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Authenticating Documents (Apostille) 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
Authentication Department
302 W. Washington Street, Room E-018
Indianapolis, IN 46204

What are your hours?

We are open by appointment only.  Make an appointment here.

How much does it cost to get an authentication or apostille?

As of January 1st, 2018, the Authentications Department will charge a $2 fee per Authenticated (or Apostilled) document. Our office will accept cash (exact change), check, money order, or credit cards. Checks and money orders can be made out to the Indiana Secretary of State. Documents that will be excluded from said charge include:

Indiana issued Birth and Death Certificates

Indiana School records

Adoption Papers

Documents generated by SOS office (such as corporation documents)

IC 33-42-15

What is the turnaround time for receiving back a completed apostille or authentication?

The normal turnaround is 1-2 business days from the date of receipt.

Who can I contact regarding questions about this process?

Please call the Authentications Department for any questions regarding Apostilles or Authentications at 317-234-9768.

May I mail in my request for an apostille or authentication and then have it forwarded to the location of my choosing?

Yes.  We accept all types of mailings and can mail forms anywhere as long as the postage is provided.

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?

No.  Most documents NEED to be notarized; however marriage, divorce, and birth certificates do not.

Does your office offer translation services?

No, the Secretary of State does not translate documents.  You must get them translated and have the translation notarized before our office can process the document.

What is an Apostille or Authentication?

An apostille or an authentication certifies the authenticity of the signature, seal and position of the official who has executed, issued or certified a copy of a public document. An apostille or an authentication enables a public document issued in one country to be recognized as valid in another country. An apostille of an authentication do not relate to the content of the underlying document.

The Office of the Secretary of State does not regulate what documents are required by the foreign country.  To verify the required documents, contact the embassy of the country to which the documents will go.

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.

For more information on the Hague Convention, Click here.

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

I got married in Indiana and need an apostille on my marriage license. Can you do that?

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.  The Secretary of State of each state in the United States is authorized to prepare apostilles and authentications for documents created within that state’s jurisdiction.

I have an FBI background check that I need authenticated. Can you do that?

No. the Secretary of State does not authenticate FBI background checks. See the FBI Criminal Justice Investigation Services website for criminal background checks and their FAQ page for further information. Once you have received the background check, submit it to the U.S. Department of State for authentication.

How do I authenticate documents issued by federal agencies?

Documents issued under the seal of a federal agency can be authenticated by the U.S. Department of State Authentications Office. The final step is to obtain the seal of the foreign embassy or consulate in the United States. Usually, foreign embassies or consulates in the U.S. can only authenticate the seal of the U.S. Department of State. Some foreign embassies and consulates maintain sample seals of state authorities.

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 Authentications Office. The final step is to obtain the seal of the foreign embassy or consulate in the United States. Usually, foreign embassies or consulates in the U.S. can only authenticate the seal of the U.S. Department of State. Some foreign embassies and consulates maintain sample seals of state authorities.

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, contact the U.S. Dept. of State, Passport Services, Correspondence Branch, 1111 19th Street NW, Suite 510, Washington, DC 20522-1705, 202-955-0307, or visit the U.S. Dept. of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs  website for your birth certificate or visit the U.S. Dept. of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs for your marriage certificate. Let them know you need it authenticated for use outside of the United States.

You can check with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration office:
USCIS Application Support Center
721 Southwest 14th Avenue, Portland, OR 97205-1904

Or visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration website.

Otherwise, you need to check with the country of origin for a certified copy of those certificates. Be sure to let them know that you need them authenticated.

How do I get information about international adoptions?

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

How do I get US passport information?

U.S. Dept. of State, call 877-4-USA-PPT (877-487-2778) or TDD/TTY 888-874-7793. Passport information is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Speak with a representative Monday - Friday, 8a.m. to 10p.m., Eastern Standard Time, excluding federal holidays. You can also visit the U.S. Department of State website.

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

Please contact the Foreign Consulate or Embassy of the country to find out what documents you need to have the authentication/apostille attached to.

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 authentication certificates once they are attached.  Removal of the certificate invalidates the apostille or authentication.

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

No. That is a special signature guarantee for the transfer of securities and is provided by financial institutions. It is not a notary service.

Learn about getting a medallion certificate at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission website. You can also phone them at 800-SEC-0330 (investor assistance and complaints), fax the at 202-942-7040 or mail them at Mail Stop 11-2, Fifth Street N.W., Washington, DC 20549.

How do I authenticate a Professional Engineering Certificate?

It has come to our attention that a number of foreign students have completed the Professional Engineering exam and received certification in Indiana. We are starting to receive these certificates with a request for an apostille to be attached, mainly from engineers in South Korea. They are signed by officials from the Professional Engineering Board, which is not a notarization.

Professional Engineering certificates must be notarized by an Indiana notary public before you send it to us for an apostille. Please ask the Professional Engineering Board to notarize your certificate, if you need an apostille. Once your certificate is notarized, send it to us so we can attach the apostille.

Another option is to take your certificate to any notary public in Indiana and have the certificate notarized as a true and correct photocopy. See Short Form Photocopy of Document in Possession.