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-
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.
Apostilles and Certifications
The Lieutenant Governor serves as Secretary of State for the State of Hawaii. As Secretary of State, the Lieutenant Governor provides authentication services for public and general documents that are used overseas. Public Documents include: powers of attorney, marriage certificates, birth certificates, divorce decrees, probated wills, judgments or other documents generated by a legally formed government agency. General Documents include powers of attorney, agreements, by-
The Hague Treaty was established at a convention held in 1961 at Hague, located in the Netherlands. This Treaty abolished the requirement of legalization of foreign public documents. The convention provides for the simplified certification of public documents to be used in countries that have joined the convention, by use of a special form called an Apostille. Effective October 15,1981 the United States recognized the Hague Treaty.
The Determination of whether an Apostille or Certification is issued depends upon which country the documents are bound for. If that country recognizes the Hague Treaty, then an apostille will be issued. If the country does not recognize the Hague treaty, a certification will be issued. The following link is a list of countries that recognize the Hague Treaty.
When an Apostille is issued, the Lieutenant Governor authenticates the notary public’s signature. When a Certification is issued, the Court Clerk must verify the notary public’s signature and commission before the Lieutenant Governor can issue a Certification.
Procedure for Requesting Apostille or Certification
1. Complete, sign and submit the Application for Apostille or Certification of Documents.
2. Persons born, married or divorced in the State of Hawaii, must request a certified copy
that displays the ORIGINAL SIGNATURE (not a stamped signature) from the State
Registrar of the Department of Health. Submit your request and specify what country your document(s) are bound for, along with a check, money order or cashier’s check for $10.00 per document to the Department of Health, Vital Records, P.O. Box 3378, Honolulu, Hawaii 96801, (808) 586-
3. All documents must be notarized by a duly commissioned Notary Public of the State of Hawaii.
4. For document(s) requiring Certification, submit document(s) to the First Circuit for verification of the notary’s signature and commission. Send your documents along with a money order or cashier’s check for $3.00 per document to the First Circuit Court, Legal Documents Section, 777 Punchbowl Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813, (808) 539-
5. All documents must be forwarded to the Office of the Lt.Governor for issuance of an Apostille or Certification. Send your documents and specify what country your documents are bound for, along with a check, money order or cashier’s check for $1.00 per document to the Office of the Lt.Governor, State Capitol, 5th Floor, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813.
6. Please allow approximately one week for processing time.
7. The Office of the Lieutenant Governor reserves the right to deny applications for Apostilles or Certifications.
If you have any questions, please contact the Office of the Lt.Governor at (808) 586-