Apostille/Authentication Requests

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 office-holder held a particular office at a particular time.

A more comprehensive description of the Apostille is available on the Travel.State.Gov website. The listing of countries who are signatories is at the Hague Conference website.

Authentication certificates are issued for the same purpose as Apostilles but for use in countries that are not members of the 1961 Hauge Convention Treaty.

In order to be able to issue authentications, the North Dakota Secretary of State’s office keeps on file the certificate to confirm the commission of notaries public.  This certificate is attached to documents intended for use in foreign countries.  It certifies the authenticity of the signature and the capacity in which the person signing the document has acted.


To obtain an Apostille/Authentication, please forward the following documents to the Office of Registration and Records, NDSU Dept. 2801, P.O. Box 6050, Fargo, ND  58108-6050:

  1. An official NDSU transcript (if needed, order online through Campus Connection or Parchment . Place an order for a paper transcript and indicate in the instruction box it should be given directly to the Registrar for the apostille).

  2. Original NDSU diploma. To request a replacement diploma please follow the steps on the NDSU Diploma webpage. Add a comment stating the order is for an apostille/authentication.

  3. A letter—addressed to the Secretary of State in North Dakota—indicating what country will be receiving the documents and where the Secretary of State should send the documents once they have completed their certification.

  4. A check/money order for $15 U.S. funds made payable to the ND Secretary of State.


Once the NDSU Office of Registration and Records receives the above documents, they will be processed with the necessary certifications and verifications and forwarded to the North Dakota Secretary of State's office.

Please allow 1-2 weeks for the processing of Apostille/Authentication documents (longer if documents will be mailed internationally).