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How to Apostille a Document in Illinois

How to Apostille a Document in Illinois

If you need to use a document from Illinois in a foreign country, you may be required to obtain an apostille. An apostille is a specific type of authentication that verifies the authenticity of the document and ensures its legal recognition in countries that are members of the Hague Apostille Convention. In this article, we will guide you through the process of apostilling a document in Illinois.

What is an Apostille?

An apostille is a certificate that is issued by the Secretary of State’s office in Illinois to authenticate the origin of a document. It confirms that the document is genuine and has been signed by an authorized public official. The apostille simplifies the process of document recognition in foreign countries, as it is universally accepted by all member nations of the Hague Convention.

What documents can be apostilled?

In Illinois, various types of documents can be apostilled, including but not limited to:

1. Birth, marriage, and death certificates
2. Educational degrees and transcripts
3. Power of attorney documents
4. Adoption papers
5. Corporate documents, such as articles of incorporation and bylaws
6. Notarized documents

Please note that not all documents are eligible for apostille. For example, documents that are issued by a court or contain confidential information may require additional steps. It is advisable to check with the Secretary of State’s office or consult a professional for guidance on specific document types.

Steps to Apostille a Document in Illinois

1. Obtain a certified copy of the document: If you do not have a certified copy of the document, you will need to request one from the appropriate issuing authority. For example, if you need to apostille a birth certificate, you will need to obtain a certified copy from the county clerk’s office where the birth occurred.

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2. Complete any necessary translations: If your document is in a language other than English, you must have it translated by a certified translator. The translation should be attached to the original document.

3. Complete the Illinois Secretary of State’s Apostille Request Form: You can download the form from the Secretary of State’s website or obtain it in person. Fill out the form accurately and legibly, providing all necessary information, including your contact details.

4. Submit the form and payment: Mail the completed form, along with the document you want to apostille and the applicable fees, to the Secretary of State’s office in Springfield, Illinois. You can also submit the documents in person at their office.

5. Wait for processing: The processing time for apostilles in Illinois varies, but it typically takes around 7-10 business days. If you need the apostille urgently, you can request expedited service for an additional fee.

6. Receive the apostilled document: Once the apostille is issued, it will be attached to your document and returned to you by mail or available for pick-up if you submitted the documents in person.


Q: How much does it cost to apostille a document in Illinois?
A: The fee for apostilling a document in Illinois is $2 per document. If you require expedited service, an additional fee of $10 per document applies.

Q: Can I apostille a document that has already been notarized?
A: Yes, notarized documents can be apostilled. However, it is important to ensure that the notary’s signature and seal are clear and legible.

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Q: Can I apostille a document that was issued by a federal agency?
A: No, documents issued by federal agencies, such as passports or social security cards, cannot be apostilled. Instead, you will need to contact the U.S. Department of State for authentication.

Q: Do I need to notarize the apostille request form?
A: No, the apostille request form does not require notarization.

Q: Can I request an apostille for a document that is already apostilled?
A: No, it is not necessary to obtain a second apostille for a document that has already been apostilled.

In conclusion, obtaining an apostille for your document in Illinois is a straightforward process that involves obtaining a certified copy of the document, completing the apostille request form, and submitting it to the Secretary of State’s office. By following these steps, you can ensure the legal recognition of your document in foreign countries.

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