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An apostille is a certificate issued by a competent authority in a country that is party to the Hague Convention of 1961. The apostille authenticates the signature and seal of a public document issued by another country so that it can be recognized in the receiving country without further authentication.

If you need an apostille for a document issued in the United States, you can get it from the Secretary of State of the state where the document was issued. Here are the steps to follow:

Check if the document is eligible for an apostille. Not all documents are eligible, and the requirements may vary by state. Generally, documents that can be apostilled include birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce decrees, adoption papers, diplomas, transcripts, and criminal background checks.

Get a certified copy of the document. The document must be an original or a certified copy issued by the relevant authority.

Get the document notarized. The document must be signed and sealed by a notary public.

Submit the document to the Secretary of State’s office along with the required fee and any additional forms or documents required by the state.

Wait for the apostille to be issued. The processing time may vary by state, but it usually takes a few days to a week.

Once you have the apostille, you can use the document in any country that is party to the Hague Convention of 1961.

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