Authenticate Your Document

Office of Authentications Delays

Due to public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, you should expect delays processing your request for authentication services. It may take us 2 to 3 weeks to process your request from the date we receive it. Please consider waiting to mail your request until we resume normal operations.  

We have suspended in-person counter service during the COVID-19 pandemic and are only offering mail-in service at this time.

Our team has been heavily impacted by COVID-19 and we are experiencing extremely high call volumes. We are working to safely add resources to make sure we answer your inquiries and address new and pending cases as quickly as possible.

Authentication Fee Increase

Effective July 15, 2021, authentication fees have increased to $20, per document, for all services, including rejections and requests that are not ready to be processed by our office because they require additional certification. Please make sure to mail the correct fee with your request to avoid any delays in service.

Form DS-4194, Request for Authentication Service, has expired and includes the previous fee. You should use the expired form when requesting services, but you need to include the new fee of $20. We will post the updated version of the form when it is available.”

Office of Authentications

Physical Address:
Office of Authentications
600 19th St. NW
Washington, DC 20006

Mailing Address:
U.S. Department of State
Office of Authentications
44132 Mercure Cir.
PO Box 1206
Sterling, VA 20166-1206

Suspended due to COVID-19

Appointment Services
Suspended due to COVID-19

Phone: 202-485-8000
8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday-Friday
Closed Federal Holidays


The Office of Authentications issues both apostilles (for documents used is participating Hague countries) and authentication certificates (for documents used in nonparticipating countries). If you need U.S. Department of State documents to be authenticated, please refer to the Office of Vital Records.

We provide signed certificates of authenticity for a variety of documents to individuals, institutions, and government agencies to be used abroad. The country in which the document will be used determines the tpye of certificate needed. 

  • An apostille is for documents to be used in countries that participated in the 1961 Hague Convention Treaty.
  • Authentication certificates are for documents to be used in countries that do not participate in the 1961 Hague Convention Treaty.


Examples of Documents that May Require Authentication for Use Abroad:

  • Company bylaws
  • Dossiers
  • Powers of attorney
  • Trademarks
  • Diplomas
  • Treaties
  • Warrants
  • Extraditions
  • Agreements
  • Certificates of good standing
  • Courier letters