Process for Obtaining Authentication and Authority Certificates
Country of intended use is not a member of the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961 and the documents will need to be further authenticated by the US Department of State.
Document Needs to be in English
Obtain a certified or notarized English translation of the document if the document is in a language other than English.
Notarization of Document
Appear before a North Carolina Notary Public to sign the document;
Obtain a certified copy which is notarized by the issuing entity (i.e., diploma, etc.);
If necessary, you may use a "True Copy" affidavit for North Carolina documents and obtain a notary acknowledgment of your signature;
Documents from the following entities will not need to be notarized:.
- Register of Deeds
- Clerk of Superior Courts
- NC Department of Agriculture
- NC Department of Health and Human Services
- NC Vital Records
- NC Department of Motor Vehicles (Raleigh, NC office ONLY)
- NC Attorney General's Office
- NC Legislative Services
School Diploma or Transcripts
Documents (transcripts, report cards, diplomas, etc.) issued by a North Carolina university, college, community college or high school must be notarized by a North Carolina Notary Public. A school seal applied to the document by the school registrar is not acceptable.
True Copy Affidavit
Requesting an apostille using a "copy" of a document will require a notarized Affidavit saying that the document is a "true copy" of the original. A "true copy" affidavit sample can be found under the "Cover Letters & Templates" link on the right.
Please note: All North Carolina agency documents must be certified since April 1, 2000.
Submission of Documents
Payment in form of money order or check
The original document(s) with all certifications attached
A return pre-paid envelope or carrier label (see Delivery Policy on Authentications Home Page).
Documents may be directed on to a third party as a convenience. Please include that information on the cover letter and address the pre-paid envelope to the third party.
Any documents received without a pre-paid return envelope will be delivered by regular mail to a United States address. Note: A pre-paid courier label is not a handwritten or typed label with account information. A pre-paid courier label is obtained online and paid for at the time you print the bar-coded label.
Courier packages (i.e., UPS, FedEx, DHL) will not be delivered to an address outside of the United States. Please provide a return address within the United States.
$10.00 (US currency) per document.
Adoptions only processing fee for a duplicate original is $5.00 (US currency) when requested at the same time.
Payment is made to the "NC Secretary of State. "
Getting Documents To and From Us
Mail or deliver the documents in person to the address at the bottom of the main Authentication webpage. A detailed schedule is available on the “Getting Documents to and from Us” page.
Emergencies can happen. Please review the "Turn Around Times." page. There is an option for same or next day documents if you can bring them into the office in Raleigh.
US State Department
Submit the Certificates of Authentication/Authority to the US State Department Authentication Office for further legalization.United States Department of State Authentication
518 23rd Street N.W.
Sa-1 Columbia Plaza
Washington, DC 20520
800-333-4636 (202) 647-5002
Fax: (202) 663-3636 TDD: (202) 663-3468
North Carolina General Statutes
To obtain a certified copy of a North Carolina General Statute, contact the Revisor of Statutes at 919-733-6660. Please note that the Revisor does not issue vital records, certificates of authentication, or apostilles.
Contact Vital Records to obtain marriage, birth or death certificates. Vital Records telephone number is (919) 733-3526. They will accept credit/charge cards. You may also be able to order the document online at North Carolina Vital Records Expedited Online Orders.