Types of Authentication
The intended destination of a document determines the required type of certification. An Apostille is issued for documents intended for use only in foreign countries that are party to the Hague Treaty. A Certificate of Authority is issued for all other countries, many of which will only accept documents certified at both the state and federal levels. The original document must be signed in front of a notary public and must contain original signatures. As a reminder, a notary public cannot make a true copy statement in the State of Michigan.
Authenticating your document
A step-by-step instructional guide to authenticating your document is available.
Certifying Vital Records
Only certified copies of birth, marriage, divorce and death records by a Michigan County Clerk; City Clerk or Registrar in the counties of Wayne, Oakland, or Macomb only; or the Michigan State Registrar are eligible for authentication. Original vital records cannot be accepted for this purpose. Documents issued by court clerks or received via fax are not acceptable.
Out of state vital records (birth, death, marriage and divorce) can be authenticated provided it is a certified copy issued from that State's State or County Official and contains the raised State or County Seal. The owner of the record is required to write a "true copy" statement on the back of the record or on a separate sheet of paper attached to the record.
To Request records from State Registrar
To request certified copies of these records from the State Registrar, please telephone 517-335-8656. Note; this is not the phone number for the Office of the Great Seal. To contact the Office of the Great Seal, please call 517-241-1832 or email us at SOSWebmaster@michigan.gov.
The fee for a certificate of authority or apostille is $1.00 per document.
Document authentication is available on a walk-in basis at the following locations. Click name of the office for more information about that office.
Office of the Great Seal - Richard H. Austin Building 1st Floor, 430 W. Allegan Street, Lansing, MI
Capital Area SUPER!Center - 3315 E. Michigan Ave, Lansing, MI
Clinton Township SUPER!Center - 37015 Gratiot Avenue, Clinton Township, MI
Detroit New Center SUPER!Center - Cadillac Place Building, 3046 West Grand Boulevard, Detroit, MI
Flint Area SUPER!Center - 5512 Fenton Road, Flint, MI
Grand Rapids SUPER!Center - Centerpoint Mall, 3665 28th Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI
Livonia Area SUPER!Center - 17176 Farmington Road, Livonia, MI
Marquette County PLUS - 1250 Wilson Street, Suite 103, Marquette, MI
Oakland County SUPER!Center - 1270 Pontiac Road, Pontiac, MI
Mail or Courier Service
If you wish to mail your request, you must use the following address:
Michigan Department of State
Office of the Great Seal
7064 Crowner Drive
Lansing, MI 48918.
Please send your completed Authentication Request Form, a check or money order payable to the State of Michigan in the amount of $1.00 per authentication requested and a self-addressed stamped envelope for return of the documents. Please do not send cash.
If you want your documents returned via courier service, please remember to include a pre-paid air bill and envelope, showing yourself as the sender. It may take as long as 2-3 weeks before your documents are returned, depending on the mail delivery and processing time.
U.S. Department of State Authentications Office
Further information may be obtained from the U.S. Department of State Authentications Office at 202-647-5002. Or, you may contact the Federal Information Center at 800-688-9889 and choose option 5.
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