What is an apostille?
An apostille is a seal of 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, normally applied to the back of a document by an authority to certify that a document is an original or a true copy of an original. Apostilles are available in countries that signed the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961. In the United States, the authority which applies the apostille is Secretary of State of the State in which the document was produced and notarized.
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, an apostille is needed for international marriages, adoptions, inheritance, and contracts. The apostille is an official certification that the document is a true copy of the original or the original, it does not certify that the content of the document is correct or true.
Steps for requesting an Apostille
An apostille for a diploma or transcript from The American University of Rome is issued through the Washington D.C. Office of the Secretary (ONCA).
First, you must have the original documents or copies notarized by a Notary Public that is licensed in the District of Columbia. These documents include:
- Your official transcripts (transcript request here)
- Your original diploma or a certified true copy of the diploma (you can request a copy by email to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Second, you must submit the notarized documents and these additional documents to the Office of the Secretary:
- A cover letter with your name, address, phone number and the country where the authentication will be used.
- A stamped, self-addressed envelope or pre-paid delivery service envelope (i.e. FEDEX, DHL, UPS, etc.)
The fee is $15 per document, payable by check, money order or Visa, Master Card, Discover or American Express. All checks and money orders must be made payable to the "DC Treasurer” from a US Financial Institution in US Dollars and must be for the exact amount (see https://os.dc.gov/service/authentications to verify the current fee).
You can take the documents in person or mail them to:
Office of Notary Commissions and Authentications
441 4th Street, NW
Suite 810 South
Washington, DC 20001
How long is the Apostille process?
Please allow 2-3 business days to process mail authentication requests, once they are received by the Office of the Secretary of the District of Columbia (ONCA).
ONCA does authentications in the office from 9 am-1 pm Monday-Friday. Individuals sign in and will be served as soon as possible. All individuals who are in the office by 1 pm will be served on that day.