What is an apostille?

It is an authentication required for international acceptance of notarized documents including (but not limited to) diplomas and degrees, school transcripts, birth certificates, marriage certificates, powers of attorney, patent applications etc. An apostille is a special seal applied by an authority to certify that a document is a true copy of an original. Apostilles are available in countries, which signed the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization of Foreign Public Documents, popularly known as The Hague Convention. This convention, created in 1961, replaces the time consuming chain certification process used so far, where you had to go to four different authorities to get a document certified.

Apostille example

An example Apostille
- click for larger view

What are apostilles normally used for?

An apostille can be used whenever a copy of an official document from another country is needed. For example for international marriages, adoptions, inheritance, but also for plain contracts. The apostille is an official certification that the document is a true copy of the original. It does not certify that the original document’s content is correct, however.

Steps for Requesting an Apostile

An Apostille is issued through the Delaware Department of Education in conjunction with the US Secretary of State’s Office provided you send them the following documentation:

  1. Original or certified copy of your diploma;
  2. Original or certified copy of your college transcript (Go here to request your AUR transcript);
  3. A check, credit card, or cash, to pay the $30.00 fee
  4. In order to receive an Apostille, both the diploma and transcript need to be forwarded to the Department of Education, as the Apostille is printed on the back of each document.

Please note: Unless otherwise instructed, the Apostille will be issued on the back of the degree and the transcript. If you are requesting that the Apostille be issued on only one document, please specify which document – diploma or transcript- you want the apostille placed on; however you still have to submit both documents.

How to Make the Payment

Payment of the $30.00 fee for the Apostille to the Secretary of State may be made as follows:

  • CHECK – Checks must be made payable to the “Delaware Secretary of State”. The check must be drawn on an U.S. Bank in U.S. funds.
  • CREDIT CARD – The Division of Corporations accepts Visa, MasterCard and Discover cards only. It is now required that you supply the card account number, CVV2 (3 or 4 digit security number off the back of the card), name and address of the cardholder and the expiration date.
  • CASH (U.S. currency only) – it is not recommended for postal security purposes that you send cash; however, cash is accepted.

The contact person at Secretary of State’s office is Margaret Magnusen. Her phone number is 302-739-3077 and her email address is margaret.magnusen@state.de.us.

Where to Send the Required Documents and Payment

The degree and transcripts as well as a letter detailing where you want your documents to be returned including your contact information (please include an email address) may be mailed to:

Department of Education
ATTN: Tina Whittington
Office of Teacher & Administrator Quality Development
401 Federal Street, Suite 2
Dover, DE 19901

If you would like the documents returned in any other mail form other than the regular mail process, please include the extra fees for that process (or a return envelope with the pre-paid postage).

How Long is the Apostille Process?

Both the Delaware Department of Education and the Secretary of State’s office are located in the same building. The Department of Education portion of the process is usually accomplished in 1-3 business days.