U.S. Embassies do NOT have the authority to affix the Apostille to documents issued in the United States or in other countries. Please do not schedule an appointment for this service.
The Apostille must be affixed at the government agency in the country which issued the original document.
What is an Apostille?
The Apostille is a certificate issued by a designated authority in a country where a treaty called the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalization of Foreign Public Documents applies. See a model Apostille. The Apostille consists of 10 elements.
The Apostille is a certificate that authenticates the origin of a public document (e.g., a birth, marriage or death certificate, a judgement, an extract of a register or a notarial attestation).
The Apostille can only be issued for documents issued in one country party to the Apostille Convention and that are to be used in another country which is also party to the Convention. The Apostille may never be used for the recognition of a document in the country where that document was issued – Apostilles are strictly for the use of public documents abroad! For complete details and a model of the Apostille see The ABCs of Apostilles: How to ensure that your public documents will be recognized abroad. These guidelines concern three different types of authentications:
1. The Apostille on State Issued Documents
2. U.S. Department of State − Office of Authentications
3. Notarial Services at the U.S. Embassy in Paris (not an Apostille)
How to get an Apostille in the United States
Please visit the website of the Hague Convention for a state-by-state list of the competent authorities, contact details, and practical information. On this page, scroll down to “III. Officers of the individual States and other subdivisions as indicated” in order to find your state’s representative.
The Apostille on State-Issued Documents
(Note: This section refers to U.S. State-Issued documents such as birth certificates, etc.)
State-issued documents destined for use in Hague Apostille countries may be authenticated by the Competent Authority in the state where the document was executed. A list of these authorities can be found on the Hague Convention Website. The local state requirements are as follows:
- Officials (usually in the office of the state’s Secretary of State) must have been designated as a competent authority to issue Apostilles under the Convention.
- A document with the Apostille does not require additional certification by the U.S. Department of State or legalization by a U.S. embassy or consulate overseas to be recognized in a participating country.
Note: The U.S. Department of State will not issue the Apostille for state-issued documents.
U.S. Department of State − Office of Authentications
Notarial Services at the U.S. Embassy in Paris (Not an Apostille)
The American Citizen Services unit continues to perform notarial and authentication services for those wishing to execute documents in the presence of a U.S. Consular Officer. This is not the Apostille. Fees for notarial and authentication services are $50 for the first consular seal/signature. For each additional consular seal/signature a supplementary fee of $50 will apply. Notarial and authentication services are currently available by online appointment only, except on French and American holidays. Please refer to the Embassy’s website page in order to schedule your appointment. Please bring a passport or other photo ID (passport, carte d’identité, or U.S. driver’s license) as a means of verifying your identity.