Apostilles & Authentications
On behalf of the Secretary of State, the Vermont State Archives & Records Administration issues both Apostille and authentication certificates for the following types of records:
- Vermont public records certified by the Vermont public official whose office the public record originates;
- Personal documents that are properly notarized by a Vermont Public Notary.
The determination of which certificate is issued (authentication or Apostille) is based on the country in which the certified public record or notarized document will be legalized for use (see below).
Note: Documents concerning U.S. citizenship, allegiance to the United States or any U.S. state or other jurisdiction, sovereignty, Actual Notice of In Itinere Status and World Service Authority (or similar) will be refused (22 CFR 92.9 and 22 CFR 131.2). Do not submit such documents for an Apostille or authentication.
Academic records that do not meet the United States Department of State requirements will also be refused. Do not submit academic records that do not meet these requirements for an Apostille or authentication.
The fee for an Apostille or authentication certificate is $10.00 per document, payable to the Vermont Secretary of State. Those needing an Apostille or authentication certificate may visit the Vermont State Archives & Records Administration in person in Middlesex, Vermont or submit a request by mail. A prepaid air bill is required if documents are to be returned via special means such as Federal Express or any other courier service. Unless otherwise instructed, documents are mailed back via first-class mail.
In 1981, the United States formally entered the Hague Convention on Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Documents. Today Vermont notarized documents and Vermont certified public records are admissible in member states and countries after the Secretary of State verifies the signature of the notary and attaches an Apostille. A current status listing of member states and countries is available at: http://www.hcch.net/index_en.php?act=conventions.status&cid=41.
Countries that are not members of the Hague Convention require a more traditional form of legalization called an “Authentication.” The purpose of the certification mirrors the purpose of the Apostille but requires one further step of authentication where the Apostille does not. After the Secretary of State verifies the signature of the notary and attaches a certificate of authentication. the document must then be forwarded to the Office of Authentication, U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. In this final step, the signature of the Vermont Secretary of State is verified.