Apostille or Certificate of Authentication
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Overview

Due to the large volume of mail in requests, please allow for additional processing time before checking on the status of your Apostille or Certificate of Authentication request.

 

At this time, New York State Department of State Apostille services may be obtained by mail, or---in the case of a priority request as described below---by appointment for in-person service within our Albany or New York City locations. In-person services are by prior appointment-only, and walk-in services will not be provided without an appointment. Effective August 2, 2021 customers will be allowed to drop off Apostille requests at our Albany and New York City locations only. Drop off requests will not be treated as a priority and will be processed according to receipt date. Once completed, the documents will be returned in the return enveloped provided by the customer or by first class mail. Please note that you are encouraged to pay by check or money order for New York City drop off requests. New York City drop off requests being paid by credit card will be forwarded to our Albany location for processing. Please read the following instructions regarding the Apostille process. If you have questions, please contact us at: 518-474-4429.

When a document is to be used in another country, it may be necessary to have the document authenticated.  This is known either as an “apostille” or “certificate of authentication.” Examples of documents that are frequently authenticated by the Department of State are birth, marriage and death certificates.

The Department of State only authenticates public documents issued in New York State which are signed by a New York State official or county clerk.

Obtaining an Apostille/Certificate of Authentication

Step 1: Obtain a copy of the document that needs to be authenticated

For information on where to obtain a copy of a vital record (birth, death, marriage certificates), please refer to the NYS Department of Health’s website.

For New York City records, other than divorce certificates, please contact the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene or the New York City Marriage Bureau.  The records must then be certified by the New York County Clerk’s Office. For NYC birth and death certificates, when ordering your record you will also need to request a “Letter of Exemplification.”

For educational documents, please contact the school, college or university that you attended.  The document must be certified by an official at the educational institution stating that the document is an official record or a true copy of the original document.  The official’s signature on the certification must be notarized by a notary public.

For other documents, such as power of attorney, obtain a notarized copy of the document.

Step 2: Have the document certified by a New York State official or County Clerk

Birth, Death, and Marriage certificates and Certificate of Divorce issued by a local or county official or county Department of Health must first be certified by the County Clerk of the county where the document was issued.

Birth, Death, and Marriage certificates issued by the New York State Department of Health and bearing the signature of the Director of Vital Statistics or NYS Registrar may be submitted for Apostille or Certificate of Authentication and do not require a County Clerk certification.


Notarized documents must be certified by the County Clerk of the County where the notary is certified to notarize.

Step 3: Submit the document with the necessary certifications to the NYS Department of State with the required fee ($10 per document).


Step 4: Submit a prepaid envelope for express delivery- Optional

Apostille and certificates of authentication are returned by first class mail.  You may request that your documents be returned to you by overnight delivery service by enclosing a prepaid shipping label. Please note that the Department of State does not accept shipping labels that direct the carrier to bill your credit card or “bill sender.”

Apostille/Certificate of Authentication Request Forms

Expedited Service

Individuals who have a priority request based on travel plans within two weeks may schedule an appointment to have their documents completed at our Albany or New York City customer service office.  Please be advised that this in-person service is by appointment-only at this time, and walk-ins are not permitted without a prior appointment. Please call (518) 474-4429 or send an email with this priority request to [email protected]Please provide copies of the certified documents that need to be authenticated along with your travel itinerary and include ‘Apostille Priority’ in the subject line of email.  You will be contacted with date and time of appointment. 

Verifying an Apostille/Certificate of Authentication

  • The Department of State now allows you to verify whether an Apostille or Certificate of Authentication was issued by the New York State Secretary of State's office. Apostilles and Certificates of Authentication issued on or after April 9, 2013 may be verified here.
  • If you are unable to locate an Apostille or Certificate of Authentication or you wish to verify an Apostille or Certificate of Authentication issued prior to April 9, 2013, please contact the New York Department of State at (518) 474-4429.

Additional Information

  • An Apostille is an authentication of a public document issued pursuant to the 1961 Hague Convention abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. The Convention provides for the simplified certification of public (including notarized) documents to be used in countries that have joined the convention. Under the Hague Convention, signatory countries have agreed to recognize public documents issued by other signatory countries if those public documents are authenticated by the attachment of an internationally recognized form of authentication known as an Apostille. The Apostille ensures that public documents issued in one signatory country will be recognized as valid in another signatory country.
  • A Certificate of Authentication is issued by the New York Secretary of State to authenticate public document for use in any country which is not a member of the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. Please Note: Certificates of Authentication may also require an additional certification from the United States Department of State prior to submission to the foreign country.
  • An Apostille or Certificate of Authentication issued by the New York Secretary of State is a one-page document with a blue laser printed facsimile of the New York Department of State Seal. Both the Apostille and Certificate of Authentication include the facsimile signature of the New York Secretary of State or his/her deputy.

Contact Contact Apostille and Authentication Unit

Mailing Information: 

Apostille/Certification of Authentication Documents

Paying by check or money order:

Customers seeking Apostille and Certificate of Authentication services, and paying by check or money order, should mail their requests to the following address:

New York State Department of State
Division of Licensing Services
Apostille and Authentication Unit
123 William Street
New York, NY 10038

Paying by credit card:

Customers seeking Apostille and Certificate of Authentication services, and paying by credit card, should mail their requests to the following address:

New York Department of State
Division of Licensing Services
Apostille and Authentication Unit
PO Box 22001
Albany, NY 12201-2001

Please note: If you utilize express services or next day ground services such as UPS, Federal Express, DHL, etc. you should use the physical address of the building.


The physical address of the Albany location is:

Albany Physical Address
Division of Licensing Services
1 Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Avenue, 6th Floor
Albany, NY 12231

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Visitor & Customer Service Center Information:

Below is a listing of Licensing Customer Service Centers and the hours of operation. All Customer Service Centers are following COVID-19 guidelines and all visitors are asked to abide by these guidelines. Please monitor this page for updates to office hours, guidelines and or any closures.

All customers should call (518) 474-4429. Call Center Representatives are available from 8:45am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday except on Legal Holidays.
 

Parking
Limited on street metered parking is available for 1 Commerce Plaza in Albany. The Office of General Services has various parking lots throughout downtown Albany which have limited visitor parking. To find out more information about the OGS lots, please visit their website.  

 

Albany: This office will open August 2, 2021 for all services. All visitors are asked to follow COVID guidelines.

NYS Department of State
Division of Licensing Services
1 Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Avenue, 6th Floor
Albany, NY 12231
(Customer Service hours 9:00am - 4:30pm)

*Important note about Apostille and Certification of Authentication Services: Apostille and Certification of Authentication documents may be dropped off for processing. Customers may provide prepaid envelopes for priority returns.Priority appointments based on travel plans within two weeks may be scheduled at our Albany or New York City customer service office. For further information, please visit https://dos.ny.gov/apostille-or-certificate-authentication

Parking
Limited on street metered parking is available for 1 Commerce Plaza in Albany. The Office of General Services has various parking lots throughout downtown Albany which have limited visitor parking. To find out more information about the OGS lots, please visit their website.  

New York City: This office will ONLY open beginning August 2 to accept Apostille and Certification of Authentication documents and for priority Apostille appointments. The office will remain temporarily closed for all other services. All visitors are asked to follow COVID guidelines.

NYS Department of State
Division of Licensing Services
123 William St. 2nd Fl.
New York, NY 10038-3804

Customer Service hours: Monday - Friday 9:00am to 3:30pm

*Important note about Apostille and Certification of Authentication Services: Apostille and Certification of Authentication documents may be dropped off for processing. Customers may provide prepaid envelopes for priority returns.Priority appointments based on travel plans within two weeks may be scheduled at our Albany or New York City customer service office. For further information, please visit https://dos.ny.gov/apostille-or-certificate-authentication

Contact us by phone: