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 DocumentsFBI DocumentHomeland Security Documents
Sanitation CertificateCriminal Background CheckNaturalization Certificate
BSE- Free Certificate.USPTO DocumentsSocial Security Documents
Certificate of Free Sale (CFS).PatentSocial 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 ManufacturerIRS 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.
  1. Secretary of State Apostille for Public State and Personal Documents


  • Examples of Federal documents including:



Corporate Documents
Minutes of Organizational Meeting of directorsCertificate of IncumbencyPower of Attorney.Shareholder List
Restated Certificate of IncorporationCertificate of existenceCertificate of Analysisletter of Intent
Foreign Certificate of RegistrationAgency AgreementLetter of ResignationOperating Agreement
Shareholder certificate of InterestBusiness LetterDistributor AgreementAsset purchase Agreement
Foreign Certificate of RegistrationLetter of AuthorizationAmendmentBill of Sale
Termination of foreign CorporationArticles of IncorporationISO CertificateCertificate of Formation
Shareholder Contribution ScheduleCertificate of MergerTechnical Data Sheetcorporate Consolidation
Agreement to Form a CorporationCorporate ResolutionAffidavitChange of Agent
Statement of DissolutionCompany BylawsFree sale CertificateConsolidation Certificate
Stock Purchase AgreementBusiness LicenseStock CertificateCertificate of Good Standing
Export Documents
Commercial InvoiceDangerous Goods CertificateShipper Letter of Instruction
Certificate of OriginConsular InvoiceCertificate of Analysis
Packing ListPro Forma InvoicePre-Shipment Inspection
Bill of Lading (Air, Ocean, Truck, Rail)Letter of CreditVeterinary certificate
Insurance CertificateExport LicenseSales certificate
Halal CertificateBank DraftWeight Certificate
Kosher CertificateExport DeclarationFumigation Certificate
Health Certificate Phytosanitary Certificate
Educational DocumentsVital Records
School/ College TranscriptBirth Certificate
School/ College DiplomaDeath Certificate
Teaching CredentialsMarriage Certificate
TESOL CertificateDivorce Certificate
Bachelor Degree/ CertificateDivorce decree
Graduate Record Examination GREDriver License
Doctorate CertificateUS 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