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Apostille and Document Authentication

What is an Apostille or Certificate of Authentication?

An Apostille and authentication certificate are specialized certificates issued by the Secretary of State to verify signatures, stamps, or seals on important documents, such as student educational records, ensuring their legitimacy and authenticity. This allows the documents to be accepted and legally recognized in other countries.

If the country where the document will be used is a party to the Hague Apostille Convention, the Virginia Secretary of the Commonwealth will affix an apostille* certificate, and no further authentication is necessary. However, if the country is not part of the Hague Apostille Convention, the Virginia Secretary of the Commonwealth will affix a state authentication certificate. In such cases, the document should be sent to the Authentication Office of the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., to obtain the U.S. Department of State seal.

How do I request an Apostille or an International Authentication?

  1. Download the Apostille form (Form 125.180 or 125.180B for International Authentication) from the Students Forms library online.
  2. Complete and sign the form.
  3. Gather the following documents:
  4. Take the completed form and all the documents mentioned in step 3 to the Records Office.
  5. Once at the Records Office, have the documents notarized.
  6. The Records Office will return the notarized forms packet to you by mail.
  7. You are responsible for mailing the Apostille forms to the Commonwealth’s Attorney, along with the required fee.
  8. For International Authentication requests, include course descriptions for all completed courses, the College Certification/Accreditation information, and your program of study.
  9. Ensure that all documents are included in the packet.
  10. Submit the packet containing the notarized forms and other required documents to the Commonwealth's Attorney for processing.

Have Questions?

If you have any questions or need assistance, feel free to email us at We'll do our best to get back to you within two to five business days for any issues that require further follow-up.