I was told I needed to get a document authenticated. What is an authentication?
It is a legal way to prove to someone in another country that a signature is official. In North Carolina, the document is also examined to make sure the document will serve the interests of justice and is not against public policy.
Do you do different kinds of authentications?
Yes, we do the authentications in the chart below:
|Kind of Authentication||Where Used||Conditions|
|Apostille||Foreign countries||Documents to be used in countries that have signed an international agreement called the Hague Convention.|
|Authentication||Foreign countries||NC Government issued documents to be used in countries that have not signed the Hague Convention.|
|Authority||Foreign countries||NC Documents which are notarized in North Carolina for countries that have not signed the Hague Convention.|
Will you authenticate my document from another state or country?
No, we can’t authenticate an out-of-state document.
I have a document that is not in English. Will you authenticate it?
We can only authenticate it if you also give us a certified or notarized copy of the document in English.
I have a document from the State of North Carolina that I want to get authenticated. It is old – from before 2000. Can you authenticate it for me?
No, we look to signatures of record for state officials when authenticating documents. This office does not have official signatures prior to the year 2000. The official signature certifying the document has to be from April 2000 or later.
I have a document I want authenticated. Can I do it online?
No, we don’t do online authentications.
Do you have forms I can use to get my document authenticated?
How much do I have to pay you to get my document authenticated?
I want a refund. Can I get one?
Per agency policy, you may request a refund if all of the below are true:
- The authentication certificate has not already been processed
- It is within 45 consecutive days of the processing fees being received
I want to get a certified copy of a document from the Secretary of State’s files. It is for use in another country. How do I do that?
If you want a copy of a document from the Business Registration Division, follow these steps:
- Call us at 919-814-5400 and select #1 from the menu.
- Tell our employee that you want to order a certified document to be authenticated and give the employee the details.
- Our employee will tell you how much you need to pay.
- Our employee will email you a copy of the invoice to either pay by check or pay online. Online payment instructions are on the invoice.
Then you need to gather all these things:
- A copy of the invoice
- A cover sheet for Authentications
- A self-address stamped return envelope or pre-paid (online) courier label
If you didn’t pay the invoice online, please submit a check in the amount listed on the invoice. You need to make the check payable to the NC Secretary of State.
The check must be:
- A certified check,
- A money order, or
- A business or personal check which includes the address and telephone number. The check cannot be a starter or counter check.
- Send everything to us. You will find addresses and contact information in the next set of FAQs.
- We will not start processing your request until we get the complete package from you.
What are the steps to get documents authenticated?
There are more steps to get a document authenticated that we can include in a Frequently Asked Question. So:
Can you, the Secretary of State’s Office, notarize my document?
No, the Secretary of State cannot notarize a document which we will be authenticating.