International Certification Services
Some foreign countries requires documents to be certified before they will accept them as official records. The certification process, called Apostille or Authentication, certifies the signature and position of the official who executes, issues, or certifies a copy of a document.
The United States is part of the 1961 Hague Convention abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. The Convention provides for the simplified certification of public documents to be used in countries that have joined the convention. Under the Hague Convention, signatory countries have agreed to recognize public documents issued by other signatory countries if those public documents are authenticated by the attachment of an internationally recognized form of authentication know as an “apostille.” The apostille ensure that public documents issued in one signatory country will be recognized as valid in another signatory country.
Countries that are not signatories to the Hague Convention may require that the documents undergo an additional step for obtaining an “authentication.” The authentication validates the document for use in the foreign country.
How to obtain an apostille or authentication for USNA documents:
Step 1: USNA Documents Notarized
This is the only step performed by the Academy Registrar. The Registrar will prepare a notarized document to verify USNA academic documents ONLY. These include the USNA diploma, academic transcript, enrollment verifications, and/or degree verifications. The Registrar will certify the document(s) as an official record or true copy of the original in the presence of a Notary Public. The notarized document will be available for you to pick up within 5 business days or may be mailed at your request. If you would like a third party to pick up the notarized document, you must provide a written, signed release authorizing that individual to pick-up the documents.
Send all documents and signed request for your USNA documents to be notarized to:
United States Naval Academy
Office of the Registrar
589 McNair Road, Mail Stop 10K
Annapolis, MD 21402-5031
or Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please include in the request:
Copy of the USNA document(s): You are responsible for providing the appropriate document(s) to be notarized and the appropriate number of copies. If you need to request a new transcript or diploma, please submit the appropriate requests and fees for those services.
Contact information: Please include contact information so we can notify you when the document(s) are ready.
Step 2: County Clerk's Office verification of Notary Public
After the documents are notarized, you are responsible for presenting those documents to the County Clerk's Office in the county where the Notary Public is qualified. The County Clerk will certify the signature of the Notary Public. The County Clerk's Office charges a per document fee for this service.
The Notary Public in the USNA Registrar's Office is qualified in Queen Anne's County. The address to take the notarized document(s) for verification of the qualification of the Notary Public is:
Clerk of the Court
100 Courthouse Square
Centreville, MD 21617
Note: You may be able to mail the notarized documents to the Clerk's Office, but please contact them directly to confirm their procedures and fees.
Step 3: Maryland Department of State verification of the elected Clerk of Court
After the Clerk of the Court certifies the qualification of the Notary Public, you must present the notarized and certified document(s) to the Office of the Secretary of State. The Maryland Department of State charges a per document fee for this service.
Maryland Department of State
16 Francis Street
Annapolis, MD 21401
Note: You may be able to complete this step by mailing in the documents and fees. Please contact the Maryland Department of State for more information on their procedures.
At the conclusion of step 3, if the foreign country is a signatory of the Hague Convention or will accept the Apostille, then the document is certified for use. Otherwise, proceed to step 4.
Step 4: Certification by the US Department of State (if required)
If the foreign country does not accept the Apostille, or requires additional Authentication, you will need to have the document(s) certified by the United States Department of State. If the additional service is needed, the document(s) must be presented to:
US Department of State, Authentications Office
518 23rd Street NW, SA-1
Washington, DC 20520
Note: You may be able to complete this step by mailing in the documents and fees. Please contact the U.S. Department of State for more information on their procedures.