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Authentications

The Office of Notary Commissions and Authentications does not issue or renew passports.  In order to apply for a new or to renew a passport, you may go through the US Department of State: travel.state.gov, or search the Internet for other providers that will help you get or renew your passport.

The Office of Notary Commissions and Authentications (ONCA) in the Office of the Secretary authenticates documents for domestic and foreign use. The office authenticates four types of documents:

  • Apostilles, for use in countries that are part of the Hague Convention; *
  • Foreign Documents, for use in other countries  *
  • Department Head Documents;
  • A-Certificates
  • ONCA does not authenticate FBI and most other federal documents.

 

EFFECTIVE JANUARY 6, 2016, ONCA WILL NO LONGER USE RIBBONS ON ANY DOCUMENTS.

For more information about foreign document authentication and to find about countries that are part of the Hague Convention, go to the US Department of State/US Authentications Office.

View frequently asked questions about foreign notarial acts.

View frequently asked questions about authentications.

To have a document authenticated:

  • The document must be either notarized by a DC notary public or signed by an authorized head of a DC government agency. The Office of Notary Commissions and Authentications does not notarize documents.
  • The cost is $15 per document, payable by check, money order or Visa or Master Card. All checks and money orders must be made payable to the "DC Treasurer” from a US Financial Institution in US Dollars and must be for the exact amount.
  • No cash will be accepted as payment for authentications.
  • When ONCA authenticates – puts an Apostille or Foreign Certificate on a document it is only validating that the notary public or department head is in fact a legitimate notary or department head or representative of the Superior Court in the District of Columbia.  We are not authenticating, confirming or authenticating the document itself.  For example, we do not determine the status or legitimacy of a school, college, university, financial institution or any other record; the country to which the document is presented retains the right to accept or deny the actual information. 

Documents may be authenticated in person or through the mail.

Mail-In Authentication

  • Please allow 2-3 business days to process mail authentication requests. Documents submitted must be notarized by a DC notary or be a certified copy issued by a Government of the District of Columbia agency. Mail the notarized or certified copy of a DC agency issued document, a cover letter, the fee and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the following address:

Office of Notary Commissions and Authentications
441 4th Street, NW
Suite 810 South
Washington, DC 20001

  • Include a cover letter with your name, address, phone number and the country where the authentication will be used.
  • Only checks or money orders are accepted for mail-in authentications. Checks or money orders must be in US dollars and drawn on a US Bank or from US Financial Institution. We cannot accept funds drawn on a foreign bank. Money orders from American Express or Western Union may be accepted.

In Person Authentication

  • ONCA does authentications in the office from 9 am-1 pm Monday-Friday. Individuals sign in and will be served as soon as possible.
  • All individuals who are in the office by 1 pm will be served on that day.

For individuals overseas who need documents notarized and authenticated you may be able to have them notarized by an officer at a US Embassy or Consulate or a commissioned officer in the military in the country you are living. For more details please visit www.travel.state.gov.

For more information, please contact ONCA, (202) 727-3117, or [email protected].

Service Contact: 
Office of the Secretary
Contact Phone: 
(202) 727-3117
Contact Fax: 
(202) 727-8457
Contact TTY: 
711
Contact Suite #: 
Suite 810 South
Office Hours: 
Monday to Friday 9 am to 1 pm