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Legal Resources

Apostille Requirements

Apostilles authenticate the seals and signatures of officials on public documents such as birth certificates, court orders, or any other document issued by a public authority so that they can be recognized in foreign countries that are members of the 1961 Hague Convention Treaty.

The U.S. Department of State only issues apostilles for federal documents to use in countries that are members of the 1961 Hague Convention.

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U.S. Department of State-Issued Apostille Requirements

Federally-issued documents for use in countries that are members of the 1961 Hague Convention may need to be authenticated with an apostille issued by the U.S. Department of State. Documents signed by the following officials require an apostille issued by the U.S. Department of State:

  • U.S. federal official 
  • U.S. consular officer 
  • A military notary, judge advocate (10 USC 1044a), or a foreign consul diplomatic official registered with the U.S. Department of State's Office of Protocol  

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

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State-Issued Apostille Requirements

State-issued documents for use in countries that are members of 1961 Hague Convention must be authenticated by the competent authority in the state where the document was executed.

A state-issued 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.The U.S. Department of State will not issue an apostille for state-issued documents.

State-issued documents for use in countries that are not members of the 1961 Hague Convention may be authenticated with an authentication certificate from the U.S. Department of State. Please see Authentication Certificate Requirements for more information.