What is an Apostille?
An apostille is a form of authentication issued for documents used in countries participating in the Hague Convention of 1961. A list of countries that accept apostilles is provided by the U.S. State Department - click here for the full list. If the country does not participate in the Hague Convention, those documents can be authenticated or certified.
The Office of the Indiana Secretary of State provides apostille and authentication services to U.S. citizens and foreign nationals for documents used overseas. The types of documents which can be authenticated include:
- Corporate documents such as company bylaws and articles of incorporation;
- Power of attorney;
- Letters relating to degrees;
- Marital status;
- References and job certifications;
- Home studies;
- Deeds of assignments;
- Distributorship agreements; and
- Papers for adoption purposes.
Indiana does not charge a fee for the apostille/authentication service, unlike most other states.
Obtaining an Apostille or Authentication/Certification
Apostille certificates are issued by a state government for documents which have been signed by a government official - or a notary public- of the same state. An Indiana apostille can not, for example, be assigned to a document signed by a government official in Kentucky. Such a document must be apostilled in Kentucky.
You must send the following information along with the document(s) to be authenticated to obtain an apostille.
Step 1 - Notarize your documents before requesting an apostille
All documents must be notarized by a notary public. The notary must:
- Witness the signing of the original signature;
- Print their name exactly as listed on his/her notary commission paper;
- Place their original signature below the printed name on the documents;
- Expiration date of their notary commission;
- County of residence;
- Place the date he or she is signing the document to prove their notary commission is active on date signed; and
- Place a notary public seal.
Looking to verify your notary public is active? Click here to double check to make sure the notary is in good standing.
Step 2 - Requesting an apostille
- Collect and notarize all documents as outlined in Step 1.
- Write a cover letter, which must include the following:
- The name of the country where the documents will be sent - different countries require different certifications, and the documents can not be certified without this information;
- A daytime phone number where the customer can be reached for questions; and
- Information as to where the documents should be mailed after processing.
- Postage paid envelope for document return.
Step 3 - Mail all documents
- Mail all required documents outlined in Step 1 and 2 to the Authentication Department of the Indiana Secretary of State's office. Indiana, unlike many other states, does not charge for the apostille/authentication service.
- Indiana Secretary of State
302 W. Washington Street, Room E-018
Indianapolis, IN 46204
- Indiana Secretary of State
NOTE - All apostille requests should be mailed. For documents delivered in person, the office can not guarantee a prompt turnaround due to high volume. If you are requesting more than fifteen (15) documents, you must come in and drop off for the following turn-around times:
- Requests received by noon will be completed by noon the following business day.
- Filings received after noon will be completed by noon in two business days.
Vital Records Document
IMPORTANT - The Secretary of State’s Office cannot issue an Apostille or Authentication for vital records that are issued by the county. For authentication purposes, Indiana State Vital Records must issue these records.
The Indiana State Vital Records Office no longer offers walk-in services. All certified birth and death certificates must be ordered by mail. Please visit http://www.vitalrecords.in.gov/ to download the mail-in application. For questions, please contact their customer service line at 317-234-8156.
After obtaining the certified birth or death certificate, these documents can be delivered to the Secretary of State’s Office to be authenticated.
If the document is a court issued document - marriage license or divorce decree - you must obtain a certified copy from the Circuit Court clerk in the county in which the document was recorded. After obtaining such document, please forward to the Indiana Secretary of State’s office.
However, our office is unable to verify federal documents. Individuals looking to authenticate a federal document must contact the U.S. Department of State Authentication Department.