When a document is to be used in a foreign country, it may be necessary to authenticate the notarization or certification. Foreign countries often require documents to be authenticated before the documents will be accepted in the foreign jurisdiction. An "authentication" certifies the signature and the position of the official who has executed, issued or certified a copy of a document.
Basic Apostille Information
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.
What is an "Apostille" [uh-pos-til]?
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 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."
- Note: If you're using the diploma or transcript in a country not listed in the signatory countries, you will need to contact the Embassy or Consulate of the country where you intend to use the document to discuss their authentication requirements. (Some non-signatory countries may accept an apostille. Others may require further steps such as U.S. Department of State certification then Consular certification).
Please review the following basic information from the NY State Department website: http://www.dos.ny.gov/licensing/apostille.html
What is the Apostille or Authentication and how do I get one for my Diploma or Transcript?
- Upon a written request signed by the student, the Registrar’s Office of St. Lawrence University will produce the requested transcript/diploma/translation and have it notarized.
- The Registrar’s Office will have the notary's signature certified at the county level by the county clerk’s office in Canton. They will affix their seal and signature.
- The Registrar’s Office will then mail the document(s) to you.
- You are responsible for having all the signatures authenticated by the Department of State in the state capital in Albany or New York City. You can usually do this last step in person or by mail. This is the final step of authentication for citizens of Hague Convention Countries:
- Mail your document(s) with a cover letter, the required fee, and self-addressed/stamped return envelope to the Department of State. Be sure the cover letter explains why the document(s) needs to be authenticated, the name of the country where they will be used, includes your full name, address, phone number and e-mail address, in case they need to contact you.
- Visit the Department of State website for contact information, office hours, associated fees and procedural updates.