Apostilles – FAQ

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  1. Where is the Request Form for Apostilles or Authentications?
  2. How do I get to the Mexican Consulate in Boise?
  3. ¿Hay información en español?
  4. Where do I send FBI Clearance Letters?
  5. What is an apostille?
  6. What is an authentication?
  7. What kind of documents do I need an apostille (or authentication) for?
  8. Who issues apostilles (or authentications) and how do I get one?
  9. What do I send?
  10. I am a foreign exchange student and I need to provide my home country with my school transcript. What do I do?
  11. My document was notarized by a notary in another state. Can the Idaho Secretary of State still provide the apostille or authentication?
  12. How long does it take to get an apostille (or authentication)?
  13. If I have more than one document issued by the same authority, do I need an apostille (or authentication) for each one?
  14. Should I notarize a document written in a foreign language?
  15. Other States
Where is the Request Form for Apostilles or Authentications?
How do I get to the Mexican Consulate in Boise?
¿Hay información en español?
Where do I send FBI Clearance Letters?

FBI Clearance Letters must go to the US State Department Authentications Office. Their address is:

Office of Authentications
U.S. Department of State
CA/PPT/S/TO/AUT
44132 Mercure Cir
PO Box 1206
Sterling, VA 20166-1206
(202) 485-8000

What is an apostille?

An apostille:

  1. certifies the authenticity of the issuing official’s or notary public’s signature on the document,
  2. the capacity in which the person has acted, and
  3. identifies the seal/stamp which the document bears.

An apostille is a form of certification set out in the 1961 Hague Convention, to which the United States is a subscriber. It is a form of numbered fields, which allow data to be understood by the receiving country regardless of the language used by the issuing country.

The Hague Convention defines the purpose of an apostille as to “abolish the requirement of diplomatic or consular legalisation for foreign public documents.”

Here is a listing of countries that follow the Hague Legalization Convention.

What is an authentication?

An authentication:

  1. certifies the authenticity of the issuing official’s or notary public’s signature on the document,
  2. the capacity in which the person has acted, and
  3. identifies the seal/stamp which the document bears.

An authentication is the certification that is used for countries who do not follow the Hague Convention standard.

What kind of documents do I need an apostille (or authentication) for?

An apostille (or authentication) is used as transmittal on public documents executed in one subscribing country which are being sent to another subscribing country. The Hague Convention defines public documents as:

  1. those originating in a court, clerk of a court, public prosecutor or process server,
  2. administrative documents,
  3. notarial acts,
  4. official certificates placed on documents

A few examples of these public documents would include:

  1. birth or death certificates
  2. marriage licenses
  3. divorce decrees
  4. school transcripts
  5. school diplomas or degrees

School documents must be signed by a school official and notarized.

It is important to note that the Idaho Secretary of State can authenticate only documents issued by Idaho officials or notarized by Idaho Notaries.

Who issues apostilles (or authentications) and how do I get one?

Each subscribing nation designates which authorities may issue apostilles for their jurisdiction. The United States has appointed the Secretary of State (or their counterpart) in each state as said authority. The Secretary of State of Idaho has expanded this authority in Idaho to include his Deputy Secretaries of State and the Secretary of State’s Notary Clerks.

A request for an apostille (or authentication) may be made in person or by mail. Requests are processed by the Notary Division of the Secretary of State’s office. The mailing address for requests is:

Secretary of State’s Office
Attn: Notary Department
PO Box 83720
Boise ID 83720-0080

For requests sent to us by overnight mail, the street address is:

Secretary of State’s Office
Attn: Notary Department
450 N 4th Street
Boise ID 83702

What do I send?
  1. You must send the document to which you wish to attach an apostille or authentication. The document must be a certified copy or an original notarized document, notarized by an Idaho Notary Public.
  2. You must send a statutory fee of $10.00 per document that you wish to have apostilled or authenticated. Checks or money orders must be made payable to “Secretary of State”. You may also pay by credit card.
  3. You must provide the name of the country to which the documents will be sent. This insures that we provide you with the appropriate certification format for the receiving country.

Here is the request form for Apostilles or Authentications [PDF]

Requests are processed daily. Your document(s) and apostille (or authentication) will be returned to you (or forwarded to any location you request) by first class mail. If overnight service is required a pre-addressed, pre-paid airbill must be enclosed with the request.

I am a foreign exchange student and I need to provide my home country with my school transcript. What do I do?
  1. Have your school notarize your transcript. Only your school can provide this notarization.
  2. Submit the notarized transcript and the Idaho Apostille/Authentication Request Form to the Idaho Secretary of State.
  3. Submit a fee of $10.00 per document that you wish to have apostilled or authenticated.
My document was notarized by a notary in another state. Can the Idaho Secretary of State still provide the apostille or authentication?
No. You will need to contact the Secretary of State in the state where the notarization took place.
How long does it take to get an apostille (or authentication)?

Walk-In Service is available, however, you may need to leave your documents and return at a later time to pick them up.

If paying with cash, please do not bring large denomination bills. We keep a limited amount of cash on hand to make change.

Our office hours are Monday through Friday, (excluding state holidays), 8 am to 5 pm.

If you are mailing in your document(s) and you are on a deadline, be sure to allow for mailing AND processing time.

Requests are processed daily. Your document(s) and apostille (or authentication) will be returned to you (or forwarded to any location you request) by first class mail.

If overnight service is required a pre-addressed, pre-paid airbill must be enclosed with the request.

If I have more than one document issued by the same authority, do I need an apostille (or authentication) for each one?
The authorities in the country you are sending the apostille (or authentication) to will need to specify this for you.
Should I notarize a document written in a foreign language?
When dealing with documents written in a language that you cannot read, should you be asked to notarize a signature on a document verifying that the individual is alive and living in Idaho, YOU MAY actually be making the statement that this information is correct instead of the individual making the statement. Ask the signer if your name appears anywhere in the document before you notarize. If you are named, DO NOT notarize the document. Let the signer know that he/she must make that statement and not you.
Other States
Links to apostille and authentication information in all states.