ATTENTION ALL CERTIFICATION/APOSTILLE CUSTOMERS!!
The Secretary of State's Certification Desk is open for walk-in service until 1 pm daily.
Beginning July 1, 2023, the per document fee will increase from $2.00 to $5.00. For mail-in Apostille requests the $5.00 increase will take effect July 15th. For more information, please call the Certification Desk at 410-974-5521.
Please Note: Walk-ins, there is a limit of 15 documents per day.
Hours of Operation: 9 am to 1 pm
Monday through Friday
Federal documents can be submitted directly to the US State Department for Certification/Apostille. In general, any federal document that does not say on its face it cannot be notarized, may be copied and notarized. Customers should follow the instructions by the Maryland Secretary of State once your documents are notarized. EXCEPT you may not notarize naturalization or immigration documents, whether originals or copies. This supersedes any previous statements regarding federal documents. The Maryland Secretary of State office cannot guarantee that the country you are submitting your documents to will accept the notarized and county certified document. For further assistance on certifications of your federal documents please contact the US State department at 202-727-3117.
There are several types of certifications processed in the Office of the Secretary of State. We certify the incumbency of persons the Governor appoints to various Commissions and Cabinet positions; elected officials; and portions of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
Some documents (birth/death, marriage/divorce, police records, corporate good-standing certificates) submitted to this office are being used internationally for adoptions, dual citizenship, doing business, transferring school records, etc.
Whether or not a country will accept the apostille form of certification, depends on whether that country signed the Hague Treaty. The Hague Treaty is an international treaty agreeing to accept the signature of the Secretary of State of each state, without having it certified by the U.S. Secretary of State.
Countries which signed the Hague Treaty accept the Apostille form of certification and for those which did not, the standard form is used. For a more complete explanation of the Hague Convention, visit the site of the
U.S. State Department.
Statutory Authority: State Government Article, §7-106 and by virtue of the Secretary's being a member of the Board of State Canvassers.
Check List to use when sending documents to the Office of the Secretary of State
Frequently Asked Questions