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 at http://travel.state.gov/law/info/judicial/judicial_2545.html; the listing of countries who are signatories is at http://www.hcch.net/index_en.php?act=states.listing.
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, please forward the following documents to the Office of Registration and Records, NDSU Dept. 2801, P.O. Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108-6050:
- An official NDSU transcript (if needed, order online through Campus Connection or through Parchment and indicate in the instruction box it should be given directly to the Registrar for the Apostille).
- Original NDSU diploma. To request a replacement diploma please follow the steps at www.ndsu.edu/registrar/services/diplomas.
- 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.
- 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 documents (longer if documents will be mailed internationally).
The U.S. Department of State also has an Office of Authentications which will provide a federal authentication for specific purposes, for countries which are not part of the Hague Convention, and rarely for a federal Apostille.