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International Certification Services

Certifying University of Maryland Documents for Use Overseas

Foreign countries may require documents to be certified in order to be accepted in the foreign jurisdiction. An "Authentication" and "Apostille" certifies the signature and the position of the official who has executed, issued or certified a copy of a document. Please check with the the country in which you will be working or studying to find out if they will require an Apostille or Authentication.

The sole function of an apostille or authentication is to certify the authenticity of the signature on the document, the capacity in which the person signing the document acted, and the identity of any stamp or seal affixed to the document.

The educational documents usually requested for certification are the diploma, official transcript, and/or enrollment/graduation verification letter.

Certification should only be done if the organization receiving the document requires you to provide an Apostille or Authentication.

Apostille

The United States is part of the 1961 Hague Convention abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. The Convention provides for the simplified certification of public (including notarized) documents to be used in countries that have joined the convention. Under the Hague Convention, signatory countries have agreed to recognize public documents issued by other signatory countries if those public documents are authenticated by the attachment of an internationally recognized form of authentication known as an "apostille." The apostille ensures that public documents issued in one signatory country will be recognized as valid in another signatory country.

Authentication

Countries that are not signatories to the Hague Convention may require that the documents undergo an additional step for obtaining an "authentication". The authentication validates the document for use in the foreign country.

OBTAINING AN APOSTILLE OR AUTHENTICATION FOR UMD DOCUMENTS

The links below detail the process for obtaining an Apostille or authentication. Please note that the University of Maryland, Office of the Registrar can facilitate Step 1 only. Subsequent steps require action with other agencies, as indicated, and are provided solely as a guide to help you through this process. Since different countries require different forms of certification, it is ultimately your responsibility to determine what additional action, beyond Step 1, is required for the specific country you are dealing with.

STEP 1: Have University of Maryland Documents Notarized

NOTE: The Office of the Registrar - Diploma Services will notarize the following University of Maryland documents only:

  • University of Maryland Diploma
  • University of Maryland Transcript
  • University of Maryland Degree Verification Letter
  • University of Maryland Enrollment Verification Letter

The Office of the Registrar will certify your document as an official record or true copy of the original before a notary public. The notarized document will be available for you to pick up within 5 business days or may be mailed at your request.

Send all documents and a signed request for your University of Maryland documents to be notarized to:

OFFICE OF THE REGISTRAR - DIPLOMA SERVICES
1118 MITCHELL BUILDING
UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND
COLLEGE PARK, MD 20742

-or-

Email: cco@umd.edu

Please be sure to include the following in your request:

  • A copy of your document: You are responsible for providing the appropriate document(s) to be notarized (e.g., diploma, transcript, etc.).
  • Appropriate number of copies: Be sure to include the appropriate number of copies of all documents that should be notarized (e.g., if you need two copies of your diploma notarized, you must provide us with two copies of your diploma in your request).
  • Contact information: Please let us know how to contact you when your document is ready.

STEP 2: Take Documents to County Clerk's Office

Present the notarized document to the County Clerk's Office in the county where the notary public is qualified. The County Clerk will certify the signature of the notary public. The County Clerk Office has a per document fee.

CLERK OF THE CIRCUIT COURT
COUNTY ADMINISTRATION BUILDING, ROOM #L150
14741 GOVERNOR ODEN BOWIE DRIVE
UPPER MARLBORO, MARYLAND 20772

STEP 3: Take Documents to Maryland Department of State

Present the document to the Maryland Department of State to affix the Apostille. The Department of State has a per document fee.

16 FRANCIS STREET
1ST FLOOR
ANNAPOLIS MD 21401
www.sos.state.md.us

If the foreign country is a signatory to the Hague Convention or will accept the Apostille, the document is now certified for use. If the country does not accept the Apostille, or requires authentication beyond the Apostille, proceed to Step 4.

(You may refer to The Hague Apostille Convention to determine if the country in question will accept the Apostille.)

STEP 4: Additional Step for Authentication Beyond the Apostille

If the foreign country requires the document to be authenticated beyond the Apostille, present the document to the United States Department of State, Authentications Office. The Authentications Office will issue a certificate under the Seal of the U.S. Department of State authenticating the document. The Department of State has a per document fee.

US DEPARTMENT OF STATE, AUTHENTICATIONS OFFICE
518 23RD STREET NW., SA-1
WASHINGTON, DC 20520