Apostille or Certificate of Authentication

Authentication of Public Documents:


When a document is to be used in a foreign country, it may be necessary to have the document authenticated. An authentication certifies the signature and the capacity of the official who has executed the document. The authentication may also authenticate the seal of the official.

The New York Secretary of State authenticates public documents for use in foreign countries. Only public documents issued in New York State which are signed by either a State Official or a County Clerk will be authenticated.The country of destination determines whether the authentication is in the form of an "Apostille" or a "Certificate of Authentication."


What is an "Apostille" or "Authentication?"

  • An Apostille is an authentication of a public document issued pursuant to the 1961 Hague Convention abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. The Convention provides for the simplified certification of public (including notarized) documents to be used in countries that have joined the convention. Under the Hague Convention, signatory countries have agreed to recognize public documents issued by other signatory countries if those public documents are authenticated by the attachment of an internationally recognized form of authentication known as an Apostille. The Apostille ensures that public documents issued in one signatory country will be recognized as valid in another signatory country.

  • A Certificate of Authentication is issued by the New York Secretary of State to authenticate public document for use in any country which is not a member of the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents.

  • Please Note: Certificates of Authentication may also require an additional certification from the United States Department of State prior to submission to the foreign country.

  • An Apostille or Certificate of Authentication issued by the New York Secretary of State is a one-page document with a blue laser printed facsimile of the New York Department of State Seal. Both the Apostille and Certificate of Authentication include the facsimile signature of the New York Secretary of State or his/her deputy.


Where do I obtain a copy of my Birth, Death, Marriage, or Divorce record?

  • The office where you may obtain a copy of a Birth, Death, Marriage or Divorce Record (vital record) will depend on where the original document was filed. To determine the appropriate office to obtain the vital record we suggest you refer to the New York State Department of Health.


Where do I obtain a copy of my Diploma or other Educational Documents?

  • Educational documents such as transcripts, diplomas or certificates must be obtained from an official of the school, college or university that you attended.


What type of certification must my document(s) contain before requesting an Apostille or a Certificate of Authentication from the New York Department of State?

  • Birth, Death, Marriage and Certificate of Divorce certificates submitted to the New York Department of State for an Apostille or Certificate of Authentication must first be certified by either a New York State Official or a County Clerk. Apostilles/Certificates of Authentication will not be issued without this certification.

  • Please Note: Birth and death certificates issued from the New York City Department of Health will also require a Letter of Exemplification. Therefore you must request a Letter of Exemplification when requesting a birth or death certificate. Both the birth or  death certificate and the Letter of Exemplification must be certified by the New York County Clerk prior to submission to the New York Department of State.
  • Educational documents submitted to the New York Department of State for an Apostille or Certificate of Authentication must first be certified by an official at the educational institution attesting that the document is an official record or a true copy of the original document. The official's signature then must be notarized by a notary public. The notary public's signature must then be certified by the County Clerk in the county where the notary public is qualified to certify.

  • All other documents (such as a power of attorney) must first be notarized. The notary's signature must then be certified at the County Clerk's office where the notary is qualified.


What is the fee for an Apostille or Certificate of Authentication?


How do I obtain an Apostille or Certificate of Authentication from the New York Department of State?

  • Complete the Apostille/Certificate of Authentication Request Form

  • Attach documents to be apostilled/authenticated to the Authentication/Apostille Request Form

  • Include applicable fees and mailing instructions as indicated on the Apostille/Certificate of Authentication Request Form

  • Submit to New York Department of State at the following locations:
HAND DELIVERIES
Albany
New York Department of State
Division of Corporations, State Records
and Uniform Commercial Code
99 Washington Avenue 6th floor
Albany, NY 12231
Hours 9:00 a.m -3:30 p.m.
Telephone (518) 473-2492
New York City
New York Department of State
Division of Licensing Services
123 William Street, 2nd floor
New York, NY 10038
Hours 9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Telephone (212) 417-5747
MAILED REQUESTS
Albany
New York Department of State
Division of Corporations, State Records,
and Uniform Commercial Code
99 Washington Avenue 6th floor
Albany, NY 12231
 

How long will it take to process my request for an Apostille or Certificate of Authentication?

  • The processing of documents submitted by mail is usually completed within 4 business days of receipt in this office.

  • Please note that Apostilles/Certificates of Authentication are returned by first class mail. You may request that your documents be returned to you by overnight delivery service by enclosing a prepaid shipping label with your request. Requests for overnight delivery service that do not include a prepaid shipping label will be returned by first-class mail.

  • The processing of documents submitted in person is usually completed while you wait.
    Please note:
    Subject to volume and staffing levels, documents submitted within one hour of closing time may not be processed until the following business day. Any document which the department is unable to process while you wait will be returned to you by mail or will be available for pick up at the customer service counter the following business day.


How do I verify that an Apostille or Certificate of Authentication was issued by the New York State Secretary of State?

  • The Department of State now allows you to verify whether an Apostille or Certificate of Authentication was issued by the New York State Secretary of State's office. Apostilles and Certificates of Authentication issued on or after April 9, 2013 may be verified on the Department of State’s website at http://www.dos.ny.gov/corps/apostille-verification.html

  • If you are unable to locate an Apostille or Certificate of Authentication or you wish to verify an Apostille or Certificate of Authentication issued prior to April 9, 2013, please contact the New York Department of State at (518) 473-2492.

Apostille/Certificate of Authentication Request Form (English)

Apostille/Certificate of Authentication Request Form (Español)

Apostille/Certificate of Authentication Request Form (Korean)

Apostille/Certificate of Authentication Request Form (Russian)

Apostille/Certificate of Authentication Request Form (Chinese)

Apostille/Certificate of Authentication Request Form (Haitian Creole)

Apostille/Certificate of Authentication Request Form (Italian)