1. Dating & Relationships

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:


was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

Most Emailed Articles

How to Kiss Like in



Definition: Since most documents are only recognized in the country where they were originally issued, in 1961 a treaty was signed by many countries to provide mutual recognition of documents. The text of the Convention may be found in T.I.A.S. 10072; 33 U.S. Treaty Series (UST) 883; 527 U.N. Treaty Series (UNTS) 189, and Martindale-Hubble International Law Digest.

In the United States, an Apostille is provided by the Deputy Secretary of State of all the individual states.
Other Designated Competent Authorities In the U.S.

To get current information about obtaining the Apostille for a document, contact the state where the documents was issued. You can also put the name of the state and the word Apostille in a search engine on the Internet.

States usually charge a fee which varies from state to state. Receiving the Apostille for a document takes time, so don't put this off to the last minute if you need the Apostille in order to marry in a foreign country.

Before most U.S. states, District of Columbia or U.S. territories or possessions can affix an apostille to a copy of a birth, death or marriage certificate or divorce, you must obtain a certified copy of the document issued by the custodian of the record – the civil registrar/vital statistics office. See Where to Write for Birth, Death and Marriage or Divorce Records. Most states will not accept a photocopy certified as a true copy by a notary public or attested by you to be a true copy in a statement made before a notary. Many foreign countries will not accept notarized copies of birth, death, marriage and divorce records.
Source: U.S. Department of State
Pronunciation: uh-pos-til
Also Known As: Authentication of Signatures, Certifications, Postil
Alternate Spellings: Apostil
Common Misspellings: Apostile
Before a couple can get married, many countries require having the Apostille in order to accept necessary documentation.

Please Note: The information in this article was accurate when it was published. State and county marriage license requirements often change. The information listed below is for guidance only and should not be regarded as legal advice.

We also recommend that before making any wedding or travel plans, you first check with the local county clerk or marriage official where you want to get married to make sure you have all the documentation that is necessary.

Please notify us of any oversights or errors.

©2015 About.com. All rights reserved.