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Apostille Requirements

U.S. Department of State Issued Apostille Requirements

Federally issued documents destined for use in participating Hague Apostille countries may need to be authenticated with an Apostille issued by the U.S. Department of State. Documents requiring an Apostille issued by the U.S. Department of State are those which have been signed by one of the following:

  • U.S. Federal Official 
  • an American Consular Officer 
  • a Military Notary, Judge Advocate (10 USC 1044a), or a foreign Consul diplomatic official registered with the State Department Office of Protocol  

Note:   All certifications must include a legible signature of the official's name, title and seal of the agency.

  • Please submit a completed Request of Authentications Service DS-4194 form with all of your requests. In Section 4 of the DS-4194, the "Country of Use" please put the actual name of the country the document will be used in. This information for each document must be specified before the document(s) can be processed. The "Country of Use" is the actual country the document will be used in. 

State Issued Apostille Requirements

State issued documents destined for use in Hague Apostille countries may be authenticated by the Competent Authority in the state where the document was executed. A list of these authorities can be found on the Hague website.  The local state requirements are as follows:

  • Officials (usually in the office of the state’s Secretary of State) must have been designated as a competent authority to issue Apostilles under the Convention. 
  • A document with an Apostille does not require additional certification by the U.S. Department of State or legalization by a U.S. embassy or consulate overseas to be recognized in a participating country. 


Note:  The U.S. Department of State will not issue an Apostille for state-issued documents. 

  • If your documents are intended for use in a country that does not participate in the Hague Apostille Convention, you may request an authentication certificate from the Department of State based on the authentication requirements.  

Office of Authentications

Physical Address:

  Office of Authentications
  U.S. Department of State
  600 19th Street, NW
  Washington, DC 20006

Mailing Address:

  Office of Authentications
  U.S. Department of State
  CA/PPT/S/TO/AUT
  1st Floor
  1150 Passport Services PL
  Dulles, VA 20189-1150

Note:  Effective October 6, 2014, all express mail air bill labels sent to the Office of Authentications for the use of returning documents must reflect the customer’s mailing address as both the sender and recipient.    

Telephone:

  202-485-8000

  Note: During inclement weather
  conditions, please check the OPM
  Website to determine the open status
  of the Federal Government.

Telephone Inquiries

To inquire about the status of your documents, please call the Office of Authentications:

Phone:  202-485-8000

  9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 
  1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. EST
  Monday through Friday

When calling for a telephone inquiry, you must indicate whether a request form DS-4194 (PDF version) was submitted and provide the following:

* Full name and/or name of company
* Type of document(s)
* Country of use
* Number of document(s)
* Complete return address
* Type of mail service used to return the
   document(s) if applicable; include
   tracking number
* Type of payment submitted 

Schedule an Appointment

To schedule an appointment or speak with an Authentications Specialist, please call the Office of Authentications:

Phone:  202-485-8000

  9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 
  1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. EST
  Monday through Friday

Appointment Services:

  10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. and 
  2:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  Monday through Friday

  Note:  All Federal Holidays are
  excluded.