How to Apostille a Document | The Definitive Guide

How to Apostille a Document

apostille a document

Apostille is the official form of authentication that is required to validate the use of documents outside the United States. Your document must be affixed with an Apostille stamp from the correct designated authority to be valid for use in any Apostille convention participating countries.

What is an Apostille Convention?

The Hague Apostille Convention was held in the Hague “ the Netherlands” in 1961, to facilitate the complicated legalization procedures of foreign documents and to replace it with the Apostille Stamp or” Apostille Certificate”. All the following countries have signed the Apostille treaty:

If you are going to use your document in any of those countries, you will need to affix your document with an Apostille to be valid for use abroad. There are 2 designated authorities in the United States, which are responsible for the issuance of Apostille certificates on documents destined for use in the Hague Convention Signatory Countries.

  1. US Department of State of State Apostille for Federal Documents

  • Examples of Federal documents including:

FDA Documents FBI Document Homeland Security Documents
Sanitation Certificate Criminal Background Check Naturalization Certificate
BSE- Free Certificate. USPTO Documents Social Security Documents
Certificate of Free Sale (CFS). Patent Social Security Benefit Letter
Certificate of Exportability. Trademark
Certificate to Foreign Government (CFG). USDA Documents
Certificate of Non-Clinical Research Use Only Materials Certificate. Plant certificate
Good Manufacture Practice Certificate (GMP). Animal Health Certificate
Certificate of Pharmaceutical products (COPP). Phytosanitary Certificate
Certificate of Pharmaceutical product- Foreign Manufacturer IRS Documents
Specified Risk Material of Bovine, Ovine, and Caprine Origin Materials. Form 6166‐ US Tax Residency

How to get an Apostille from the US Department of State?

Your document must be an original document ( not a photocopy) and issued from one of the federal agencies in the United States and bear the federal stamp or signature. After you ensure that your document meet the previous requirement, prepare an envelope that contain the following items and send it to the US Department of State in Washington DC to get your document apostille. The envelope must include:

  1. The document that need to be apostilled.
  2. You payment: $8.00 per document, make your payment payable to the “US department of State”.
  3. Download and fill the order form then include it with your envelope
  4. Include a prepaid airway bill to return your documents
  5. Send your package to the Following address:
    • Office of Authentications
    • U.S. Department of State
    • 600 19th Street, NW
    • Washington, DC 20006

The process will take about 3- 4 Business days. After your receive your package from the US Department of State, your documents will be ready for use outside the United States.

Secretary of State Apostille for Public State and Personal Documents

Examples of Federal documents including:

Corporate Documents
Minutes of Organizational Meeting of directors Certificate of Incumbency Power of Attorney. Shareholder List
Restated Certificate of Incorporation Certificate of existence Certificate of Analysis letter of Intent
Foreign Certificate of Registration Agency Agreement Letter of Resignation Operating Agreement
Shareholder certificate of Interest Business Letter Distributor Agreement Asset purchase Agreement
Foreign Certificate of Registration Letter of Authorization Amendment Bill of Sale
Termination of foreign Corporation Articles of Incorporation ISO Certificate Certificate of Formation
Shareholder Contribution Schedule Certificate of Merger Technical Data Sheet corporate Consolidation
Agreement to Form a Corporation Corporate Resolution Affidavit Change of Agent
Statement of Dissolution Company Bylaws Free sale Certificate Consolidation Certificate
Stock Purchase Agreement Business License Stock Certificate Certificate of Good Standing
Export Documents
Commercial Invoice Dangerous Goods Certificate Shipper Letter of Instruction
Certificate of Origin Consular Invoice Certificate of Analysis
Packing List Pro Forma Invoice Pre-Shipment Inspection
Bill of Lading (Air, Ocean, Truck, Rail) Letter of Credit Veterinary certificate
Insurance Certificate Export License Sales certificate
Halal Certificate Bank Draft Weight Certificate
Kosher Certificate Export Declaration Fumigation Certificate
Health Certificate Phytosanitary Certificate
Educational Documents Vital Records
School/ College Transcript Birth Certificate
School/ College Diploma Death Certificate
Teaching Credentials Marriage Certificate
TESOL Certificate Divorce Certificate
Bachelor Degree/ Certificate Divorce decree
Graduate Record Examination GRE Driver License
Doctorate Certificate US Passport
Master Degree
Associate Degree
Doctorate Degree

How to get an Apostille from the Office of the SOS in your State?

Each State has a Secretary of State office, which is responsible for the issuance of Apostille Certificates on public state documents (the above mentioned documents). You will need to follow the requirement of your state in order obtain the Apostille timely and without any complications.

Stay tuned to our next article about how to obtain an apostille from the Secretary of STate Office