on Private International Law’s Handbook on the Practical Operation of the Apostille Convention and a contributor to the Handbooks on the Service and Evidence Conventions. He has served as a liaison to that organization since 2004 and was the Chairman of the Special Commission on the Practical Operation of the Hague Service, Evidence and Access to Justice Conventions in 2014. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Australia and New Zealand College of Notaries and serves as the Department of State’s liaison to the Notary Public Administrators Section of the National Association of Secretaries of State.

Melissa Ford

Melissa has primary responsibility at the Permanent Bureau for the 1961 Apostille Convention, 1965 Service Convention, 1970 Evidence Convention, 2005 Choice of Court Convention, and the 2019 Judgments Convention. Melissa also has responsibility for the ongoing work of the Jurisdiction Project. Prior to joining the Permanent Bureau, Melissa worked in the Australian Government across a range of policy and legal areas. Melissa was the Director of the Private International & Commercial Law Section of the Attorney-General’s Department. This Section is the National Organ to the HCCH, the Central Authority for the 1965 Service and 1970 Evidence Conventions, and responsible for work relating to the 2005 Choice of Court and 2019 Judgments Conventions. In this role, Melissa attended various HCCH meetings, including the Council on General Affairs and Policy, Special Commissions, and the 2019 Diplomatic Session.

Timothy Reiniger

Timothy Reiniger serves as a Special Advisor to private companies, national associations, trade organizations, and governments. He specializes in information governance law and policy (data privacy and protection, information security, electronic document authentication, notarial law, remote/online/cyber notarization, and digital human rights). He is an author of the Virginia Digital Identity Law (2015) and the Online Notary Law (2011), both of which are first of their kind in the US. He was a member of the team that drafted HB370, the 2019 Montana Notary Law. He is an internationally recognized expert on notarial law, digital identity law, e-apostilles, data privacy/protection, and interstate and international recognition of notarial acts. On the international level, he has served on the Advisory Board of the EC’s LIGHTest Data Sharing/Protection Project. He is founder of The Cybernotary Society. A licensed attorney in California, DC, New Hampshire, and Maine, he graduated from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and the University of Michigan Law School.

Christopher Jackson

Christopher Jackson is the CEO/Co-founder of Paradigm, Inc. and recently @Gov, Inc. Paradigm is one of the largest paper & digital credential issuers for Higher Education in America. Jackson adapted his digital credentialing knowledge to the broader needs of government. He and his team have spent the last three years studying state governments, their business practices & methodologies, particularly as they relate to Apostilles and Vital Records (credentials). This has culminated in the first US e-Apostille pilot project involving seven states that are now able to offer digital apostilles on notarized records.  Efforts are in progress to digitize vital records so that they will be able to be electronically apostillised also. Even though a technophile, Jackson remains firm that “technology is only 40% of the equation: understanding workflows, the environment, and existing laws are paramount to a robust government solution.”