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How to Submit

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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 self-addressed stamped mailer.
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

How to Submit Documents

Before documents are presented to the Authentication Office, they must have the proper signatures (original signatures only) and/or certificates attached. All correspondence being presented to the Authentication Office must include a Cover Letter and the appropriate fee.

Be sure each document is secured by a staple or paperclip. We cannot determine the organization of pages for your document.

The fee for authentication of documents is $ 10.00 per document (not per page), payable to the Secretary of the Commonwealth. If there are several documents signed by the same public official (notary public, deputy clerk, etc…) on the same date for the same country, the fee is $ 10.00 for the first document and $ 5.00 for each additional document. Overpayments of $5 or less may not be refunded.

Checks and money orders should be made payable to the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

Yes, appointments are offered. Available times are shown on our scheduling link below. Appointment times are limited to individual constituents and should not be scheduled by companies or couriers.

Our office is closed for all federal and state holidays. Weather and emergency closings follow “Virginia State Offices – Richmond area” delays and closing.

Schedule an Appointment

Up to 20 documents are accepted per appointment.

Due to limited space, we ask that you limit your party to no more than two individuals.

A valid, government issued ID is required for all adults entering the building.

We are able to process most authentications on the same day as the appointment as long as they are properly notarized/issued. Be sure to carefully read the requirements on this website and verify your documents are correct prior to your appointment time.

If a document is not properly notarized/issued, we will not be able to provide the authentication.

Please review Types of Documents page for information on accepted documents.

Yes, documents may be mailed to our office for processing.

The general turnaround time for mailed in packages is 7-10 business days from when you send the documents - please plan accordingly. Include a Cover Letter, a self-addressed, prepaid return mailer to return documents, and the required fees. We are only able to check the status of the document after 7-10 days has passed.

Documents submitted without a return envelope and/or postage will be returned by the United States Postal Service regular delivery, without tracking, to the person submitting the documents. 

If the return postage exceeds $2 in mailing fees, the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth may contact the requestor to obtain postage prior to returning documents.

If you are using FedEx, UPS, USPS Priority, USPS Express Mail, or any other trackable mail carrier, be sure to keep a record of the tracking information both to and from our office so you are able to follow the progress of deliveries.

The Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth is not responsible for envelopes or packages lost in shipping to and from our office.

Mailing address:

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

Be sure to carefully read the requirements on this website and verify your documents are correct prior to submitting documents. If a document is not properly notarized/issued, we will not be able to provide the authentication.

Please review Types of Documents page for information on accepted documents.

Our office is located in downtown Richmond at 1111 East Broad Street, 1st Floor, Richmond, VA 23219 across from MCV Hospital in the Patrick Henry Building. The public entrance is on the back side of the building. 

A valid, government issued ID is required for all adults entering the building.

Please note: We do not have public parking at our building. There are surface lots and parking decks within a several-block range. Be sure to allow enough time to locate parking and walk to our building prior to your appointment time.

Anyone can request an authentication. The requestor does not need to be related to any persons named in the document.

Please include a pre-paid, self-addressed shipping label to have the document(s) returned via regular mail or a courier service.

The Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Office has a scheduled daily pick-up for UPS as well as FedEx Express. If you wish to use “Ground Delivery” for FedEx, once the documents are processed, we will contact FedEx Ground for pick-up.

If you are using FedEx, UPS, USPS Priority, USPS Express Mail, or any other trackable mail carrier, be sure to keep a record of the tracking information both to and from our office so you are able to follow the progress of deliveries.

Documents submitted without a return envelope and/or postage will be returned by the United States Postal Service regular delivery, without tracking, to the person submitting the documents. 

If the return postage exceeds $2 in mailing fees, the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth may contact the requestor to obtain postage prior to returning documents.

The Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth is not responsible for envelopes or packages lost in shipping to and from our office.

If more than 10 business days have passed since you mailed your document, you may contact our office to check the status. Please provide the requestor’s name (as listed on the cover letter), the destination country, the date the document was sent, and the tracking information (if any) for your package. Send email requests to notary@governor.virginia.gov