Office of Authentications

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. Please consider waiting to mail your request until we resume normal operations.  Effective March 20, 2020, we suspended in-person counter 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

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


Submit a request for Authentication Services using Form DS-4194.

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.

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 include:

  • company bylaws
  • powers of attorney
  • trademarks
  • diplomas
  • treaties
  • warrants
  • extraditions
  • agreements
  • certificates of good standing
  • courier letters




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.

For more information on the requirements for apostilles, please see Apostille Requirements.


Authentications Certificates

Authentication certificates are issued by the U.S. Department of State for the same purpose as Apostilles but for use in countries that are not members to the 1961 Hague Convention Treaty.

For more information, please see Authentication Certification Requirements and Requesting Authentication Services and Fees