US Department of State Apostille – Washington, D.C.

US Department of State ApostilleDo you need to apostille your documents through the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C.?

The U.S. Department of State issues an apostille or certificate on documents originating from the U.S. Federal Government.  These documents include:

  • FBI Background Check
  • FDA Documents
  • USDA Documents
  • Social Security Income and Benefits Statement
  • IRS Forms – 6166
  • Notarized documents from a U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate office
  • State certified documents for non-Hague Apostille countries
  • Certificate of Free Sale
  • US Patent and Tradmark Certificates
  • and more!

Here is a short video that explains the process…

Documents issued from the U.S. Federal Government can receive an apostille if the requesting country is a member of the Hague Apostille Convention.

For example, if you need your FDA Certificate to Free Sale apostilled for Russia, your document will only require U.S. Department of State apostille service.  Also, please note that the U.S. Department of State cannot apostille State issued documents destined for Hague Apostille member countries.

Documents destined for countries who are not members of the Hague Apostille Convention will receive a certificate.  Documents destined for non-member countries will also require Embassy or Consulate legalization.  These countries include: Egypt, UAE, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Kuwait, Iran, Iraq, and more!

For example, if the country of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is requesting to have your FDA Certificate to Foreign Government certified and legalized, then your document will require US Department of State certification and UAE Embassy legalization.  If for example you need  to have your California marriage certificate certificate and legalized for the UAE, your document requires, California State certification, US Department of State certification, and UAE Embassy legalization.

Obtaining an apostille for a U.S. Federal Government document can be complicated. Don’t leave this process to untrained employees or non-professionals who do not fully understand the Apostille process and the unique requirements of certain countries. Your paperwork could be rejected costing you time and money. Don’t let this happen to you!

International Apostille Order Form PDF SmallClick to download our International Apostille Order Form. Our Apostille service is fast, convenient, and saves you time and money.

US Federal Apostille

US Federal Government ApostilleDo you need an apostille on a US Federal Government Document?

Documents issued by the US Federal Government can only be apostilled through our Washington, D.C. office.  The current processing time with the U.S. Department of State is four business days and we do provide FedEx return shipping at no additional cost.  In order for the U.S. Department of State to accept your document, you must mail in the original document you received in the mail.  In some instances, you may receive your documents in a digital format (FBI Background Check, Certificate of Free Sale) from the Government.   You can forward documents received in a digital format to our office in Washington, D.C. for processing.

We can apostille documents issued from the following U.S. Government Departments and Agencies:

US Department of Agriculture – USDA
– Animal/Plant Certifications
– Animal Health Certifications

U.S. Food and Drug Administration – FDA
– Certificate of Free Sale (Can also be issued by the local Chamber of Commerce or State office)
– Certificate of Origin (Can also be issued by the local Chamber of Commerce or State office)

US Department of Health and Human Services – HHS
– Certificate to Foreign Governments
– Certificate of Pharmaceutical/Export
– Certificate of Free Sale
– Certificate to Export

US Department of Justice – DOJ
– FBI Back ground check (FBI Apostille)
– U.S. Federal Court Documents
– U.S. District Courts
– U.S. Bankruptcy Court
– Petition for Name Change

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office – USPTO
– Trademark / Patent

U.S. Department of Homeland Security – DHS
– Certificate of Naturalization

Environmental Protection Agency – EPA

Social Security Administration – SSA
– Income and Benefits Letter

Office of Personnel Management – OPM

Internal Revenue Service – IRS
– Form 6166
– U.S. Federal Tax Return Documents

National Archives and Records Administration – NARA

In addition to our apostille service, we can also certify and legalize documents for none Hague Apostille Member Countries.   Countries who are non-members will require documents to be legalized at their Embassy.  The most common Embassies we legalized documents are for: China, Brazil, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Chile, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, and more!

International Apostille Order Form PDF SmallClick to download our International Apostille Order Form. Our Apostille service is fast, convenient, and saves you time and money.

Apostille USA Documents

We can process documents for all 50 US States, the US Department of State in DC, and the Secretary of the District of Columbia.  With so many States, the District of Columbia, and the Federal Government, the United States issues 52 different Apostilles.

Not every Apostille issued will have a gold seal.  For example, in the State of California, the Apostille does not include a gold seal but a red seal.  Here is an example of a California Apostille.

An Apostille issued by the US Department of State also does not include a gold seal.  Here is an example of an Apostille from the US Department of State.  The Secretary of the District of Columbia issues an Apostille and a certificate with a gold seal.

There is a misconception that all Apostilles must have a gold seal.  This misconseption is incorrect.  This may seem difficult to comprehend, but the Secretary of State decides how they overall layout of the Apostille and the certificate will look.

An Apostille is simply the name for a specialized certificate, issued by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the District of Columbia or the US Department of State in Washington, DC.  This document is affixed to the original or certified document.

Here is typically what’s included in an apostille:

  • Country … [country name] This public document
  • has been signed by … [name]
  • acting in the capacity of … [function]
  • bears the seal/stamp of … [authority] certified
  • at … [location]
  • the … [date]
  • by … [name]
  • No … [apostille registration number]
  • Seal/stamp … [of the authority giving the apostille]
  • Signature … [signature of authority giving the apostille]

Since October 15, 1981, the United States has been part of the 1961 Hague Convention abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents.

The Apostille Convention provides for the simplified certification of public (including notarized) documents to be used in countries that have joined the convention.  Documents destined for use in participating countries and their territories should be certified by one of the officials in the jurisdiction in which the document has been executed.

Click here to view a list of Members of the Hague Apostille Convention

The Apostille Convention requires that all Apostille’s be numbered consecutively, with individual numbers applied to each Apostille issued. The recognized standard Apostille contains a seal and 10 mandatory references: name of country from which the document emanates, name of person signing the document, the capacity in which the person signing the document has acted, in the case of unsigned documents, the name of the authority that has affixed the seal or stamp, place of certification date of certification, the authority issuing the certificate, number of certificate, seal or stamp of authority issuing certificate and signature of authority issuing certificate.

International Apostille Order Form PDF SmallClick to download our International Apostille Order Form. Our Apostille service is fast, convenient, and saves you time and money.