Do it yourself

In the state of California, you can request apostilles for academic diplomas and transcripts, articles of incorporation, business bylaws, power of attorney and birth, death, marriage and divorce certificates at Debra Bowen’s office of the California Secretary of State.

Documents must comply with the following guidelines:

  • Documents need to be signed by state registrars of the Department of Health Services (D.H.S.), by county clerks or have authorized signatures for the superior court documents.
  • Birth certificates signed by a Medical Doctor (MD) or “health officer” are not accepted and in this case you need to request a new copy.
  • Submit only the original documents, copies are not accepted.
  • In case of divorce decrees, agreements and certificates of no marriage record, you need to have the documents certified by the court and signed by the clerk of the court and you also need an affixed court certified copy seal.
  • Divorce documents that are not stamped as FILED and sealed by the superior court are not accepted for apostille.
  • When presenting for apostille any type of notarized documents such as letters, certificates of origin, declarations, affidavits, statements, powers of attorney, these should contain an acknowledgement statement either printed or stapled to the document (see sample of acknowledgement).
  • School diplomas transcripts and school records must be notarized by the school registrar before requesting apostille.
  • Bar codes present on some documents bear no effect for apostille purposes and documents are acceptable as they are.

Apostille California contacts:

Visit in person or mail documents to:
California Secretary of State
Notary Public Section/Authentications
1500 11th Street, 2nd Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone (916)657-5448

California Secretary of State (Los Angeles office for walk-in service)
Notary Public Section/Authentications
300 South Spring Street, Room 12513
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Phone (213) 897-3062

Price and processing time:
Price is $20 for documents submitted for apostille by mail request and $26 for requests made in person.
Processing time is same-day for counter service or 10 business days for mailed orders.