An Apostille is a certificate that is issued by The Authentication Office of the NC Department of the Secretary of State for notarized documents* being sent out of the United States to countries who are parties to an international treaty.

We facilitate NC Apostille services.

Authentication or Certification – If the country of intended use does not participate in the Hague Convention, documents being sent to that country can be “authenticated” or “certified”.

We facilitate Authentication or Certification services.

The NC Authentication Office issues apostilles, authentications and certificates for a variety of NC documents, including: birth certificates, marriage certificates, statements of marital status, articles of incorporation, corporate bylaws, certificates of merger, powers of attorney, patent applications, trademarks, diplomas, school transcripts, deeds, and assignments of interest.


How long does it take?

Apostille certification will be completed within an average of 2 to 4 days.

 However, in some cases, we may be able to offer next business day authentication, for an additional fee.


Apostille History

Since Oct. 15, 1981, the United States has been part of 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.

The sole function of the Apostille is to certify the authenticity of the signature on the document; the capacity in which the person signing the document acted; and the identity of any stamp or seal affixed to the document.

An Apostille issued by the Secretary of State is a one page document embossed with the Great Seal of a State. The Apostille includes the facsimile signature of the individual issuing the certificate.

There are currently over 60 member states of the Hague convention and in addition to those countries many other countries will also recognise an Apostille certificate (follow the link to a list of these countries).
The Convention applies only to public documents. These are documents emanating from an authority or official connected with a court or tribunal of the State (including documents issued by an administrative, constitutional or ecclesiastical court or tribunal, a public prosecutor, a clerk or a process-server); administrative documents; notarial acts; and official certificates which are placed on documents signed by persons in their private capacity, such as official certificates recording the registration of a document or the fact that it was in existence on a certain date and official and notarial authentications of signatures. The main examples of public documents for which Apostille are issued in practice include birth, marriage and death certificates; extracts from commercial registers and other registers; patents; court rulings; notarial acts and notarial attestations of signatures; academic diplomas issued by public institutions.

Diplomas issued by private institutions may not be apostillised directly; a “private” diploma may, however, bear an official certificate issued by a notary, Solicitor, Agency or any other person or authority competent under the law of the State of origin of the diploma to authenticate the signature on the diploma. This official certificate is a public document under the Convention and thus may be apostillised. In such a case the Apostille does not relate to the diploma itself; instead it certifies the authenticity of the certificate on or accompanying the diploma.


Apostille FAQ

Is an English translation required?

If a document is presented in a language other than English the NC Secretary of State’s Office will require a certified or notarized English translation as allowed in N.C.G.S. §66-274(a).

Why would an acknowledgement be rejected?

Each North Carolina Notary Public applicant is subject to educational requirements and testing prior to being commissioned by the North Carolina Secretary of State as a Notary Public and taking an oath of office. A Notary acknowledgement can be rejected for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to:

1) Not having an acknowledgement on each document presented;

 2) The State and county where the document is being executed is not indicated;

 3) The expiration date is either missing or incorrect;

 4) The notary stamp or seal is missing;

 5) The notary did not sign his/her name exactly as represented in the commission and/or stamp or seal;

 6) The notary public has certified to statements within the document and/or was party to a document, (i.e., the Notary Public’s name should only appear in the acknowledgement and not in the document itself); and

 7) The acknowledgement must be in English.


Service Fee:  (includes government fees and our service charges)
 Type of Document  Apostille service fee 1st document & multiple or additional documents
 Birth, Marriage, Death Certificate $ 149.00 first document + $ 75 for each additional (second, third, fourth etc.)
 Power of Attorney $ 189.00 first document + $ 95 for each additional (second, third, fourth etc.)
 Notarized Letter, Statement, Affidavit $ 189.00 first document + $ 95 for each additional (second, third, fourth etc.)
 Divorce Decree, from Superior Court $ 149.00 first document + $ 75 for each additional (second, third, fourth etc.)
 Diploma, Degree Transcripts $ 289.00 first document + $145 for each additional (second, third, fourth etc.)
 Passport, Driving License copy $ 189.00  first document + $ 95 for each additional (second, third, fourth etc.)
 Adoption Dossier $ 249.00 + state fees
 Expedited Next Day Service Call immediately – Expedited service address & instructions are different.


Return Delivery Fees – from $29.00

Once your documents are successfully certified with the NC  Apostille, we will arrange for return delivery to you, to another person, or to a company, via express courier. The fee to ship to destinations within the continental USA is $29.00. If the documents need to be delivered to Alaska, Hawaii or elsewhere overseas, please request an  exact cost quote.  Those range from $40 to $95 depending on the country and actual destination.

You may pay us for arranging for shipping to you locally or overseas.

You may provide a pre-completed Fedex/USP/DHL airbill, and you will be directly billed on your courier account

Multiple Documents:

If you have more than one document for Apostille, the fee for the second document (and third, and fourth document) is capped at no more than 50% of the first document cost shown, and in most cases is less. Multiple return deliveries will require additional expense.
Payment Methods
Your payment for services and products can be accomplished by several methods:

  • Official Checks: Bank Checks, Money Orders, Cashiers Checks
  • Personal Check or Business Check
  • Western Union or Moneygram


Application for North Carolina Authentication, Apostille or Certification Services



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