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General Apostille Information

GSCCCA Document Authentication

Georgia has two separate and distinct state agencies authorized to authenticate documents. Choosing the correct agency to whom to send the documents is based upon where your documents will be used. The following series of questions will guide you.

Will the document be used in a foreign country, foreign embassy or foreign consulate?

Yes -   Will the document be used in a country, including an embassy or consulate, which is a participant to The Hague Treaty Convention 12 (commonly known as the Apostille Convention)? Click HERE to see the list of participating countries.

Yes -   Authentication Type: Apostille

Submit your documents to the Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority (GSCCCA) following the instructions listed below. The GSCCCA is the only state agency authorized to issue apostilles for documents originating in the State of Georgia.

Note: Notarized documents do not require additional county certification prior to obtaining the apostille.
 
No - Authentication Type: Great Seal Certification

Contact the Georgia Secretary of State. They are the only state agency that can issue this type of certification. (Phone: 404-656-2871; website)
 
No - Authentication Type: Certification of Notary Public

Submit your notarized document to the notary’s commissioning county Clerk of Superior Court or to the GSCCCA following the instructions listed below. Certification of notary public, also called a certificate of authority, certifies that the notary public holds, or held, a notary commission during a particular term of office. The GSCCCA only issues this certification for documents that will be used within the U.S., a U.S. territory or U.S. embassy (typically visa requests).
Notes: (1) Documents going to foreign embassies or consulates located within the U.S. are considered to be international documents going to that foreign country. (2) A certification of notary is not used in conjunction with an apostille. (3) The Georgia Secretary of State will only accept notary certifications from the notary’s commissioning county.

Apostille Information

Documents the GSCCCA can apostille:

  • Georgia Issued Vital Records, Court Documents and Corporations Division Documents: Publicly recorded documents must be official certified copies with the signature and seal of the issuing Georgia state or county official. These documents are never notarized.

    • Birth certificates.

    • Death certificate.

    • Marriage certificates.

    • Divorce decrees.

    • Court documents.

    • Documents filed with a Georgia County Clerk of Superior Court.

    • Corporate documents on file with the Georgia Secretary of State Corporations Division. Note: These must be certified copies issued directly from the Corporations Division office. Apostilles are not issued on downloaded documents from the internet.

  • Georgia Notarized Documents (examples: powers of attorney, affidavits, corporate documents, translations, diplomas or school transcripts, etc.) These documents must be properly notarized in accordance with Georgia laws before this office can authenticate them for use internationally. Note: Any document requiring notarization must be notarized prior to submission to the GSCCCA.

    • When documenting a notarial act, the notary public completes a notarial certificate (i.e. notary language block that identifies the type of notarial act performed) and signs by hand in ink, exactly the name indicated on the notary’s commission. Sample notarial certificates can be found in the Notary Files & Forms – Notarial Certificates section.

    • The notary must include the exact date of notarization on the notarial certificate.

    • The notary’s signature must match the name as it appears on the notary commission and must match the signature as it appears on the commission.

    • The notary seal/stamp must match the name as it appears on the notary commission.

    • The seal must contain the notary’s name, the name of the county in which the notary is commissioned, the words “Notary Public,” and the name of the state.

    • The document must have a clear impression of the notary seal/stamp.

Documents the GSCCCA cannot apostille:


  • Out-of-state documents. (Contact that particular state for authentication.)

  • Federal documents that have been signed and sealed by a federal agency or federal court. This includes consular report of birth abroad. (Contact the U.S. Department of State Authentications Office.)

  • Photocopied documents (unless a Georgia notary has properly certified it as a copy).

  • Documents issued by a foreign country. (Contact that country.)

  • Documents going to countries that are not parties to the Apostille Convention.

  • Documents that will be used within the United States of America, its territories or possessions. Notes: Documents going to foreign embassies or consulates located within the U.S. are considered to be international documents going to that foreign country.

Submitting Documents to the GSCCCA –
Fees, Office Hours and Mailing Instructions

Documents must be originals and may be brought to our office or mailed to our office.

Fees:

  • Apostille Fees: $ 3.00 per document

  • Certification of Notary Public Fees: $2.00 per document (Note: this certification is not used in conjunction with an apostille)

Walk-In Service:

  • Office hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday (no appointment is necessary).
    Address:
        1875 Century Blvd., Ste. 100
        Atlanta, GA 30345

  • Payment Options

    • Cash

    • Personal/company check payable to GSCCCA. Checks must have a pre-printed name and address on check.

    • Money order payable to GSCCCA.

    • Credit Card (see credit card policy)

    • New: Credit Card Pre-Payment Voucher System for third-party hand delivery
      Pay with a credit card for walk-in authentication services, eliminating the need to write company or personal checks, or provide couriers with cash. Click HERE to begin.

  • The GSCCCA reserves the right to limit the number of documents presented to our office on a while-you-wait service.

Mail-In Service (USPS, FedEx, UPS, etc.):

  • Payment Options

    • Personal/company check payable to GSCCCA. Checks must have a pre-printed name and address on check.

    • Money order payable to GSCCCA.

    • New: Credit Card Pre-Payment Voucher System

    • Pay with a credit card for mail-in authentication services, eliminating the need to write company or personal checks, or provide couriers with cash. Click HERE to begin.

  • Include a cover/request letter or instructional note specifying the destination country and providing contact information (see Apostille Request Letter example in Notary Files & Forms – Miscellaneous Forms section).

  • Include a pre-paid, self-addressed envelope or airbill for return. Note: FedEx or UPS return airbills must be computer generated; the GSCCCA will not accept handwritten airbills.

  • Processing time is normally one to two business days.

  • Mailing Address:
    GSCCCA
    Attn: Notary Division
    1875 Century Blvd., Ste. 100
    Atlanta, GA 30345

GSCCCA Contact Information
notary@gsccca.org
404-327-6023
800-304-5175

FAQ

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Apostille FAQ

    General Questions

  1. What is an apostille?

    Since October 15, 1981, the United States has been part of the 1961 Hague Convention abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (commonly known as the Apostille Convention.) The Apostille Convention provides for the simplified certification of public (including notarized) documents to be used in countries that have joined the convention. With this certification, the document is entitled to recognition in the country of intended use, and no certification by the U.S. Department of State, Authentications Office or legalization by the embassy or consulate is required. 

    The apostille authenticates the signature and seal of the issuing public official or notary public and is not valid for use anywhere within the United States of America, its territories or possessions. It does not authenticate the contents of the document. The apostille is a single sheet of paper, in a highly structured format, bearing the state seal of Georgia and is attached to your document.

  2. Are there other locations in Georgia that can issue apostilles?

    The GSCCCA is the only agency that can issue apostilles and Atlanta is the only location. For mailing instructions, see Submitting Documents to the GSCCCA – Fees, Office Hours and Mailing Instructions.

  3. How long does the process take?

    If documents are brought to our office, depending on the number of documents submitted, it typically takes less then twenty minutes. The GSCCCA reserves the right to limit the number of documents presented to our office on a while-you-wait service. If documents are mailed to our office, the processing time is normally one to two business days.

  4. What do I need to send and where do I send it?

    See Submitting Documents to the GSCCCA – Fees, Office Hours and Mailing Instructions.

  5. What are your office hours?

    Apostilles are issued 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. No appointment is necessary.

  6. What are the fees?

    See Submitting Documents to the GSCCCA – Fees, Office Hours and Mailing Instructions.

  7. My destination country is not listed in the country list on your website. What do I do?

    If your country is not listed, it is not a participant of the Apostille Convention (The Hague Treaty Convention 12). You must contact the Georgia Secretary of State for the Great Seal Certification. (Phone number: 404-656-2871; website: http://sos.ga.gov/index.php/Elections/great_seal)

  8. Can the GSCCCA issue apostilles for out-of-state documents?

    No. Each state is responsible for authenticating documents issued by that state.

  9. I have a document signed and sealed by a federal agency. What should I do?

    Contact the U.S. Department of State Authentications Office (www.state.gov/m/a/auth).

  10. My document is in a foreign language. Do I need to translate it into English before I get the apostille?

    No. The language of the document is not relevant. The apostille is for the purpose of authenticating the signature and seal of the notary public and if the document was properly notarized.

  11. I have an old birth/death certificate, marriage certificate, divorce decree. Can you apostille that?

    The apostille process compares your document's issuing public official's signature to those we have on file. For older documents, we may not have that signature on file. If your document was issued prior to the year 2000, the GSCCCA recommends you obtain a new certified copy.

  12. What does an apostille look like?

    An apostille is a single sheet of paper that is in an internationally agreed-upon format, containing ten distinct items. The apostille will be attached to your document.

  13. What forms of payment are accepted?

    See Submitting Documents to the GSCCCA – Fees, Office Hours and Mailing Instructions.

  14. Does the apostille authenticate the contents of the document?

    No. The apostille authenticates the signature and seal of the issuing public official or notary public and is not valid for use anywhere within the United States of America, its territories or possessions.

  15. Document Specific Questions

  16. I'm adopting a child from another country. What should I do?

    We highly encourage adoptive parents to contact our office prior to document submission to insure their documents have been prepared correctly and satisfy our requirements.

  17. How do I get an apostille for a birth or death certificate?

    The birth/death certificate must be an official certified copy issued by the Georgia Department of Community Health or the County Probate Court or Health Department and preferably have been issued since the year 2000. It must contain the issuing state or county official's signature and seal of office. Additional certified copies can be obtained from the Georgia Department of Community Health (404-679-4702, https://dph.georgia.gov/VitalRecords) or the Probate Court or Health Department. Some vital records can be ordered online at www.vitalchek.com. The documents must be submitted to the GSCCCA for the apostille.

  18. I need to apostille a marriage certificate or marriage license. What should I do?

    The marriage certificate/license must be an official certified copy issued by the county Probate Court and preferably have been issued since the year 2000.

  19. How do I get an apostille on a divorce decree?

    The divorce decree must be an official certified copy issued by the county issued by the county Clerk of Superior Court and preferably have been issued since the year 2000.

  20. I need apostilles on my school transcripts, grades, or diplomas. How should they be prepared?

    • School transcripts/grades: These must be signed by an issuing official of the school in the presence of a notary public. Only transcripts/grades from Georgia schools can be apostilled in Georgia. The simplest method is for a school official (principal, guidance counselor, registrar, etc.) to write a simple letter stating that the attached are the official school documents for this student. Detailed instructions which can be given to the school are located in the Notary Files & Forms – Miscellaneous Forms Section.
    • Diplomas: A Georgia notary public may make a certified copy of the original diploma. The notary must state that this is a “true and exact copy of the original” and the apostille is affixed to the photocopy. See Copy Certification by Notary Public in the Notary Files & Forms – Notarial Certificates Section for sample language.
  21. I need an apostille on a Criminal Record Check/Letter of Good Conduct. How is this done?

    There are three law enforcement agencies who can issue criminal record checks. National record checks are conducted by the FBI (www.fbi.gov); statewide record checks are conducted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI www.gbi.georgia.gov), and your local police department. You should contact the destination country to determine which type of record check is being requested.

    • FBI record checks that have been signed by an FBI Division official and have the FBI seal must be authenticated by the U.S. Department of State Authentications Office (www.state.gov/m/a/auth). If the FBI record check has not been signed and sealed by an FBI official, complete the Criminal Records Check affidavit and sign it in the presence of any Georgia notary public. This affidavit is located in the Notary Files & Forms – Miscellaneous Forms Section.
    • GBI record checks that have been signed by a GBI official and that official's signature was witnessed by a notary are ready for the apostille.
    • Local Police Agencies: An issuing police agency official should sign the results of the record check and that signature must be witnessed by a Georgia notary. If they have done so, your document is ready for the apostille. Police agencies often do not notarize the records check. If this is the case, complete the Criminal Records Check affidavit and sign it in the presence of any Georgia notary public. This affidavit is located in the Notary Files & Forms – Miscellaneous Forms Section.
  22. The destination country is requesting apostilles on translations. Are there any special rules?

    A translator must sign an affidavit stating that they know English and the language the document is translated into, and that this is a true and complete translation. They must sign this affidavit in the presence of a Georgia notary. The notary cannot act as the translator and the notary for a translated document. See Translator Affidavit Certificate in the Notary Files & Forms – Notarial Certificates Section for sample language.

  23. I need to send our corporate documents filed with the Georgia Secretary of State Corporations Division with an apostille to another country. What should I do?

    These must be certified copies issued directly from the Corporations Division office. Apostilles are not issued on downloaded documents from the internet. The Corporations Division phone number is 404-656-2817.

  24. I need an apostille on a copy of my U.S. Passport. How do I accomplish this?

    A Georgia notary public may make a certified copy of a U.S. Passport using the passport holder's affidavit and certified copy guidelines provided by the GSCCCA. The GSCCCA requires the use of the passport affidavit form located in the Notary Files & Forms – Passport Affidavit Section.

  25. I need an apostille on a copy of my foreign passport. What do I need to do?

    The passport holder makes a photocopy of the passport and completes the Foreign Passport Affidavit located in the Notary Files & Forms – Passport Affidavit Section.

  26. I am getting married in another country and they are requesting a Single Status Letter/Letter of No Impediment. What is that?

    Unlike many other countries, there is no standard Certificate of Freedom to Marry document that exists in the United States. Often a notarized, sworn affidavit will suffice (see Single Status Affidavit in the Notary Files & Forms – Miscellaneous Forms Section for sample language). If the destination country requires a marriage records search issued by a government agency, contact the Georgia Department of Community Health (404-679-4702) or the county probate court. Documents issued by the Georgia Department of Community Health or the probate court must have the signature and seal of the issuing Georgia state or county official.

  27. I need to obtain an apostille on a professional license (physicians, CPA, adoption agencies, etc.). How do I accomplish this?

    The holder of the license makes a photocopy of the document and must sign an affidavit in the presence of a Georgia notary stating that this is a true and exact copy of the license. See Copy Certification by Document Custodian in the Notary Files & Forms – Notarial Certificates Section for sample language.

  28. My warranty deed needs an apostille. What should I do?

    The warranty deed must be a certified copy issued by the county Clerk of Superior Court.

  29. I need to obtain an apostille on my driver's license or vehicle title. What should I do?

    The holder of the license or title makes a photocopy of the document and must sign an affidavit in the presence of a Georgia notary stating that this is a true and exact copy of the document. See Copy Certification by Document Custodian in the Notary Files & Forms – Notarial Certificates Section for sample language.