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How to obtain a 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? As of October 1, 2013 you will be able to expedite your order for an additional $50, similar to other expedited services. This will allow same day processing if you bring the documents to our office. If you send the documents by mail for expedited service they will be processed within 2 business days. Non expedited requests are processed in the order received, typically within 5 to 7 business days. All completed 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