An authentication issued from your public authority in the Secretary of State is useful for certifying both personal and commercial documents. This verification is of prime use for working with authorities outside of the United States of America. Included in the type of papers that can receive the government seal are items ranging from diplomas to corporate agreements and birth certificates.
When Seeking an Apostille From Secretary of State Offices
Preparation – Make sure you have all your documents in order. You will need notarized original copies of state-issued documents to get the process started. Also, have the name of the requesting country available. This is a precaution as their guidelines may require work to pair with the U.S. Certification.
Choices – You can request an apostille online or in person. Going through State Department office channels on your own will take time and can be confusing if you’re not already familiar with the process. That’s why you might want to consider seeking out a service that can streamline the process.
Cost – Know there is an illusion of hidden charges. The bottom line for costs includes charges for copying documents, notarizing services, mailing fees, costs of signing services, and Secretary of State fees. Using a signing service, you may find the estimated costs are less than $100 per document.
For those of you venturing on without a signing service, obtaining Apostille from Secretary of State to authenticate documents of public authority for use outside the United States occurs if both countries are members of the 1961 The Hague Convention Treaty. Eighty-three members currently participate in the conference.
For those countries not participating in the treaty, you may need certification by a Consulate or Embassy. For quick reference, some nonparticipating countries include Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burma Myanmar, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chile and China. Visit their website at
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