Requesting Authentication Services

The fee to authenticate documents has increased to $20 per document.  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 per document.

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You can request authentication services in three ways:

1. By Mail

We will process your request in 5-6 weeks from the date we receive it. 

Reminders:

What to include when you request authentications by mail:

  • A completed Request of Authentications Service DS-4194 form – specify the document’s country of use in Section 4
  • The document(s) requiring authentication services
  • Fees. Authentications fees are $20 per document for all services.
  • One self-addressed, prepaid envelope for return of your document (don't include FedEx)

Mail your packet to the following address:

Office of Authentications
U.S. Department of State
CA/PPT/S/TO/AUT
44132 Mercure Circle
P.O. Box 1206
Sterling, VA  20166-1206

Note:

  • We recommend using trackable mail from USPS. You'll receive an update when your mail has reached our mail distribution center but not our physical office location. 
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2. By Appointment (only for urgent cases)

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

  • To schedule an appointment, call 202-485-8000.
  • We do not accept walk-in appointments. Appointments are for urgent cases only. 

Criteria for urgent cases:

You may be eligible for urgent service if your immediate family member has died or is seriously ill or injured while abroad and you need to travel outside of the United States within 72 hours (3 business days). Immediate family members include parents, legal guardians, children, spouses, siblings, and grandparents.

  • Proof of the life-or-death emergency such as a death certificate, a statement from a mortuary, or a signed letter from a hospital or medical professional.  Documents must be in English or translated in English by a professional translator.
  • Proof of international travel (itinerary, ticket, reservation) within 48 hours.
  • A completed Request of Authentications Service DS-4194 form – provide the document’s country of use in Section 4
  • The document(s) requiring authentication services
  • Fees. Authentications fees are $20 per document for all services.

Note:

  • Third party companies may schedule an appointment but we will only offer the next available appointments to customers submitting their own documents in-person. 
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3. By Drop-Off and Pick-Up

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

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Pay by Check or Money Order

  • Personal or company checks, and money orders must be submitted with mail-in document(s).
    • We cannot accept temporary, starter, or bank fill-in checks.
    • All check numbers must be over 100.
    • Checks must be dated within the last six months.
  • Checks and money orders are payable to the U.S. Department of State.
    • Name and address must be pre-printed on the check without changes.