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Apostilles, Deeds, Records

HOME DEEDS:  A certified copy of your home deed can be picked up at your local county courthouse.   The cost is usually only about $5.   CERTIFIED DOCUMENTS DO NOT NEED TO BE RE-NOTARIZED….WHEN YOU SEND IN YOUR DOCS FOR APOSTILLE, YOU CAN SEND THOSE BY THEMSELVES WITHOUT AN ADDITIONAL NOTARIZATION.

BIRTH CERTIFICATES:   These certificates can be picked up at your local county courthouse if you live in the same STATE that you were born in.  The cost usually runs about $5.  Otherwise, you can order these online at www.vitalchek.com

People order copies of their birth certificates for a number of reasons.  Here are a few:

  • Required for their home study
  • Required to apply for a passport
  • Required if you are adopting as a single mother

Our recommendation is to order (3) certified (not apostilled) copies of your birth certificates for each parent.  Even if you don’t end up having to use all (3), it never hurts to have extras on hand for the future.  If you already have a certified copy of your original birth certificate, your home study social worker will usually accept a photo copy.  Your passport requires the original, but it will be returned to you with your passport.  If you are adopting as a single parent, a photo copy of the original is sufficient for your INS application I-600A.   However, if you are applying as a single parent, you WILL need an original, apostilled copy for your dossier.  We recommend you have (2) copies apostilled….(1) for your dossier and (1) to carry with you in the event your passports are stolen and you need authorized ID to get you back in the United States.

When you order your birth certificate, do NOT order the apostilled copy in the beginning.   You want the apostille to have the latest date possible prior to sending your dossier, and if you order these in the beginning with apostilles, they will be too close to expiring by the time you send your dossier.    CERTIFIED DOCUMENTS DO NOT NEED TO BE RE-NOTARIZED….WHEN YOU SEND IN YOUR DOCS FOR APOSTILLE, YOU CAN SEND THOSE BY THEMSELVES WITHOUT AN ADDITIONAL NOTARIZATION.

MARRIAGE CERTIFICATES:  These certificates can be picked up at your local county courthouse if you live in the same STATE that you were married in.  The cost usually runs about $5.  Otherwise, you can order these online at www.vitalcheck.com  If you were married in a different state than you currently live in, that marriage cert must be apostilled in the state it was issued in.  And again, do not order an apostilled copy in the beginning because they may be too close to expiring by the time you send your dossier.  INS will accept a photo copy of your marriage certificate for your I600A.   Your social worker should also accept a photo copy.  But you will need an original, certified, and apostilled copy for your dossier and an extra to carry with you.  CERTIFIED DOCUMENTS DO NOT NEED TO BE RE-NOTARIZED….WHEN YOU SEND IN YOUR DOCS FOR APOSTILLE, YOU CAN SEND THOSE BY THEMSELVES WITHOUT AN ADDITIONAL NOTARIZATION.

DIVORCE CERTIFICATES:  These certificates can be picked up at your local county courthouse if you live in the same STATE that you were divorced in.  The cost usually runs about $5.  Otherwise, you can order these online at www.vitalcheck.com  These are usually only necessary if you are applying as a single parent who is currently divorced.    Your social worker may require copies of these as well to confirm the legal divorce took place.  You will not need a copy of these to submit with your dossier (typically), and you will not need to carry an extra copy with you abroad.  Each country has different requirements, so be sure to inquire with your agency.  CERTIFIED DOCUMENTS DO NOT NEED TO BE RE-NOTARIZED….WHEN YOU SEND IN YOUR DOCS FOR APOSTILLE, YOU CAN SEND THOSE BY THEMSELVES WITHOUT AN ADDITIONAL NOTARIZATION.

APOSTILLES:  Typically, the Superior Court Clerk’s Office in your state is the one which handles attaching apostilles to all of your notarized dossier documents.   An apostille is nothing more than a state seal confirming that the notary who signed your documents is legitimate and licensed.  The Superior Court Clerk’s office is usually located in your state capital’s courthouse building.  Some larger states have branch offices which can also help you.  Typically, the cost for each apostille ranges from FREE to $20 a page.  The average is about $3-$5 a per document.

Please refer to the list below to find out where you would send or hand-carry your dossier documents to be apostilled.  Sometimes things change.  Be sure to call ahead to the office to confirm the address, cost, payment method, mailing method, etc.

BE SURE TO SEND A COVER LETTER WITH YOUR DOCUMENTS EXPLAINING YOUR PURPOSES AND NEEDS.

Alabama:

  • Elections Office, 11 South Union Street, Suite 200, Montgomery, AL 36104
  • 334-242-5325
  • Fee:  $5 per document, make check payable to ‘Secretary of State”

Alaska:

  • Office of the LT. Governor, 120 4th Street, State Capitol Building, 3rd Floor, Juneau, AK, 99801
  • 907-465-3520
  • Fee:  $2 per document, make check payable to “State of Alaska”

Arizona:

  • Secretary of State, 1st Floor, Suite 103, State Capitol, 1700 W. Washington, Phoenix, AZ, 85007-2808
  • Attn:  Alice Guzman
  • 602-542-4285, www.sosaz.com
  • Fee:  $3 per document, make check payable to “Secretary of State”

Arkansas:

  • Secretary of State, 256 State Capitol Building, Little Rock, AR, 72201
  • Attn:  Corporation/Notary Services
  • 501-682-3409, www.sosweb.state.ar.us
  • Fee:  $10 per document, make check payable to “Secretary of State”

California:

  • Office of the Secretary of State, Notary Public Division
  • Office Address:  1500 11th Street, 2nd Floor, Sacramento, CA, 94277-0001
  • Mailing Address:  PO Box 942877, Sacramento, CA  94277-0001
  • 916-653-6814, www.ss.ca.gov
  • Fee:  $20 per document, make check payable to “Secretary of State”
  • If you hand-carry your documents and wait at the office, there is a fee of $6 additional PER DOCUMENT

Colorado:

  • Secretary of State, Suite 200, 1560 Broadway, Denver, CO   80202
  • Attn:  Elections Division
  • 303-894-2680, extension “1″
  • Fee:  $2 per document, make check payable to “Secretary of State”

Connecticut:

  • Secretary of State, 30 Trinity Street, Hartford, CT   06106
  • ATTN:  Authentications
  • 860-509-6135
  • Fee:  $5 per document, make check payable to “Secretary of State”

Delaware:

  • Secretary of State, Division of Corporations, 401 Federal Street, Suite 4, Dover, DE, 19901
  • Attn:  David Krauss
  • 302-739-6479
  • Fee:  $2 per document, make check payable to “Delaware Secretary of State”

District of Columbia:

Florida:

  • Enclose a cover letter stating the name of the country in which the documents will be used. The country name is needed in order to authenticate the document correctly, whether by Certificate of Notarial Authority or Apostille. Please include a telephone number where you can be reached during normal business hours.
  • Enclose the required fee. (See “Certification Fees” above)
  • Enclose a self addressed, stamped envelope for return of the documents. If you wish the order to be returned by a courier service, you must enclose a pre-paid air bill with your order. (no collect or cash on delivery (COD) mail or air bills can be sent from this office)
  • If you are using U.S. Mail please use this address:
    Department of State  Division of Corporations Apostille Certification, P.O. Box 6800, Tallahassee, FL  32314-6800
  • $10 fee unless more complicated docs
  • If you are using a courier services please use this address:
    Division of Corporations  Clifton Building, Apostille Section, 2661 Executive Center Circle, Tallahassee, FL 32301
  • Phone:850-245-6945  850-245-6945

Georgia:

  • Notary Division, 1875 Century Boulevard, Suite 100, Atlanta, GA,  30345
  • 404-327-6023, http://www.gsccca.org/notary
  • Fee:  $3 per document, make check payable to GSCCCA”

Guam:

  • Lieutenant Governor Authentication Office, Lt. Governor’s Chambers, RJB Complex, Box 2950, Hagatna, Guam, 96932
  • Attn:  Sandra Marlow
  • 671-472-8931
  • Fee:  ZERO, apostilles are free of charge

Hawaii:

  • Circuit Court of the First Circuit, Legal Documents Section, 777 Punchbowl Street, Honolulu, HI,  96813
  • Attn:  Elsie
  • 808-586-0255
  • Fee:  $1 per document, make check payable to “Office of the Lt. Governor”

Idaho:

  • Secretary of State, PO Box 83720, Boise, ID, 83720-0080
  •  208-334-2300, www.idsos.state.id.us
  • $10 per document, make check payable to “Secretary of State”

Illinois:

  • Secretary of State–Index Department, 111 East Monroe, Springfield, IL   62756
  • 217-782-7017
  • Fee:  $2 per document, make check payable to “Secretary of State”

Indiana:

Iowa:

  • Secretary of State, Corporate Division, Hoover Building, 2nd Floor, 1305 Walnut Street, Des Moines, IA, 50319
  • 515-281-5204, www.iowaacess.org
  • Fee:  $5 per document, make check payable to the “Secretary of State”.  (Do not send original documents:  send either a photocopy of the notary public’s signature and stamp.  They will send you the state certification forms to attach to the originals).

Kansas:

  • Secretary of State, 1st Floor Memorial Hall, 120 SW 10th Avenue, Topeka, KS, 66612-01594
  • Attn:  George Lott
  • 782-296-4564
  • Fee:  $5 per document, make check payable to “Secretary of State”

Kentucky:

  • Secretary of State, Corporate Records, 7000 Capitol Avenue, Room 156, Frankfort, KY, 40601
  • 502-564-7330
  • Fee:  $5 per document, make check payable to “KY State Treasurer”

Louisiana:

  • LA Secretary of State, Commissions Department, 333 State Capitol Drive, Baton Rouge, LA   70802
  • 225-342-4979
  • Fee:  $10 per document, make check payable to “Secretary of State”

Maine:

  • Department of Secretary of State, Notary Public Division, 101 State House Station, Augusta, ME,  04333-0101
  • 207-624-7650, www.state.me.us/sos/sos.htm
  • Fee:  $10 per document, make check payable to “Secretary of State”

Maryland:

  • Secretary of State, Certification Desk, State House, Annapolis, MD   21401
  • 410-974-5521, extension 460, www.sos.state.md.us
  • Fee:  $5 per document, make check payable to “Secretary of State”

Massachusetts:

  • Secretary of the Commissions Office, 1 Ashburton Place, Room 1719, Boston, MA   02108
  • 617-727-2836
  • Fee:  $3 per document, make check payable to “Commonwealth of MA”

Michigan:

  • Secretary of State, Treasury Building, 1s Floor, 430 W. Allegany Street, Lansing, MI   48918
  • 517-373-0727
  • Fee:  $1 per document, make check payable to “State of Michigan”

Minnesota:

  • Secretary of State, 180 State Office Building, 100 Constitution Avenue, St. Paul, MN  55155-1299
  • 651-296-2803, www.sos.state.mn.us
  • Fee:  $5 per document, make check payable to “Secretary of State”

Mississippi:

  • Secretary of State, 202 North Congress, 6th Floor, Jackson, MS   39201
  • Attn:  Nan
  • 601-359-1615, www.sos.state.ms.us
  • Fee:  $2 per document, make check payable to “Secretary of State”

Missouri:

  • Secretary of State, Commission Division, PO Box 784, Jefferson City, MO, 65102
  • 573-751-4756, www.mosl.sos.state.mo.us/index.html
  • Fee:  $10 per document, check to “State Director of Revenue”

Montana:

  • Secretary of State, Bob Brown, Room 260, State Capital, Po Box 202801, Helena, MT   59620-2801
  • 406-444-5379
  • Fee:  $10 per document, check to “Secretary of State”

Nebraska:

  • NE Secretary of State, PO Box 95104, Suite 1301, Lincoln, NE   68509
  • 402-471-2558
  • Fee:  $10 per document, check to “Secretary of State”

Nevada:

  • Secretary of State, Capitol Complex, 101 N. Carson Street, # 3, Carson City, NV, 89701-4786
  • 775-684-5708, www.sos.state.nv.us
  • Fee:  $20 per document, check to “Secretary of State”
  • Turnaround time is 5-10 days

New Hampshire:

  • New Hampshire Department of State, State House, Room 204, 107 North Main Street, Concord, NH,  03301
  • 603-271-3242
  • Fee:  $5 per document, make check to “NH Dept of State”

New Jersey:

  • Office of the Secretary of State of New Jersey, Division of Revenue, PO Box 452, Trenton, NJ   08625-0452
  • Attn:  Notary Section
  • 609-633-8257, www.state.nj.us/treasury/revenue/dcr/programs/notary.html
  • Fee:  $5 per document for adoptions, please send a cover letter explaining your purposes, make check payable to “NJ State Treasury”.
  • Turnaround time is 5-10 days.

New Mexico:

  • Secretary of State, State Capitol, North Complex, 325 Don Gaspar Avenue, Suite 300, Santa Fe, NM   87501
  • 505-827-3600
  • Fee:  $3 per document, check to “Secretary of State”
  • Turnaround time is 24 hours

New York:

  • Secretary of State, Certification Unit, 123 Williams Street, 19th Floor, New York, NY   10038
  • 212-417-5684, www.dos.state.ny.us
  • Fee:  $10 per document, MONEY ORDER to “Secretary of State”

North Carolina:

  • Secretary of State, Authentication Division, PO Box 29622, Raleigh, NC  27626-0622
  • Attn:  Bernice Pruitt
  • 919-807-2140
  • Fee:  $10 per document, check to “Secretary of State”

North Dakota:

  • Secretary of State, 600 East Blvd Avenue, Dept 108, Bismarck, ND, 58505-0500
  • 701-328-2900
  • Fee:  $10 per document, check to “Secretary of State”

Ohio:

  • Secretary of State, Elections Division, Borden Building, 180 East Broad Street, 15th Floor, Columbus, OH,  43266-0418
  • 614-466-4980
  • Fee:  $5 per document, check to “OH Secretary of State”

Oklahoma:

  • Oklahoma Secretary of State, Certifications Office, State Capitol Building, 2300 North Lincoln Boulevard, Room 101, Oklahoma City, OK,  73105
  • 405-521-3911, www.sos.state.ok.us
  • Fee:  $20 per document, MONEY ORDER to “Secretary of State”

Oregon:

  • Secretary of State, Public Service Building, Corporation Division, Notary Public, 255 Capitol Street NE, Suite 151, Salem, OR   97310
  • 503-986-2200
  • Fee:  $10 per document, check to “OR Secretary of State”

Pennsylvania:

  • Department of State, 210 North Office Building, Harrisburg, PA   17120
  • 717-787-5280
  • Fee:  $15 per document, check to “Commonwealth of Pennsylvania”

Rhode Island:

  • Secretary of State, 100 North Main Street, Providence, RI   02903
  • Attn:  Kristen
  • 401-277-2357
  • Fee:  $5 per document, check to “Secretary of State”

South Carolina:

  • Secretary of State, Edgar Brown Building, 1205 Pendleton Street, Columbia, SC   29201
  • 803-734-2512
  • Fee:  $2 per document, check to “Secretary of State”

South Dakota:

  • Secretary of State, 500 East Capitol Street, Suite 204, Pierre, SD   57501
  • 605-773-3537
  • No fee listed, please call for details and confirmation

Tennessee:

  • Secretary of State, Notary Division, 312 8th Ave North, 6th Floor, William R. Snodgrass Tower, Nashville, TN   37243
  • 615-741-5962
  • Fee:  $2 per document, check to “Secretary of State”

Texas:

  • Secretary of State, Elections Division, 1019 Brazos, Room 214, Austin, TX   78701
  • 512-463-5750, www.sos.state.tx.us
  • Fee:  $10 per document, check to “Secretary of State”

Utah:

Vermont:

  • Office of the Secretary of State, 26 Terrace Street, Drawer 9, Montpelier, VT   05609-1103
  • Attn:  Kathy Watters
  • 802-828-2308
  • Fee:  $2 per document, check to “Secretary of State”

Virginia:

  • Secretary of the Commonwealth, 111 East Broad Street, 4th Floor, Richmond, VA   23219
  • 804-786-2441, www.commonwealth.state.va.us
  • Fee:  $10 per document, check to “Secretary of the Commonwealth”

Washington:

  • Office of the Secretary of State, Secretary of State Office, Corporation Division–Apostille and Certification Program, 801 Capital Way South, PO Box 40228, Olympia, WA   98504-0228
  • 360-586-2268, mail@secstate.wa.gov
  • Fee:  $15 per document, check to “Secretary of State”

West Virginia:

  • Vital Registration Office, Secretary of State, Capitol Complex Building 3, Room 516, Charleston, WV   25305
  • 304-558-2931
  • $10 per document, check to “Secretary of State of WV”

Wisconsin:

  • Secretary of State, 30 West Mifflin Street, 10th Floor, Madison, WI    53702
  • 608-266-8888, www.badger.state.wi.us/agencies/sos
  • Fee: $10 per document, check to “Secretary of State”
  • Check with the SOS via phone first….they may prefer you fill out a “certificate request form” instead of sending all of your original documents in to them.

Wyoming:

  • Secretary of State, State Capitol Building, Cheyenne, WY   82002
  • 307-777-5333, secofstate@missc.state.wy.us
  • Fee:  $3 per document, check to “Secretary of State”
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