Apostille District of Columbia - Apostille of Documents

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Apostille District of Columbia

Apostille USA

Getting an Apostille in the USA

United States Authentication Authorities

Q. Who are the U.S. "Competent Authorities" to issue the Apostille certificate?

A. There are three levels of U.S. competent authorities, one for Federal agencies, one for U.S. (federal) courts, and one for state documents, including documents executed before notaries.

1. Federal Executive and Administrative Agencies: Authentications Office, Department of State, 518 23rd St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20520, (202) 647-5002 Fee: $5.00. For additional information, call the Federal Information Centre: 1-800-688-9889, and choose option 6 after you press 1 for touch tone phones. Walk-in service is available from the Authentications Office from 8 a.m. to 12 noon Monday-Friday, except holidays. Walk-in service is limited to 15 documents per person per day (documents can be multiple pages). Processing time for authentication requests sent by mail is 5 working days or less. See also, the State Department home page: http://www.state.gov. See also in general, 22 C.F.R. 131.

2. U.S. Courts: Clerks and Deputy Clerks of the Federal Court System. Fee: $5.00.

For the purposes of the Convention, clerks and deputy clerks of the U.S. Courts shall include the clerks and deputy clerks of the following: The Supreme Court of the United States, the Courts of Appeals for the First through the Eleventh Circuits and the District of Columbia Circuit, the United States District Courts, the United States Court of Claims, the United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals, the United States Court of International Trade, the United States District Court for the District of the Canal Zone, the District Court of Guam, the District Court of the Virgin Islands, and the District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands.

District of Columbia
Office of the Secretary, D.C.
Notary Commissions & Authentications Section
441 4th St. N.W. (One Judiciary Square)
Washington, D.C.
Fee: $10.00
Designated Authority: Executive Secretary; Assistant Executive Secretary; Mayor's Special Assistant and Assistant to the Executive Secretary; Secretary of the District of Columbia.

How can I request a birth or death certificate?
For a birth or death certificate that occurred in Washington, DC only, contact:

Department of Health
Vital Records Division
899 North Capitol Street, NE, First Floor
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 671-5000

What hours are you open?
The Vital Records walk-in counter is open from 8:30 am-3:30 pm Monday-Friday. Closed on major holidays.
The Vital Records Division issues certified copies of birth and death certificates for the District of Columbia only.

Who can request a District of Columbia birth or death certificate?
Persons entitled to request a birth or death certificate include:
The registrant
An immediate nuclear family member
A legal guardian
A legal representative
Birth records become public after 100 years have elapsed from the date of birth and death records become public after 50 years have elapsed from the date of death. Aunts, uncles, grandparents, and other relatives not part of the immediate family cannot obtain a birth or death certificate from Vital Records prior to the record becoming open to the public unless the approval guidelines are met.
At the discretion of the Registrar, a researcher maybe granted access to birth and death records. Select here for more information.

What is the cost of a birth or death record?
$23 per copy of the original long-form certificate
$18 per death certificate
There is no refund if the birth or death certificate is not found. If no record is found, a three-year "Certificate of Search" will be issued.

Make your check* or money order payable to the DC Treasurer.
DO NOT SEND CASH for mail-in requests.

*The DC Treasurer requires that all checks have an address imprinted on them to be accepted for deposit.

How can I correct information on a certificate?
There are several provisions in the District of Columbia statutes whereby changes may be made on a vital record. We encourage you to write us with your correction request and we will advise you on what needs to be done to make the correction.

What's the quickest way to obtain my birth certificate?
The DC Vital Records Division does not process online orders. For  your convenience, you can process online requests through VitalChek Network, Inc, an independent company that we have partnered with to provide you this service. VitalChek can be reached either through its website, www.vitalchek.com or by phone at 1 (877) 572-6332. An additional fee is charged by VitalChek for using this service, and all major credit cards are accepted including American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa.

Can I request a vital record via email?
A request can only be made in person, via mail, or by phone to the Vital Chek credit card service.

From what year are birth and death certificates available?
Birth and death certificates are available from August 1874 to present. For older records, the Vital Records Division may need to contact the Federal or DC Record Center.

Where can I find marriage and divorce records?
For marriage and divorce records contact:

DC Superior Court,
500 Indiana Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
(Room 4335 for Divorce Decree or Room 4485 for marriage license)
Marriage information (202) 879-4840
Divorce Information (202) 879-1261

Where do I request a birth certificate if I was born abroad, with US citizenship at birth?
You can request a birth certificate from:
US Department of State
Passport Correspondence Branch, Overseas Birth
1111 19th Street, NW Suite 510
Washington, DC 20522-1705
Phone: (202) 955-0307

How can I obtain an Apostille for my DC Birth Certificate?
To obtain an Apostille (state seal of authentication) for a DC birth certificate, you must request that a live signature be affixed on your DC birth certificate when purchased from the Vital Records Division.
You must then forward your birth certificate with the live signature, and a fee of $15.00 payable to the DC Treasurer and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:

DC Office of the Secretary
Notary Commissions & Authentication's Section
441 4th Street, NW Room 810S
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 727-3117

What is a long form birth certificate?
The long form is a certified copy of the original birth certificate in its entirety. This is preferred by the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Passport Services/Customer Service and by the courts.

How do I contact the Corporations Division?
The Corporations Division can be contacted by phone, fax, email, US Postal Service or walk-in visit:

Phone: (202) 442-4400
Fax: (202) 442-4523
Mailing Address: DCRA Corporations Division, PO Box 92300, Washington, DC 20090
Business License Center (Walk-in): 1100 4th Street SW, Second Floor, Washington, DC 20024
Operating Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm; and Thursday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm.
Email: dcra@dc.gov
Website Main: http://dcra.dc.gov/DC/DCRA/For+Business/Corporate+Registration
Online Service Site: https://corp.dcra.dc.gov/

What does "Conducting Business" mean in the District of Columbia?
District law defines a "business" as: “Any trade, profession, or activity which provides, or holds itself out to provide, goods or services to the general public or to any portion of the general public, for hire or compensation in the District of Columbia.”

Generally, foreign filing entities (limited liability companies, non-profit and for-profit corporations, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, general partnerships, general and limited cooperative association and statutory trusts) do not have to register with Corporations Division if they are engaging in a single or isolated transaction.

In addition, certain categories of activity have been excluded by the District as constituting “business” for the purposes of determining if an entity must register with the District. These exclusions vary depending on the type of business entity.

For the list of exclusions, please refer to the following statute:
§ 29-105.05. Activities not constituting doing business.

District of Columbia Code link:

Sample of specific factual scenarios:

Will a Corporation or LLC need to register with Corporations division if it owns real estate in the District? In most of the cases, the answer will be no. However, this entity is required to register if real estate is “income producing”.

To discuss the specific case, you may contact Corporations Division directly at (202) 442-4400 option 5. Consult an attorney for legal advice.

What does "Entity status is revoked" mean in the District of Columbia? What is it and how can I put my company back in good standing?

If entity’s status is revoked then articles of incorporation / organization shall be void and all powers conferred upon such entity are declared inoperative, and, in the case of a foreign entity, the certificate of foreign registration shall be revoked and all powers conferred hereunder shall be inoperative.

Penalties for operating after revocation
Civil fines, penalties, and fees may be imposed on any domestic or foreign filing entity that commits an infraction of any provisions of Business Organizations Act specified under § 29-101.06 and fails to comply with any provisions thereof pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2 ("Civil Infractions Act").
Any entity may file an application for reinstatement and pay all back fees and file all back reports at any time. Once this filing is accepted by Corporation’s Division entity’s status will be reinstated. Once petition for reinstatement is approved, such entity shall have such powers, rights, duties, and obligations as it had just prior to the time of the issuance of the administrative dissolution or termination with the same force and effect.

If I incorporate my business in DC, is that registration valid in other states?
No. Formation of the entity in the District of Columbia allows for that entity to conduct business in the District only. If domestic filing entity wishes to conduct business outside of the District of Columbia then it shall meet the requirements of each jurisdiction in which it wants to do business. Contact the corporate licensing authority in the appropriate state or province for more information.

If I registered my business outside DC, do I need to register to conduct business in DC?

An organization registered in another state or country that seeks to transact business in the District of Columbia must obtain authority by filing an application for foreign registration.

How do I get certified copies of documents?
You can get a certified copy of any Corporations Division document by mail or walk-in visit, Walk-in customers will be subject to expedited fee of $100 for one day service or $50 for three day. For the list of relevant corporate fees, please, click here. Fax service and phone payment options are not available.For mail-in requests, make sure your list is specific and that you enclose the fee for each document. Make checks payable to DC Treasurer.

Use this application to submit a request: Application for Certificate of Good Standing and Certified Copy.

Available certified copies include but are not limited to:

Articles of Incorporation
Organization Documents
Two-Year Annual Reports
Articles of Merger/Amendment
Certificates of Authority/Registration
Qualification Forms for Partnerships
Call the Corporations Division at (202) 442-4400 to learn more.

How do I get a Certificate of Good Standing?

You can get a Certificate of Good Standing from the Corporations Division by mail, walk-in visit, or online. Fax service and phone payment options are not available.

Go to CorpOnline site at https://corp.dcra.dc.gov, create the profile, access the online services main page (use Internet Explorer 7 or IE8), click on “Request a Certificate of Good Standing” link and proceed. Online customers must pay by using the credit card and certificate will be delivered on the last page and will also be emailed to the address on the profile.

Note for Walk-In Customers:
Expedited fee in the amount of $100 for one day service and $50 for three day service will apply to all walk-in customers.

Corporation Division
PO Box 92300
Washington, DC 20090

Business License Center
1100 4th Street, SW, Second Floor
Washington, DC 20024

DCRA Service Hours

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Thursday: 9:30 am - 4:30 pm

What's the penalty for operating in the District of Columbia without getting certificate of foreign registration?

As a part of application process, foreign filing entities (limited liability companies, non-profit and for-profit corporations, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, general partnerships, general and limited cooperative association and statutory trusts) must disclose the date when entity commenced its business in the District of Columbia.

Foreign filing entities that commenced business before the registration with Corporations division are liable for the payment of all back fees and all back reports.

The number of reports and the amount of fees depends on the commencement date.


For the list of corporate fees, please, click here.

For detailed requirements, please, contact Corporations Division at (202) 442-4400.

What are the Corporate Registration Fees?
For the list of corporate fees,
For detailed requirements, please, contact Corporations Division at (202) 442-4400.

Where can I get my corporate seal?
Corporate seals and other corporate supplies may be obtained at a legal stationery store or corporate supplier.

May I fax a request or my registration documents to the Division of Corporations?
No. You may not file your registration documents, nor obtain copies of documents by fax, or request verification documents of a corporate filing by facsimile. Each of these actions requires a payment which must be paid at the time of the request for documents.

What is the average turnaround for corporate filings?
Mail-In Filings
For mail-in filings Corporations division will process within 15 business days from the receipt of the paperwork. All mail-in filings go to our banking agent for payment processing first. Once payment is processed, payment confirmation along with filing will be forwarded to Corporations Division main office in Washington, DC for final processing. The 15 business days turnaround does not start until division receives the paperwork and proof of payment from the bank.
Filings that are sent to the overnight address are subject to the same turnaround guidelines.

Walk-In Filings
For walk-in filings, Corporations division will process and approve or reject filings while you wait.
Expedited fee in the amount of $100 for one day service and $50 for three day service will apply to all walk-in customers.

Online Filings
For online filings Corporations division will process within 15 business days from the date of submission. Print the confirmation page and record the date of submission.

What are professional corporations (PCs) & limited liability companies (PLLCs)?
The term “professional service” means any type of personal service to the public which may be lawfully rendered only pursuant to a license and which by law, custom, standards of professional conduct or practice in the District of Columbia, before December 10, 1971, could not be rendered by a corporation, including without limitation the services performed by certified public accountants, attorneys, architects, practitioners of the healing arts, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists, and professional engineers.

Professional Corporations must have “P.C.” or “Professional Corporation” or “Chartered” as a part of its name.
Professional LLCs must have “PLLC” or “Professional Limited Liability Company” as a part of its name.

What are acceptable purposes for professional corporations or LLCs?
A professional corporation may be organized solely to render professional services through its shareholders, directors, officers, employees, or agents who are themselves duly licensed to render the particular service, and to render service ancillary thereto.

A professional corporation may employ persons, who are not licensed, but such persons shall not perform professional services; and no license shall be required of any person who is employed by a professional corporation to perform services for which no license is otherwise required.

What are the registered agent requirements in the District of Columbia?

The Registered agent (RA) is the individual or the entity that performs the following duties:
(1) Forward to the represented entity at the address most recently supplied to the agent by the entity any process, notice, or demand that is served on the agent;

(2) Provide the notices required by Business Organizations Act Title 29 to the entity at the address most recently supplied to the agent by the entity.

Who can act as RA in the District of Columbia?
1-Commercial registered agent; “Commercial registered agent” means a person (an individual or domestic or foreign filing entity) who have filed “Listing of commercial registered agent” filing required under § 29-104.05 with Corporations Division.

2-Noncommercial registered agent; “Noncommercial registered agent” means a person that is not a commercial registered agent and is:

(A) An individual or domestic or foreign entity that serves in the District as the agent for service of process of an entity;

(B) An individual who holds the office or other position in an entity who is designated as the agent for service of process; or

(C) A member in good standing of the District of Columbia Bar who maintains an office in the District of Columbia.

What are address requirements for RAs?

RA's address must be physical street address in the District of Columbia. RA’s address may not be PO Box or address outside the District.

Can Entity act as its own RA if it has office address in the District of Columbia?
Yes. Domestic or foreign filing entity may appoint an individual within the organization to act as the registered agent in the District.

What Entities should have an RA?
All domestic and foreign filing entities are required to appoint and maintain the registered agent.
Filing entities include the following:
Limited liability companies, non-profit and for-profit corporations, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, general partnerships, general and limited cooperative association and statutory trusts.

What is the penalty for failure to maintain RA?
Entity's status may be revoked if it fails to maintain registered agent.

What is the difference between a trade name and a corporate name?

A corporate, limited liability or partnership name is the name under which the organization is formed, or registered, and must include a distinct qualifier, for example, inc, llc, pllc, llp, lp, pc.

A trade name is the name under which a business operates or does business. The trade name is NOT the true or real name of the business. For example, Verizon Center is the trade name of the DC Arena, LP. It is the name that is most commonly associated with the business.  Go to CorpOnline site at https://corp.dcra.dc.gov, create the profile, access the online services main page (use Internet Explorer 7 or IE8). Follow the links under "Trade Names" to proceed through the registration process. Online customers must pay by using the credit card.

Does the Corporations Division provide “apostille” service ?

Corporations division does not provide that service. However, you may request this service from D.C. Office of the Secretary.

To do so, please, follow these steps:

Locate document or certificate that you need and request a certified copy of that document from Corporations Division.
Once certified copy of the document or certificate is received from Corporations Division; contact the D.C. Office of the Secretary to request document authentication.

What online services are available through CorpOnline Service?

Currently, customers can do the following online filing:

1. Perform Data Search;
2. File for Name Reservation;
3. File Biannual Report;
4. File for a Trade Name;
5. Request a Good Standing Certificate;
6. Form a domestic filing entity;
7. Register a foreign filing entity;

To access this service go to CorpOnline site at https://corp.dcra.dc.gov, create the profile, access the online services main page (use Internet Explorer 7 or IE8), click on appropriate link and proceed. Online filers must pay by using the credit card.

What browser can I use to access CorpOnline?

Internet Explorer 7 or higher version is required for using CorpOnline. Do not use other web browsers such as Firefox as you will encounter some problems with navigating the website.

Corporations division will be rolling out the new website that will work with all web browsers by early 2012.

Why do I need to register to access CorpOnline services?

Registration is the simple way to protect the security of users and the system. The registration process is very simple and takes less than 5 minutes to complete.

I am having issues with registration to access CorpOnline. What do I do now?

Please be mindful that the user name must be unique. You may want to try different user name (ex. try hwilson1999 instead of hwilson). If system gives you an error, try again to login using the information that you have just used. If you need to change your password or any other information from the registration page (e.g. email address), contact Corporation Division.

I logged into CorpOnline but every time I click on link nothing happens. What's wrong?

It is web browser issue in most  cases. Please ensure that you are using Internet Explorer (IE) 8 or higher. (or Chrome, Firefox, or Safari)

I am trying to file a report but I get an error message about timeout. What happened?

Please ensure that you complete your transaction within 15 minutes which is the default time for the system. If system detects that user is inactive for 15 minutes then you will encounter that timeout warning. In such a case you must login and start your transaction over.

I have just filed a report but did not get a confirmation email or message. Why not?

At this point no confirmation email is being sent to the customers. Confirmation page is your last page that states that report was successfully submitted and gives the summary of the transaction information such as entity name, fee amount, etc.

I have used one of the online services and submitted my request. What is the next step?

Your filing is received by Corporations Division and will be reviewed within 15 business days. You will get approval certificate by email or rejection letter specifying the reasons for rejection.

I have searched for my company by using “Search Registered Organization” and my information is not correct. What do I do?

Please report the issue by contacting Corporations Division.

• Phone: (202) 442-4400

I am using Mac and I am having some issues. Do you plan to configure CorpOnline to work with Macs and additional web browsers?

Corporations Division is fully aware of browser compatibility issues. Corporations Division will be rolling out the new website that will work with all web browsers in early 2012.

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