Office of Authentications

The fee to authenticate documents has increased to $20 per document for all services. Form DS-4194, Request for Authentication Services has expired and includes the previous fee. Please use the expired form and include the new fee of $20 for all servicesWe will process your request in 10 to 11 weeks from the date we receive it. We are offering mail-in service but we are not currently offering in-person appointment 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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Submit a Request:  Request Authentications Services by completing Form DS-4194. Be sure to include the document's country of use in Section 4 of Form DS-4194.

Our Mission: The Office of Authentications issues both apostilles (for documents used in participating Hague countries) and authentication certificates (for documents used in nonparticipating Hague countries). 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. 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.

Examples of documents that may require authentication for use abroad include:

  • company bylaws
  • dossiers
  • 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 federal agency or certified by a U.S. or foreign consul. An apostille certifies the document(s), so the document 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