Document CertificationAuthenticating Your Document
A step-by-step instructional guide to authenticating your document.
The intended destination of a document determines the required type of certification. An Apostille is issued for documents intended for use only in foreign countries that are party to the Hague Treaty. A Certificate of Authority is issued for all other countries, many of which will only accept documents certified at both the state and federal levels. The original document must be signed in front of a notary public and must contain original signatures. As a reminder, a notary public cannot make a true copy statement in the State of Michigan.
Only certified copies of birth, marriage, divorce and death records by a Michigan County Clerk; City Clerk or Registrar in the counties of Wayne, Oakland, or Macomb only; or the Michigan State Registrar are eligible for authentication. Original vital records cannot be accepted for this purpose. Documents issued by court clerks, from other states, or received via fax are not acceptable.
To request certified copies of these records from the State Registrar, please telephone (517) 335-8656. Note; this is not the phone number for the Office of the Great Seal. To contact the Office of the Great Seal, please call 1-888-767-6424 or email us at SOSWebmaster@michigan.gov.
The fee for a certificate of authority or apostille is $1.00 per document.
Document authentication is available on a walk-in basis at the following locations:
Office of the Great Seal
Richard H. Austin Building 1st Floor
430 W. Allegan Street
Capital Area SUPER!Center
3315 E. Michigan Ave.
37015 Gratiot Avenue
Detroit New Center
Cadillac Place Building
3046 West Grand Boulevard, Suite L650
Flint Area SUPER!Center
5512 Fenton Road
Grand Rapids SUPER!Center
Centerpoint Mall 6-B
3665 28th Street SE
17176 Farmington Road
Marquette County PLUS
2025 U.S. 41 West
1608 N. Perry Road
If you wish to mail your request, you must use the following address:
Michigan Department of State
Office of the Great Seal
7064 Crowner Drive
Lansing, MI 48918.
Enclose a check or money order payable to the State of Michigan in the amount of $1.00 per authentication requested. Please do not send cash. Your request must also include the country of destination, as well as a self addressed stamped envelope for return of the documents.
If you like your documents returned via courier service, please remember to include a pre-paid air bill, showing yourself as the sender. It may take as long as 1-2 weeks before your documents are returned, depending on the mail delivery and processing time.
Further information may be obtained from the U.S. Department of State Authentications Office at (202) 647-5002. Or, you may contact the Federal Information Center at (800) 688-9889 and choose option 5.