Apostilles & Authentications
On behalf of the Secretary of State, the Vermont State Archives & Records Administration issues both Apostille and authentication certificates for Vermont notarized documents and Vermont certified public records (provided that we have the signature of the respective Vermont notary public or Vermont public official on file). The determination of which certificate is issued is based on the country in which the document will be legalized for use.
The fee for an Apostille or authentication certificate is $2.00 per document, payable to the Vermont Secretary of State. Those needing an Apostille or authentication certificate may visit our office in person or submit a request by mail. A prepaid air bill is required if documents are to be returned via special means such as Federal Express or any other courier service. Unless otherwise instructed, documents are mailed back via first-class mail.
In 1981, the United States formally entered the Hague Convention on Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Documents. Today Vermont notarized documents and Vermont certified public records are admissible in member states and countries after the Secretary of State verifies the signature of the notary and attaches an Apostille. A current status listing of member states and countries is available at: http://www.hcch.net/index_en.php?act=conventions.status&cid=41.
Countries that are not members of the Hague Convention require a more traditional form of legalization called a “Authentication.” The purpose of the certification mirrors the purpose of the Apostille but requires one further step of authentication where the Apostille does not. After the Secretary of State verifies the signature of the notary and attaches a certificate of authentication. the document must then be forwarded to the Office of Authentication, U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. In this final step, the signature of the Vermont Secretary of State is verified.