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
Annapolis, MD 21401
Designated Authority: Secretary of State.
There are several types of certifications processed in the Office of the Secretary of State. We certify the incumbency of persons the Governor appoints to various Commissions and Cabinet positions; elected officials; and portions of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
Some documents (birth/death, marriage/divorce, police records, corporate good-
Whether or not a country will accept the apostille form of certification, depends on whether that country signed the Hague Treaty. The Hague Treaty is an international treaty agreeing to accept the signature of the Secretary of State of each state, without having it certified by the U.S. Secretary of State. Countries which signed the Hague Treaty accept the Apostille form of certification and for those which did not, the standard form is used. For a more complete explanation of the Hague Convention, visit the site of the U.S. State Department.
Statutory Authority: State Government Article, §7-
Cover letter to use when sending documents to the Office of the Secretary of State
When Having a Notarized Document Certified When having a State or County Issued Document Certified
Notarized document must be taken to the Clerk of the Circuit Court for certification, in the county where the notary was commissioned. (The county will be imprinted on the notary's seal.) If your document is certified by a clerk of the Circuit Court other than the current clerk of the Circuit Court, please call our office at 410-
Document is taken to the Office of the Secretary of State, in Annapolis for certification. The State/County document, (birth or death certificate, motor vehicle ownership certification, certification of status of criminal records, marriage certificates, divorce decree, etc.) with the seal and authorized signature of the department issuing the document, is taken to the Office of the Secretary of State, in Annapolis for certification. If you do not have a current copy, please call our office at 410-
Document is ready for use. Document is ready for use.
Document does not need to be taken to the U.S. State Department for certification.