How do I obtain an Apostille?

An apostille is a form of document authentication issued for use in countries that participate in the Hague Convention of 1961, which abolished the requirement for the legalization of foreign public documents. Apostilles are often needed for graduate programs, employment applications, adoptions, extraditions, and some business transactions abroad. A list of countries who are signatories to the Convention is available here. A more comprehensive description of the apostille is available here.

Requests for apostilles must be made in writing and require the signature of the requestor. A computer-generated signature is not acceptable. There is a $75 charge for an apostille. Include the following information in your written request:

  • Your name and current address
  • The name under which you attended the University, i.e. a maiden name
  • Student identification number or Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Years in which you attended or the year you graduated
  • The document for which you require an apostille (usually a transcript, certification of graduation, or diploma)
  • The country for which the apostille is intended
  • Recipient's name and specific address where the completed document and apostille is to be sent
  • Telephone number where you can be contacted during the business day if there is a question or problem regarding your request
  • Your current home mailing address
  • Credit card number, expiration date, and billing address
  • Your signature

Requests for apostilles should be mailed or faxed to:

Office of the University Registrar Sewanee: The University of the South 735 University Avenue Sewanee, TN 37383-1000 Fax 931.598.1894

We prepare the requested documents normally except that the documents are notarized. The credential of the notary public must then be authenticated by the Clerk of Franklin County. After that, these documents are transmitted to the Tennessee Department of State, which provides the apostille and returns the documents and apostille to the University, which in turn sends the whole package on to the designated recipient. The process may take three to four weeks to complete.

If the country of intended use does not participate in the Hague Convention, documents being sent to that country can be “authenticated” or “certified.

The U.S. Department of State also has an Office of Authentications which will provide a federal authentication for specific purposes, for countries which are not part of the Hague Convention, and rarely for a federal Apostille.