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.
Office of Secretary of State
Topeka, KS 66612
Designated Authority: Secretary of State; Assistant Secretary of State; any Deputy Assistant Secretary of State.
Some documents are required to be certified prior to being used internationally for personal or business transactions. A certification, also called an authentication or an Apostille, is when a specified state official certifies the authority of the notary public. There are a wide variety of reasons for obtaining a certification. Some common examples of documents that require an authentication or Apostille for international use are business documents (bylaws, articles of incorporation, good standing certificates), adoption paperwork (home studies, letters of reference) and education documents (diplomas, transcripts).
Some countries, including the United States, are parties to the 1961 Hague Convention abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. By joining the Convention, countries agree to accept a specific, universal type of certification on public documents. This type of certification is called an "Apostille." With an Apostille the document is recognized by other countries for its intended use and does not require any additional certifications by the U.S. Department of State or legalization by the embassy or consulate. For a list of countries that accept the Apostille, please visit the official Web site of Hague Convention.
Requests for authentications or Apostilles should be made to the notary clerk at the Secretary of State's office or by mail. The fee is $7.50 per authentication or Apostille -
Documents presented for certification must have an original, completed notarization block by a Kansas notary public. Any errors on the notarization could disqualify the document for certification and therefore delay the documents.