Documents can be authenticated in one of two ways

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By mail

Step one: Gather documents that need to be authenticated
Step two: Gather the required items: cover letter, payment, and return mailer that is stamped and self-addressed
Step three: Mail your documents and required items to the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth
Step four: Wait to receive your documents back by mail in the return mailer you provided

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In person appointment

Step one: Make an appointment via the online scheduling system
Step two: Come to the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth with properly prepared documents for authentication
Step three: Wait while your documents are authenticated

About Authentications

The purpose of an authentication by the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth is to verify that documents have been issued or notarized by certain Virginia officials that are listed in good standing with the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Cover Letter
Please provide this cover letter along with your documents

Fees and Fee Calculation

There is a fee of $10 for the first document and $5 for each additional document signed by the same Virginia official, on the same day, going to the same country. Documents signed by different Virginia official, signed on different days, or going to different countries will be $10 per document.

We accept checks and money orders. Please make out checks to the “Secretary of the Commonwealth of Virginia”.

What documents does this office not process

Please note, this is not limited to the following:

  • Documents issued by a federal court, signed by a federal or consulate official
  • Documents issued by a Federal Court
  • Vital records not issued by the state of Virginia (births, deaths, marriages, etc. in other states or abroad
    These can be authenticated by the Issuing state/country
  • Military notaries These can be authenticated by the federal Office of Authentications,
  • Federal officials
  • Citizenship certificates
  • Consulate officials

Contact Information

Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth
Authentication Division
1111 East Broad St, 1st Floor
Richmond, VA 23219

Phone: 804-692-0114


Status Update

If it has been 10 days since you have sent your documents and you would like a status update, you may email the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth

When checking the status, you must provide the following:

  • Full name
  • Mailing address
  • Destination country, embassy, or consulate