Some documents are required to be certified prior to being used internationally for personal or business transactions. A certification, also called an authentication or an Apostille, is hen a specified state official certifies the authority of the notary public. There are a wide variety of reasons for obtaining a certification. Some common examples of documents that require an authentication or Apostille for international use are business documents (bylaws, articles of incorporation, good standing certificates), adoption paperwork (home studies, letters of reference), and education documents (diplomas, transcripts).

Some countries are parties to the 1961 Hague Convention abolishing the requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. By joining the Convention, countries agree to accept a specific, universal type of certification on public documents. This type of certification is called an "Apostille". With an Apostille, the document is recognized by other countries for its intended use and does not require any additional certifications by the U.S. Department of State of legalization by the embassy or consulate.

Requesting Document Certification

Request for authentications or Apostilles should be made to the Secretary of State's Office. The documents will need to be submitted along with form DC. The fee is $7.50 per document submitted for certification. Each notarization requires a separate certification. Our office cannot issue any type of certification for documents that will be used within the United States of America, its territories or possessions.

State-certified documents from the office of Vital Statistics (birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc.) are not required to be notarized by a Kansas notary in order to obtain certification. Please note that our office can only provide certification for Kansas issued Vital Records.

Other documents submitted for certification must have an original, complete notarial certificate by a Kansas notary public. Any errors on the notarization could disqualify the document for certification and therefore delay processing. Please follow the link to see a correct notarization: Notary handbook (page 28 of handbook).