Apostille/Certification of Documents

What is an Apostille?

An "apostille" is a form of authentication issued for documents that will be used in countries that participate in the Hague Convention of 1961. A list of countries that accept apostilles OR certifications is provided by Alabama Secretary of State. If the country where the documents will be used does not participate in the Hague Convention, those documents are "certified."

What is a Certification?

Countries that are not part of the Hague Convention also require certification of the documents. The Certification may be affixed to documents bearing the official signature and seal of a currently commissioned Alabama probate judge, circuit clerk or the current Alabama State Registrar. Please note: Each notarized document requiring a Certification must have an additional county authentication of the notary commission. County authentications are issued by the office of the probate judge in the county of the notary's commission. For county information, please see our public official database.

The University of North Alabama initiates the process for apostille or certification for diplomas and transcripts per the rules of the Hague Convention and in coordination with the Alabama Secretary of State based upon written request of the student.

The Office of the Registrar must receive the items outlined below in order to complete a document authentication/certification request. All items should be mailed to The Office of the Registrar, UNA Box 5044, Florence, AL 35632

1. A written and signed request for document authentication/certification from the student which includes the following information:

o Student’s full name at the time of graduation

o Degree earned

o Term and year of graduation, if appropriate

o Current contact information

o Whether a duplicate hard copy diploma is being requested, see #2

o Whether a transcript is being requested, see #3

o Country to which the documents will be sent

o

2. If not supplying the diploma, please be sure to include a fee of $20.00 for the printing of a duplicate diploma. Please only send check or money order only in U.S. Funds made out to University of North Alabama.

3. If you require a transcript for the authentication or certification, please include a fee of $10.00. Please only send check or money order only in U.S. Funds made out to the University of North Alabama.

4. If a certification is required, please include $5.00 per document for the Probate Judge to affix the certification to the document (s). Please be sure to send a money order only in U.S. Funds.

If both are needed please be sure to send the appropriate amount of $30.00 in money order only in U.S. Funds made out to University of North Alabama.

What is needed for the Secretary of State?

1. A $5.00 fee per document in the form of a check or money order in U.S. funds made payable to Alabama Secretary of State. Also required is the complete submittal form

2. Two (2) stamped (postage paid) 9 x 11 inch Federal Express, Express Mail, or UPS envelopes addressed as follows:

o The Alabama Secretary of State at the address found on submittal form

o The final recipient of all authenticated/certified document

What is the processing time for the Apostille/Certification?

The processing time for authenticated documents varies depending on the request. Authentication of a requested duplicate hard copy diploma will take 2-3 weeks. If expedited services are requested please contact the Office of the Registrar, 256-765-4316.

For additional information concerning an Apostille or Certification of documents please visit the Alabama Secretary of State.