How to obtain an Apostille or Certificate of Authentication
What is an Apostille?
An "apostille" is a form of authentication issued to documents for use in countries that participate in the Hague Convention of 1961. If the country of intended use does not participate in the Hague Convention , documents being sent to that country can obtain a Certificate of Authentication.
The Office of the Secretary of State provides apostille and authentication service to U.S. citizens and foreign nationals on documents that will be used overseas. Types of documents include corporate documents such as company bylaws and articles of incorporation, power of attorney, diplomas, transcripts, letters relating to degrees, marital status, references and job certifications, home studies, deeds of assignments, distributorship agreements, papers for adoption purposes, etc. The U.S. State Department provides general information about document authentications and apostilles under the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961 .
For document types, and where to obtain them, please see APOSTILLE DOCUMENT GUIDELINES.
To obtain an apostille you must send the following information:
Original notarized document to be authenticated or a certified copy to be authenticated that includes the original certification.
- Fee is $15.00 per document (a document can be more than one page).
- Make check or money order payable in U.S. dollars (USD) to: Secretary of State
- Apostille or Certificate of Authentication Request Form, which includes:
- The name of the country requesting documents. (Countries require different certifications and the document cannot be authenticated without this information)
- A daytime phone number for questions
- Information on where the documents should be mailed after processing
- If documents are for a minor, please use the name of the person making the request
NEED YOUR APOSTILLE IN A HURRY? The fastest method is to bring your documents to Olympia for in-person service at an additional $50 fee. Expedited mail service is also available for an additional $50, and will be processed within 2 business days of receiving your order. Non expedited (regular) requests are processed in the order they are received, typically within 5 to 7 business days of receiving your order. All completed mail orders are returned using regular U.S. postal mail unless a pre-paid shipping label is included with the request.
NOTICE: We do not process FBI Clearance letters. They can only be processed at the US Department of State, in Washington DC.
Once you have gathered the necessary documents you may deliver them in person or mail them to:
|In Person:||Mail To:|
|Corporations Division||Corporations Division|
|Apostille and Certificate Program||Apostille and Certificate Program|
|801 Capitol Way South||PO Box 40228|
|Olympia, WA 98501||Olympia, WA 98504|
Certificates are not valid for use anywhere within the United States of America, its territories or possessions.