Apostilles and Authentications

Why do I need to get a document authenticated? Español

An authentication or legalization, sometimes called an apostille, is needed for documents that you plan to use in a foreign country.

Examples include:

  • birth certificates
  • marriage licenses
  • school transcripts
  • powers of attorney
  • death certificates
  • adoption dossiers.


I need to have a document authenticated.  What do I need to send to you?

Send us:

  1. The original document. 
    The document must be notarized by a Colorado Notary Public or certified by Vital Records or the County Clerk's office.
  2. A completed authentication request form (PDF).
  3. A check or money order, payable to "Colorado Secretary of State".
    The appropriate amount can be found in our fee schedule.

Mail all documents to:

Colorado Secretary of State
Notary Program
1700 Broadway, Suite 200
Denver, CO 80290


How long does it take to get an authentication?

Mail back:

Documents are mailed back to you the next business day. For example, if we receive your documents during regular business hours on a Tuesday, they will be mailed out on Wednesday.  Note that documents are not processed on weekends or holidays.

Pick up:

If you want to pick up your documents, they will be ready for you after 10:30 AM the next business day.  For example, if we receive your documents during regular business hours on a Tuesday, they will be ready for pickup after 10:30 AM on Wednesday.  Note that documents are not processed on weekends or holidays.

Can I get my document(s) authenticated faster?

We offer expedited service for documents that are hand delivered to our office before 4:30 PM. Your documents will be processed while you wait.

There is an additional fee for expedited service.  See the form (PDF) for more information.


What should be included in a notarized document?

For faster service, please make sure that the document includes:

  1. Original signature(s) (not stamped or photocopied).
  2. A completed document (all blanks must be filled in or crossed out).
  3. A complete notary statement, including the state and county where the notarization took place and the date of the notarization.
    Although the document may be in another language, the notary’s statement must be in English.


Why did you reject my authentication request?

Our office does not authenticate improperly notarized documents. This includes cases where the notary appears to have exceeded his or her statutory authority, such as engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. [1]

Our office receives authentication requests for notarized power of attorney documents (POAs) intended for use in Mexico per an international agreement. [2]  These POAs frequently contain legal conclusions by the notary, including statements about the legal capacities of the parties involved. Some POAs indicate that the notary has read and explained the legal meaning of the document to the grantor. Unless the notary is also an attorney licensed to practice law in Colorado, notarizing these types of documents constitutes the unauthorized practice of law.

This office will only authenticate these type of POAs if:

  1. The document is revised to conform to Colorado law; or
  2. The attesting notary is also an attorney licensed to practice law in Colorado.

Another option may be to seek the services of the Consulate General of Mexico in Denver, Colorado.


Can your office notarize my documents?

No. Documents must be notarized by a Colorado notary public or certified by Vital Records or the county.


Where can I find official copies of important documents?

Certified copies of birth or death certificates can be ordered from:

Vital Records Office of Colorado
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South
Denver, CO 80222-1530

Copies of marriage licenses, divorce decrees, or other court documents can be ordered from the County Clerk and Recorder (PDF) where they were issued.


How do I obtain a certified true copy of a Certificate of Naturalization?

It is prohibited by law for a notary to certify a copy of a Certificate of Naturalization and our office cannot process these certificates.  You must follow the procedures on this website: How Do I Obtain Certified True Copies of a Certificate of Naturalization?  Send the certified true copy to the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Authentications to get an Apostille or Authentication Certificate. 


Should I have the delivery confirmed when I mail my documents to you?

We recommend using an express or overnight delivery service that can be tracked, such as FedEx or UPS. A prepaid waybill or label must be included if you would like us to send back your document(s) using one of these shipping methods.


Can I verify the authenticity of an apostille or authentication issued by your office?

Yes, you can electronically verify an apostille or authentication.


Where can I find more information about apostilles?

The ABCs of Apostilles (PDF) provides basic information about apostilles and a list of countries that issue and accept apostilles can be used to find country requirements.

[1] Section 12-55-110.3(3)(b)(I), C.R.S.
[2] The 1940 Pan American Protocol on Uniformity of Powers of Attorney to be Used Abroad.