Header

  Close Menu

Authentications: Apostilles & Certifications

An apostille is a form of authentication established at the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. An apostille is used to authenticate public documents, certifying the authenticity of the issuing official’s or notary public’s signature on the document, the capacity in which the person has acted, and identifies the seal/stamp which the document bears. Apostilles are used as transmittal on documents executed in one subscribing country that are being sent to another subscribing country.

Apostilles & certifications issued by the Indiana Secretary of State may NOT be used in the United States.

  • How to Obtain an Apostille
    In Person:
    • Schedule an appointment.
    • Download and complete the Authentication Request Form.
    • Be sure to provide the name of the country to which the documents will be sent.
    • Submit the original or certified copy of the document(s) that you wish to have an apostille or certification attached to.
    • Pay the filing fee by check or order money upon arrival.
    Mail:
    • Download and complete the Authentication Request Form.
    • Be sure to provide the name of the country to which the documents will be sent.
    • Submit the original or certified copy of the document(s) that you wish to have an apostille or certification attached to.
    • Pay the filing fee by check or money order.

    Mailed requests are processed daily.  A self-addressed/stamped envelope must be provided. If overnight service is required, a pre-addressed, pre-paid airbill must be included with the request.

    Filing Fees

    The filing fees are $2.00 PER authentication.  The following document types do not require a filing fee:

    • Birth and Death Certificates
    • Adoption Documents
    • Student Transcripts & Diplomas

    Apostilles & certifications issued by the Indiana Secretary of State may NOT be used in the United States.

  • How to Obtain a Certification

    A certification is a form of authentication used for countries that do not participate in the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. A certification is used to authenticate public documents, certifying the authenticity of the issuing official’s or notary public’s signature on the document, the capacity in which the person has acted, and identifies the seal/stamp which the document bears. These documents typically require additional authentication by the U.S. Department of State after receiving state authentication.

    In Person:
    • Schedule an appointment.
    • Download and complete the Authentication Request Form.
    • Be sure to provide the name of the country to which the documents will be sent.
    • Submit the original or certified copy of the document(s) that you wish to have an apostille or certification attached to.
    • Pay the filing fee by check or money order upon arrival.
    Mail:
    • Download and complete the Authentication Request Form.
    • Be sure to provide the name of the country to which the documents will be sent.
    • Submit the original or certified copy of the document(s) that you wish to have an apostille or certification attached to.
    • Pay the filing fee by check or money order.

    Mailed requests are processed daily. A self-addressed/stamped envelope must be provided. If overnight service is required, a pre-addressed, pre-paid airbill must be included with the request.

    Filing Fees

    The filing fees are $2.00 PER authentication.  The following document types do not require a filing fee:

    • Birth and Death Certificates
    • Adoption Documents
    • Student Transcripts & Diplomas
  • Examples of Public Documents

    Public documents include, but are not limited to, birth or death certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, school transcripts, school diplomas or degrees, and adoption papers.

    Notarized Documents:

    A notarized document presented for authentication must include a properly completed notarial certificate. A notarial certificate is the portion of the document or an attachment to the document that is completed by the notary public, bears the notary’s signature and seal and states the facts attested by the notary in a particular notarization (ex: jurisdiction, date of notarization, name of signor etc.)

    An authentication is a certification of the authenticity of the issuing official’s or notary public’s signature on the document, the capacity in which the person has acted, and identifies the seal/stamp which the document bears.

    Vital Records:

    Birth, death, and marriage records are vital records that may be obtained through Vital Records at the Indiana State Department of Health or from a County Health Officer.

    To contact the Indiana Department of Vital Records go to their website or call 317-233-1325.

    Divorce Decrees:

    A copy of a final divorce decree is required for authentication and can be obtained through the county in which the decree was entered. County contact information is available here.

    School Transcripts & Diplomas:

    Many foreign exchange students need to provide their home countries with certified records of their school transcripts or diplomas. Most often the school record is certified to in the presence of a notary, who then notarizes that statement. Often it is the record officer of the school who certifies to the record in the presence of a notary public. The notarized transcript or diploma is sent to the Secretary of State’s office for authentication.

    The following formats are standard procedures; however, we offer no guarantee for your particular set of documents. Please consult with an official of the destination country before requesting an authentication for school transcripts or diplomas to verify the country’s preferred method of certification.

    The following is the short form for witnessing or attesting to the signature of a school official.

    Required elements:

    Jurisdiction where the document was notarized;
    Statement by school official (principal/registrar) as to the authenticity and type of document being notarized;
    Signature of school official (Document must be signed in the presence of the Notary);
    Statement by the notary indicating who signed the document/date of signature;
    Signature line for notary;
    Notary prints his/her name in clear and legible block letters, lists commission expiration date, and commission number;
    Notary affixes his/her seal.

    Example:

    I, ___________________, the (school principal/registrar) of ______________ (name of school) hereby certify that this is a true and original (transcript/diploma/degree) for (student’s name.)

    __________________________________
    Signature of School Official
    _______________
    Date

    State of Indiana
    County of ______________

    This _____ day of ________, _____, before me personally appeared ______________ (school registrar/principal) and signed the above statement.

  • Helpful Links
  • Frequently Asked Questions

    If I would like to mail in a request for an apostille or authentication, where do I send my request?

    Indiana Secretary of State
    Authentications 
    302 W. Washington Street, Room E-018
    Indianapolis, IN 46204

    What are your hours?

    For current hours of operation or to schedule an appointment, click here.

    How much does it cost to get an authentication?

    The filing fees are $2.00 PER authentication.  The following document types do not require a filing fee:

    • Birth and Death Certificates
    • Adoption Documents
    • Student Transcripts & Diplomas

    What is the processing time for authentication requests?

    Normally, 1-2 business days from the date of receipt.

    Who can I contact regarding questions about this process?

    For questions regarding Authentications, please contact us at (317) 234-9768 or email INBiz@sos.in.gov.

    Do you have branch offices?

    No. The only office is located at:

    302 W. Washington Street, Room E-018
    Indianapolis, IN 46204

    Do all of my documents need to be notarized?

    Documents that are issued by an Indiana state agency or a county official do not need to be notarized.  Examples of certificates that do not require notarization include marriage, divorce, death and birth certificates.  Any other documents will require a proper notarization.

    Does your office offer translation services?

    No, the Indiana Secretary of State does not translate documents.  You will need to use a translation service.  The translation must be notarized before our office can process an authentication request.

    I need to add a page to the document you already authenticated; can I removed the certificate add the page, and reattach the authentication certificate?

    No. Do not remove the apostille or certificate once it is attached.  Removal of the apostille or certificate invalidates the authentication.  You may either have the additional page authenticated or you will need to submit the entire package again.

    How do I contact Indiana Vital Records?

    Address: 2 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204
    By Phone: (317) 233-1325
    Hours: M-F 8:15am to 4:45pm
    Online

    I got married in Indiana.  Can the Secretary of State authenticate my marriage license?

    Yes. The marriage license must first be certified by the current circuit court clerk of the county in which the marriage occurred.

    I have my birth certificate from out of state and my marriage license from South Bend, can you authenticate them?

    We can only authenticate Indiana vital records.  You will need to contact your state of birth to authenticate your birth certificate.

    What is the Hague Convention?

    The Hague Convention of 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization of Foreign Public Documents is an international treaty.  The United States signed this treaty on October 15, 1981.  The convention simplified the authentication process of public documents to be used in nations that are members of the 1961 Hague Convention.  Only those nations party to the Hague Treaty will recognize the apostille certification.

    Where can I have my FBI background checks authenticated?

    The Indiana Secretary of State cannot authenticate FBI background checks.  You must submit your request to the U.S. Department of State for authentication.

    How do I authenticate documents issued by a federal agency?

    Documents issued under the seal of a federal agency must be authenticated by the U.S. Department of State. You may also be required to obtain the seal of the foreign embassy or consulate in the United States.

    How do I authenticate documents issued by federal courts?

    Documents issued under the seal of a federal court should have a preliminary authentication by the Justice Management Division. After the seal of the Justice Management Division is on the document, it may be authenticated by the U.S. Department of State.  The final step is to obtain the seal of the foreign embassy or consulate in the United State.

    I was born/married outside of the United States, how can I have my birth/marriage certificate authenticated?

    If you were born to U.S. parents abroad or married outside the United States, contact the U.S. Department of State or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration.

    An alternative option is to contact the country of origin and request a certified copy of the certificate. Be sure to let them know that you need them authenticated.

    How do I get information about international adoptions?

    Visit the U.S. Department of State for information on adopting children from foreign countries.

    How do I get U.S. passport information?

    Contact the U.S. Department of State for information related to passports.

    Can you tell me what I need to get dual citizenship?

    Please contact the foreign embassy or consulate in the United States for the country which you are seeking to become dual citizenship.  They will inform you what documents need to be authenticated and whether they have a specified preference.

    I need a Medallion signature guarantee. Can you help me?

    No. A medallion certificate is special signature guarantee for the transfer of securities and is provided by financial institutions. Please contact the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.