Apostille Maine - Apostille of Documents

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Apostille Maine

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.

Office of Secretary of State
Bureau of Corporations
Elections and Commissions
101 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0101
Fee: $10.00
Designated Authority: Secretary of State; Deputy Secretary of State.

Certifications - Apostilles and Authentications

Authentications are often called "legalizations," sometimes "incumbencies" or "certifications"; an apostille is a form of authentication appropriate to countries which have consented to be bound by the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. They are often needed in adoptions, extraditions, and certain business transactions. For more information on countries party to or bound to this convention, please visit the Hague Conference website, Apostille Section.

The essence of these documents is an official statement that an office-holder held a particular office at a particular time. In order to be able to issue authentications, our office keeps on file the qualification document for the particular official -- the Oath of Office. Officials covered include Maine Notaries Public, high level appointees such as Commissioners, members of boards and commissions, Dedimus Justices, legislators, Constitutional Officers, and certain county-level offices.

Authentications are most often part of a chain of proof that involves a number of cover documents. To simplify this, the Hague Convention established a system that allows Secretaries of State to be the last officials in the chain. The apostille that we issue for Hague Convention countries is simply a special form of authentication.

The Division provides special certifications on vital record documents (birth, marriage, divorce or death records) issued by municipal, court and state officials. Additionally, special certifications are provided for any documents certified by notaries public.

Fee: The cost of a special certification is $10 per signed document made payable to the Secretary of State in U.S. funds.

Credit Card Payment Voucher

Please Note: The most common reason for this office to reject a request for these special certifications is due to an error by the Notary Public - the lack of a date on a notarization is the most common error. Please make certain that all notarizations are dated by the Notary Public. If you have questions about how your document may have been completed by a Notary Public, please contact this office.

To request special certifications (Authentications or Apostilles) on notarized or vital record documents, please download, complete and submit the following request form together with the notarized or vital record documents and the proper processing fee.

Form Request for Authentications/Apostilles (Adobe .pdf format)

US Mail Delivery
Secretary of State
101 State House Station
Augusta ME 04333-0101

Courier Delivery
Secretary of State
111 Sewall Street 4th Floor
Augusta, ME 04330
(207) 624-7736

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