Procedures for Obtaining an Apostille

Authentications are often called "legalizations," sometimes "incumbencies" or "certifications." An Apostille is a form of authentication appropriate to countries which have signed the 1961 Hague Convention abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. They are often needed in adoptions, extraditions, applications for jobs or graduate programs abroad, and certain business transactions. The essence of these documents is an official statement that an officeholder held a particular office at a particular time.

In order to issue authentications, the Secretary of the Commonwealth keeps on file the qualification document for the particular official the swearing-in paper. Officials covered include notaries public, high level appointees such as Commissioners, members of boards and commissions, dedimus justices, legislators, Constitutional Officers, and certain local offices. The proper heading for this authentication is:

(Convention de La Haye du 5 octobre 1961)

A student or graduate wishing to obtain an Apostille should write to the Office of the University Registrar requesting the authentication be attached to a particular document mentioning the country to which it is being sent; this is usually a transcript or statement of certification or graduation. (If you make a copy of a diploma please ensure that it is as large and clear as possible.)

The cost associated with the preparation of this statement is U.S. $45, check or money order only, drawn on a U.S. bank for each Apostille requested. Two separate payments must be made: $35 made payable to the University of Richmond; and, $10 made payable to the Secretary of the Commonwealth (please note, an additional cost of $5 per copy may be incurred for each additional copy requested). Our office will prepare the document normally except that the signature and embossed seal over the signature are affixed in the presence of a notary public. The notarized documents are then sent along with a check for the charges to the Secretary of the Commonwealth with the Authentication Request Form. Once we are in receipt of the Apostille, the original documents, and have received payment from the student, we will send the entire package to the originally requested address. The process usually takes one to two weeks.