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1. How do I prepare the documents?
2. Is an English translation required?
3. Can I mail the documents or do I need to make an appointment?
4. Where is the Authentication Office located?
5. What are the fees?
6. What are the procedures for obtaining a Certification for Apostille or Authentication?
7. Can you authenticate or certify by Apostille a birth, death, marriage, or divorce certificate from another state or country?
8. What happens if the document is rejected for issuance of an Apostille or Authentication?
9. Why does the North Carolina Secretary of State affix the Apostille to the document by gluing?
10.Why would an acknowledgement be rejected?
11.How do I get business entity documents authenticated?
12.What are the requirements for courier overnight envelopes?

1. How do I prepare the documents?

Before documents are sent to the NC Authentication Office, they must have the proper signatures (original signatures only) and/or certificates attached. All correspondence being sent to the NC Authentication Office should include a Cover Letter and the appropriate fee. State issued certified documents should be current as of April 2000.

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2. Is an English translation required?

If a document is presented in a language other than English the NC Secretary of State’s Office will require a certified or notarized English translation as allowed in N.C.G.S. §66-274(a).

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3. Can I mail the documents or do I need to make an appointment?
So that we can accommodate our customers’ requests in a timely manner, we ask that you either mail the documents or drop them off for processing. The drop-off/Pick –up schedule is below. Make sure to include the cover letter and the appropriate fee with all documents. There will be no appointments made after January 1, 2006.

DROP OFF

A cover letter with daytime phone number must accompany documents to be authenticated.

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Monday – Friday except Federal and State Holidays.

Pick Up Schedule
Drop-off Day Time Pick-Up Day  Time
Monday – Friday Before 10 a.m. less than 31 documents Same Day 4:30 p.m.
Monday – Friday Before 10 a.m. more than 30 documents Next business day After 11 a.m.
Monday – Friday After 10 a.m. less
than 30 documents
Next business day After 11 a.m.
Monday – Friday After 10 a.m. more than 30 documents Next business day  Call for status after 11 a.m.

To check status on documents being held for pick-up, please call 919-807-2225.

MAIL-IN The Authentication Office will need 5 business days to process and return your document - please plan accordingly. Include a cover letter with contact name, daytime telephone number, the name and country where the document will be used, and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to return documents. Documents submitted without a return envelope and postage will be returned regular delivery by the United State Postal Service to the person submitting the documents.

Authentication Office
NC Secretary of State
PO Box 29622 Raleigh, NC 27626-0622

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4. Where is the Authentication Office Located?

Our office is located in downtown Raleigh at 2 South Salisbury Street in the Old Revenue Building Complex (see map). The public entrance is on the corner of Salisbury Street and Morgan Street.

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5. What are the fees?
The processing fee is $10.00 (in US dollars) per document. For adoptions only the processing fee for duplicate originals ordered with the first original is $5.00 (in US dollars.) Please make your payment payable to the "NC Secretary of State."

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6. What are the procedures for obtaining a Certification for Apostille or Authentication?
For additional information on Apostilles or Authentications, click the appropriate link to the left.

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7. Can you authenticate or certify by Apostille a birth, death, marriage, or divorce certificate from another state or country?

No. We can only authenticate or certify those certificates issued by North Carolina agencies.

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8. What happens if the document is rejected for issuance of an Apostille or Authentication?
If you feel that you are being denied a substantial right by the refusal to authenticate your document, then you may appeal this decision to the Office of Administrative Hearings. Office of Administrative Hearings may be reached by calling 919-431-3000 or by mail to 6714 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-6714.

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9. Why does the North Carolina Secretary of State affix the Apostille by gluing?
A Special Commission met 28 October to 4 November 2003 to discuss many issues regarding practical operation of the Hague in connection to Apostille, evidence and service conventions. The formal requirements of the Apostille were discussed and the Special Commission concluded that there are a variety of means of affixing an Apostille to a public document. These means may include rubber stamp, glue, (multi-colored) ribbons, wax seals, impressed seals, self-adhesive stickers, etc. As to an allonge, these may include glue, grommets, staples, etc. It is noted by the Special Commission that all these means are acceptable under the Convention, and that, therefore, these variations cannot be a basis for the rejection of Apostilles. North Carolina has chosen the glue method of affixing the Apostille to the document.

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10. Why would an acknowledgement be rejected?

Each North Carolina Notary Public applicant is subject to educational requirements and testing prior to being commissioned by the North Carolina Secretary of State as a Notary Public and taking an oath of office. A Notary acknowledgement can be rejected for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to:

1) not having an acknowledgement on each document presented;
2) the State and county where the document is being executed is not indicated;
3) the expiration date is either missing or incorrect;
4) the notary stamp or seal is missing;
5) the notary did not sign his/her name exactly as represented in the commission and/or stamp or seal;
6) the notary public has certified to statements within the document and/or was party to a document, (i.e., the Notary Public’s name should only appear in the acknowledgement and not in the document itself); and
7) the acknowledgement must be in English.

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11. How do I get business entity documents authenticated?

1. Call the Corporations Division Information Specialist at 919-807-2225 and tell the Specialist you need to order a business entity document to be authenticated.
2. The Specialist will tell you over the phone the amount due for both the certified document(s) and authentication fee(s), provide you with the invoice number to reference on the check and e-mail you a copy of the invoice.
3. The Specialist will provide the certified documents to the Authentications Office.
4. The Authentications Office will hold the certified document(s) until payment is received.
5. Please remit a copy of the invoice, a coversheet for Authentications and the fee indicated on the invoice to The Authentications Office, PO Box 29622, Raleigh, NC 27626-0622.
6. Once payment is received, the Authentications Office will remove the hold status and process the document(s) using standard procedures and policies. The turn around time is approximately two to three business days once payment is received.

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12. What are the requirements for courier overnight envelopes?

1. The Secretary of State’s Office is a scheduled Air delivery (not ground delivery) pick-up location for UPS and FedEx.
2. If you wish to use ground delivery for either FedEx or UPS, we will contact you when the documents are ready and you will have to schedule a pick up of those documents.
3. Either way you choose to have the documents returned (Air or Ground) you will need to supply this office with a pre-paid shipping document if you wish to have the document(s) returned via a courier service. a. FedEx: www.fedex.com/us - 1-800-gofedex (1-800-463-3339) b. UPS: www.ups.com – 1-800-pickups (1-800-742-5877) 4. If you do not supply a pre-paid shipping document, the document will be returned via regular mail.

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