Apostilles and Certificates

Many public documents sent to institutions outside of the United States for adoptions, education, relocations, and more, require an apostille or certificate.

What is an Apostille?

An apostille is a document that authenticates that a public document that is being sent outside of the country has been properly notarized. Before the Apostille Convention was created, the authentication process involved several individual authentications. The Apostille Convention streamlines this process.

A list of Apostille Convention members can be found here.

What is a certificate?

Countries that are not a part of the Apostille Convention require a certificate, which authenticates that a public document being sent abroad is properly notarized.

Who issues apostilles and certificates?

The New Hampshire Secretary of State’s Office issues all apostilles and certificates for public documents notarized by New Hampshire notaries or justices of the peace.

What is a public document?

Public documents, for these purposes, include:

  • New Hampshire vital records (birth, death, or marriage certificates)
  • Certificates of non-impediment (proof of single status)
  • Extracts from official registers
  • Grants of patent or other intellectual property rights
  • Licenses
  • Medical and health certificates
  • State criminal and police records
  • Educational documents
  • State court records

What are the requirements?

  • Any public document that needs an apostille must be notarized by a New Hampshire notary public or justice of the peace who has witnessed the signature of the document’s author. If signed by a notary, the notary's seal must be included. 
  • The fee is $10 per document in cash or check made payable to the State of New Hampshire.
    • If you have 10 or more apostilles/certificates and will be bringing them to our office and waiting for them, an ADDITIONAL expedited fee of $25 will be charged for every 10 apostilles/certificates. (i.e. 10-19 documents/$25; 20-29 documents/$50, etc.) RSA 5:10

You can send your documents by mail or bring them to our office in person.

In person: The Secretary of State’s Office will accept in-person apostilles Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to 4:15pm (large number of documents may not be ready until following business day). Our office is room 204 in the New Hampshire State House, 107 North Main Street, Concord, NH.

By mail: Send your documents with a completed Request Form (same form for both Apostilles and Certificates), a check in the correct amount, and a self-addressed, pre-paid envelope for returning the document to you. Our mailing address is the Secretary of State's Office, Room 204, 107 North Main Street, Concord, NH 03301


How do I obtain an apostille on a vital record?

It is illegal to make a photocopy of a vital record. If you need to get an apostille on a vital record, make sure you request an original, notarized copy from either your local town/city clerk or the New Hampshire Vital Records Division. The Secretary of State's Office will NOT put an apostille on a vital record if it is not submitted in the proper form as stated in RSA 5-C:98; RSA 5-C:99.

The Secretary of State’s Office cannot:

  • Put an apostille or a certificate on federal documents, such as FBI Background Checks, Naturalization Papers, or passports; 
  • Notarize signatures on documents that need apostilles or certificates. The documents must be notarized before they are submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office.