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Document authentication and apostille

Announcement

Bureau Of Elections By Appointment Only
Authentications may be done by mail, or in-person by appointment only on Mondays from 8:30 am until 4:00 pm or Wednesdays from 8:30 am until 4:00 pm. 
Check here to schedule an appointment with the Office of the Great Seal >

How can I authenticate a document?

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By mail

Mail a request to the Office of the Great Seal

Authentication request form

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Office visit

Available at select office locations

Schedule an office visit

What do I need to authenticate a document? (Choose tab below)

Documents cannot be authenticated or apostilled by the Office of the Great Seal online.

To authenticate a document or obtain an apostille by mail, you will need to provide:

  • Completed and signed Authentication Request Form
  • Payment for the Document Certification Fee ($1 per document) either by money order or check made payable to the State of Michigan
  • Self-addressed and stamped return envelope (used to mail authenticated documents back to you)
  • All documents for authentication, including the signature of an authorized official or commissioned notary

Submit all of the above to:

Michigan Department of State
Office of the Great Seal
7064 Crowner Drive
Lansing, MI 48918

Note: All requests are reviewed and processed in the order in which they are received. Verified records must be certified copies and documents in foreign languages must also include a written English translation. Before mailing your documents, check to ensure those that have been notarized include all required information.

Authentication request form

Documents cannot be authenticated or apostilled at a self-service station.

Document authentication and apostilles are available at select Secretary of State offices and the Office of the Great Seal in Lansing.

To authenticate a document or obtain an apostille at an office, schedule an office visit and provide:

  • A completed and signed Authentication Request Form
  • Payment for the Document Certification Fee ($1 per document)
  • A self-addressed and stamped return envelope (used to mail authenticated documents back to you)
  • All documents for authentication, including the signature of an authorized official or commissioned notary

Note: Verified records must be certified copies and documents in foreign languages must also include a written English translation. Before mailing your documents, check to ensure those that have been notarized include all required information.

Schedule an office visit

Schedule a visit with the Office of the Great Seal (Lansing)

Authentication request form

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

  • The following Secretary of State offices offer document authentication and apostilles:

    • Clinton Township
    • Detroit - West Grand Boulevard
    • Flint - Fenton Road
    • Grand Rapids - 28th Street
    • Lansing - East Michigan Avenue
    • Livonia
    • Marquette
    • Pontiac
    • Office of the Great Seal (Richard H. Austin Building 1st Floor, 430 W. Allegan Street, Lansing, MI)

    Schedule an office visit

    Schedule a visit with the Office of the Great Seal (Lansing)

  • Before submitting your documents for authentication:

    • Provide a written English translation if the document is written in a foreign language.
    • Ensure all vital records are certified copies.
    • Depending on the document type, documents must either be signed by an authorized official or notary public.

    If the document must be notarized, ensure that the notary includes:

    • Their full name
    • Their signature
    • The date of notarization
    • Their commission expiration date
    • Their county of commission
    • The county of execution if different than county of commission

    If you are mailing your documents for authentication, be sure to enclose a pre-addressed and stamped return envelope for the delivery of your authenticated documents.

    • Apostille: Issued for documents intended for use only in foreign countries that are party to the Hague Treaty.
    • Certificate of Authority: 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.
  • The Office of the Great Seal is authorized on behalf of the State of Michigan to certify and issue Certificates of Authority for:

    • Michigan Notary Public notarized documents (documents must be complete and contain original signatures)
    • Certified copies of vital records (birth, marriage, divorce, or death) from:

    - The Michigan State Registrar
    - A Michigan county clerk
    - City clerks in Wayne, Macomb, and Oakland counties

    • Certified Copies of Articles of Incorporation issued from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

    Documents issued by court clerks or received via fax are not acceptable.

  • An apostille has the same requirements, the same fee, and the same instructions as a Certificate of Authority.  Apostilles cannot be issued for use in the United States.

    The apostille is a creation of an international treaty, the Hague Convention of 1961. The United States of America joined the Hague Convention in 1981. The Convention provides for, among other things, the certification of public documents to be used in countries that have joined the Convention. In accordance with the provisions of the Convention, this office issues apostilles only for documents intended for use in foreign countries that also are signatories of the Convention.  This document is the equivalent of a Certificate of Authority used in countries that are not participants in the Hague Treaty.

  • A $1 fee is charged for every document for which an authentication request is submitted. If submitting payment by mail, you will need to do so using a money order or check made payable to the State of Michigan.


Still have questions?

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