Authentication of Documents as Mandated by the Government
Below is a list of all 50 states and some of their requirements. This is not an exhaustive list. Due to post-pandemic delays and staff shortages, current process times are inflated. Plan accordingly. Use our rush services where available.
We recommend ordering recently issued vital documents with the current state official's signature on it. To order newer vital documents, please check www.vitalchek.com.
** Concerning notarized documents: Signed documents must be notarized according to State law. Since the notarization is the driving force behind the Apostille for signed documents, it is critical to be sure your document is properly notarized or face rejection. Every state requires a full notary public statement as required by law. Notaries should be advised that they must use the full and complete, statutorily appropriate notarial blocks for all documents they notarize.
Massachusetts: Notarized documents: notarization must fully comply with Massachusetts Notary Law or the document will be rejected. Rush services are available.
Michigan: Only certified copies of birth, marriage, divorce, and death records by a Michigan county clerk; city clerk or registrar in the counties of Wayne, Oakland, or Macomb only; or the Michigan state registrar are eligible for authentication.
Minnesota: General state rules apply.
Mississippi: General state rules apply. Rush services are available.
Missouri: Birth certificate - must be a certified copy from Vital Statistics
Marriage license - must be a certified copy from the recorder of deeds of the county of the marriage or from Vital Statistics.
Divorce decree - must be a certified copy from the circuit clerk of the county where the divorce is recorded.
Montana: Vital document must be issued within the last 5 years. Notaries should be advised that they must use the full and complete, statutorily appropriate notarial blocks for all documents they notarize.
Nebraska: General state rules apply.
Nevada: Process times can be lengthy, consider rush services if time is short. Rush services are available.
New Hampshire: Only notary public or justice of the peace signatures can receive Apostille.
New Jersey: Vital document should have a state registrar's signature on it. Local documents will not be processed. Rush services are available.
New Mexico: General state rules apply.
New York: This state requires documents to be authenticated before an Apostille can be applied. This will add to the processing time. Some form of rush service is available.
North Carolina: Documents must be certified since April 1, 2000. All documents in a foreign language must be accompanied by a notarized English translation. Rush services are available.
North Dakota: General state rules apply.
Ohio: General state rules apply. Rush services are available.
Oklahoma: General state rules apply. Rush services are available.
Oregon: Birth/death certificate, marriage, or dissolution of marriage certificate should be obtained from the Oregon Center for Health Statistics. County records are not appropriate.
Pennsylvania: General state rules apply. Due to post-pandemic delays, the current process time is up to 6 weeks. RUSH is now available.
Puerto Rico: Documents must be less than 2 years old.
Rhode Island: Documents to be authenticated must contain the original signature of a Rhode Island public official whose appointment of office is on record with the office of the Secretary of State.
South Carolina: All documents in a foreign language must be signed, notarized, and accompanied by an English translation signed by the translator with the translator’s signature notarized. Rush services are available.
South Dakota: General state rules apply.
Tennessee: Notary must be authenticated by the county prior to Apostille.
Texas: Documents should be state or county issued within the last 10 years.
Utah: Rush services are available.
Vermont: General state rules apply.
Virginia: Documents must have an issue date of 12 months or less.
Washington State: General state rules apply. Rush services are available.
Washington DC: Marriage certificates and divorce decrees must be the originals issued by the US Superior Court of the District of Columbia with Triple Seal.
West Virginia: Only documents that are attested to by a notary public, county clerk, or the State Registrar of Vital Statistics can be certified.
Wisconsin: Vital Records are issued by Wisconsin County Registers of Deeds, Wisconsin County Clerks of Courts, or the Wisconsin State Office of Vital Records. Rush services are available.
Wyoming: The document must be certified by a Wyoming official such as a county clerk or deputy, state registrar or deputy, state examiner, or acknowledged before a Wyoming notary public.
U.S. Department of State (Federal): FBI background reports can be sent to us physically or we can accept the encrypted pdf file from your Channeler/FBI. Scans are not acceptable. Social Security documents must be emailed to us for notarization and Apostille.
Original Certificates of Naturalization cannot be Apostilled. You must bring your certificate to your local USCIS office and request they make a certified copy called G-24. Send us your G-24 for Apostille or legalization.