What Are the Requirements for Attestation of Documents?

Before you pursue certificate attestation services, it’s important to know what you will need. There are some specific requirements that must be met prior to authenticating a document. These requirements can vary depending on the type of document. Here are the things you will need for federal documents, as well as state and local documents.

General Requirements for Authentication Certificates

Before submitting any documents for authentication, you will need to meet these requirements:

  • Original seals and signatures with dates in chronological order

  • Any documents in a foreign language should have a certified and notarized English translation

  • A DS-4194 form to request authentication

Requirements for State and Local Documents

Local and state documents must bear the original raised stamp or seal. They must be certified in the state they were recorded and should bear the official signature under the state seal. Examples of local or state documents include:

  • Birth certificates

  • Death certificates

  • Marriage certificates

  • Divorce decree

  • Judgments

  • Probate will

Requirements for Certificate Attestation Services for Federal Documents

Federal documents will be executed or issued by a US federal agency. They will have the stamp and/or signature of the official, as well as the raised seal or stamp of the agency. If they are on a document with the official letterhead of the agency, this is also acceptable. Examples of federal level documents include:

  • USDA animal or plant certifications

  • USDA animal health certifications

  • FBI background check (these are issued by the Department of Justice)

  • US Bankruptcy Court Check (issued by the Department of Justice)

  • US Department of Homeland Security immigration certification

  • USDHHS Certificate of Foreign Government

  • HUDHHS Certificate of Pharmaceutical or Export

  • Trademark (Issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office)

  • Documents issued by the Social Security Administration, Office of Personnel Management or the Environmental Protection Agency

If you are in need of certificate attestation services for your official documents, visit the US Authentication website for more information.

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