Office of Authentications

What We Do

The Office of Authentications issues both apostilles and authentication certificates. If you need U.S. Department of State documents to be authenticated, please refer to the Office of Vital Records.

The Office of Authentications provides signed certificates of authenticity for a variety of documents to individuals, institutions, and government agencies to be used abroad. Apostilles authenticate the seals and signatures of officials on public documents such as birth certificates, court orders, or any other document issued by a federal agency or certified by a U.S. or foreign consul.

The country in which the document will be used determines the type of certificate needed:

  • An apostille is for documents to be used in countries that participate 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.

How to Request Authentications Service

To request authentications service, you must complete Form DS-4194.

Processing Times: We will process your request in 11 weeks from the date we receive it. We are offering mail-in service but we are not currently offering in-person appointment service.

Fees: Authentications fees are $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.

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

Not available at this time 

Appointment Services
Not available at this time

8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday-Friday (closed federal holidays)

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Last Updated: July 6, 2023