Apostilles and Authentications

Some documents intended for use abroad (e.g., birth, death and marriage certificates; transcripts and diplomas; adoption papers and corporate documents) require some form of certification. The Secretary of State provides this certification in the form of either an apostille or certificate of authentication.

Preparing Documents for Submission to the Office of the Secretary of State

  • Documents from Kentucky Department of Vital Statistics (birth certificates, death certificates, etc.) - must be signed by the current state registrar, Paul F. Royce, and submitted to the Office of the Secretary of State with the completed Request for Apostille or Authentication form and $5 per document fee. If the documents are not signed by the registrar, contact the Kentucky Department of Vital Statistics at 502-564-4212.
  • Documents signed by a notary (adoption papers, grade transcripts/diplomas, powers of attorney, etc.) - must be signed by a notary registered in the Commonwealth of Kentucky; the notary's signature must be certified by the county clerk in the county where the notary took the oath of office and the documents must be submitted to the Office of the Secretary of State with the Request for Apostille or Authentication form and $5 per document fee. If the county clerk is not available, please confirm with the county clerk's office that the deputy clerk is authorized to sign for documents going outside the country.
  • Documents signed by a circuit clerk or circuit judge (e.g., divorce decrees) - must be signed by a judge and/or circuit clerk, certified by the county clerk in the county where the circuit court is located, and submitted to the Office of the Secretary of State with the completed Request for Apostille or Authentication form and $5 per document fee. If the county clerk is not available, please confirm with the county clerk's office that the deputy clerk is authorized to sign for documents going outside the county.

All checks should be made payable to the Kentucky State Treasurer.

Documents may be submitted by:

  • First Class Mail: Office of the Secretary of State
                              Authentications and Apostilles
                              P.O. Box 718
                              Frankfort, KY 40602-0718
  • Overnight or Hand Delivery: Office of the Secretary of State
                                                 State Capitol
                                                 700 Capital Ave., Ste. 158
                                                 Frankfort, KY 40601

The office of the Secretary of State is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET.

Procedure Upon Having Documents Apostilled or Authenticated

  • Apostille - if the country in which the document(s) will be used is party to the Hague Convention, an apostille is affixed to documents by the Office of the Secretary of State and returned to the address provided by the customer.
  • Authentication - if the country in which the document(s) will be used is not a party to the Hague Convention, a certificate of authentication is affixed to the documents by the Office of the Secretary of State and returned to the address provided by the customer, who must then submit the documents to the U.S. Department of State for application of the Seal of the U.S. Department of State.

Additional Information

For additional information regarding apostilles or authentications, please contact the Office of the Secretary of State:

  • phone: (502) 564-3490
  • fax: (502) 564-5687
  • email
  • mail:  Office of the Secretary of State
             Authentications and Apostilles
             P.O. Box 718
             Frankfort, KY 40602