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Authentication Certificate (Apostille)

Issuance of a Single Authentication Certificate:  Effective January 1, 2017, the California Secretary of State's office will begin issuing a single Authentication Certificate for documents to be used outside of the country rather than issuing either an Apostille or Certificate depending on the country of destination.

The California Secretary of State provides authentication of public official signatures on documents to be used outside the United States of America.

An Authentication Certificate only certifies the authenticity of the signature of the official who signed the document, the capacity in which that official acted, and when appropriate, the identity of the seal or stamp which the document bears. The Authentication Certificate does not validate the other contents of the document.

  • The California Secretary of State authenticates signatures only on documents issued in the State of California signed by a notary public or the following public officials and their deputies:

    • County Clerks or Recorders

    • Court Administrators of the Superior Court

    • Executive Clerks of the Superior Court

    • Officers whose authority is not limited to any particular county

    • Executive Officers of the Superior Court

    • Judges of the Superior Court

    • State Officials

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