Apostille or Certificate of Authentication

Due to the large volume of mail in requests, please allow for additional processing time before checking on the status of your Apostille or Certificate of Authentication request.

At this time, New York State Department of State Apostille services may be obtained by mail, or---in the case of a priority request as described below---by appointment for in-person service within our Albany or New York City locations. In-person services are by prior appointment-only, and walk-in services will not be provided without an appointment. Please read the following instructions regarding the Apostille process. If you have questions, please contact us at: 518-474-4429.

When a document is to be used in another country, it may be necessary to have the document authenticated.  This is known either as an “apostille” or “certificate of authentication.” Examples of documents that are frequently authenticated by the Department of State are birth, marriage and death certificates.

The Department of State only authenticates public documents issued in New York State which are signed by a New York State official or county clerk.

How do I obtain an apostille/authentication?

Step 1: Obtain a copy of the document that needs to be authenticated
For information on where to obtain a copy of a vital record (birth, death, marriage certificates), please refer to the NYS Department of Health’s website
  • www.health.ny.gov/vital_records/
  • For New York City records, other than divorce certificates, please contact the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene or the New York City Marriage Bureau.  The records must then be certified by the New York County Clerk’s Office. For NYC birth and death certificates, when ordering your record you will also need to request a “Letter of Exemplification.”

    Website: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/index.page

    For educational documents, please contact the school, college or university that you attended.  The document must be certified by an official at the educational institution stating that the document is an official record or a true copy of the original document.  The official’s signature on the certification must be notarized by a notary public.

    For other documents, such as power of attorney, obtain a notarized copy of the document.

    Step 2: Have the document certified by a New York State official or County Clerk

    Birth, Death, and Marriage certificates and Certificate of Divorce issued by a local or county official or county Department of Health must first be certified by the County Clerk of the county where the document was issued.

    Birth, Death, and Marriage certificates issued by the New York State Department of Health and bearing the signature of the Director of Vital Statistics or NYS Registrar may be submitted for Apostille or Certificate of Authentication and do not require a County Clerk certification.

    Notarized documents must be certified by the County Clerk of the County where the notary is certified to notarize.

    Step 3: Submit the document with the necessary certifications to the NYS Department of State with the required fee ($10 per document).

    Apostille/Certificate of Authentication Request Form
    (English) (Spanish/Español) (Haitian-Creole/Kreyòl Ayisyen) (Italian/Italiano) (Korean/한국어) (Russian/Pусский) (Chinese/中文)

    NYS Department of State
    Division of Licensing Services
    Apostille and Authentication Unit
    PO Box 22001
    Albany NY 12201-2001

    Step 4: Submit a prepaid envelope for express delivery- Optional

    Apostille and 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. Please note that the Department of State does not accept shipping labels that direct the carrier to bill your credit card or “bill sender.”

    Expedited Service

    Individuals who have a priority request based on travel plans within two weeks may schedule an appointment to have their documents completed at our Albany or New York City customer service office.  Please be advised that this in-person service is by appointment-only at this time, and walk-ins are not permitted without a prior appointment. Please call (518) 474-4429 to make the appointment. Copies of supporting travel documents and the documents you wish to have an Apostille or Certificate of Authentication issued for will be requested.

    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/licensing/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) 474-4429.

    Additional Information about "Apostille" & "Authentications"

    • 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.

    Forms

    Apostille/Certificate of Authentication Request Form
    (English) (Spanish/Español) (Haitian-Creole/Kreyòl Ayisyen) (Italian/Italiano) (Korean/한국어) (Russian/Pусский) (Chinese/中文)

    Mail Requests to:

    NYS Department of State
    Division of Licensing Services
    Apostille and Authentication Unit
    PO Box 22001
    Albany, NY 12201-2001

    Questions? Please contact us at: 518-474-4429.