The U.S. Department of State issues both Authentication Certificates and Apostilles. The determination of which certificate is issued is based on the country in which the document will be used. Authentication Certificates are issued for documents which are destined for use in countries that are not parties to the Hague Apostille Convention. Apostille Certificates are issued for documents destined for use in countries that are parties to the Hague Apostille Convention.
In accordance with 22 CFR, Part 131, the Office of Authentications provides signed certificates of authenticity for a variety of documents to individuals, institutions, and government agencies. Examples of documents that may require authentication for use abroad may include, but are not limited to, company bylaws, powers of attorney, trademarks, diplomas, treaties, warrants, extraditions, agreements, certificates of good standing, and courier letters.
For the more information on the requirements for the issuance of Apostilles, please see Apostille Requirements.