Learn more about apostles and certifications – this information is taken from the California Secretary of State website.
The California Secretary of State provides authentication of public official signatures on documents to be used outside the United States of America. The country of destination determines whether the authentication is an Apostille or Certification.
Apostilles and Certifications only certify to the authenticity of the signature of the official who signed the document, the capacity in which that official acted, and when appropriate, the identity of the seal or stamp which the document bears. The Apostille or Certification does not validate the contents of the document.
The California Secretary of State authenticates signatures only on documents issued in the State of California signed by a notary public or the following public officials and their deputies:
- County Clerks or Recorders
- Court Administrators of the Superior Court
- Executive Clerks of the Superior Court
- Officers whose authority is not limited to any particular county
- Executive Officers of the Superior Court
- Judges of the Superior Court
- State Officials
Authentication requests can be submitted by mail to the Sacramento office – contact us if you need help processing forms. The processing time is typically six to eight business days from the date the request is received in the Sacramento office.
When submitting a request for authentication by mail, please include the following items:
The original notarized and/or certified document(s). A photocopy is not acceptable.
A cover letter stating the country in which the document will be used.
A check or money order for the authentication fee of $20 per authentication certificate made payable to Secretary of State and payable in U.S. dollars.
A self-addressed envelope for the return mail. If you wish to use a mail tracking service, please provide a pre-paid air bill. If you do not use a prepaid service, our office will mail your document(s) by U.S. Postal Service regular mail at no charge.