Apostille: Certifying Columbia Documents for Use Internationally

Frequently, students and alumni need internationally certified copies of a diploma, transcript, academic certification or other official document.

In order to certify these documents for official use internationally, Columbia and other institutions rely on the New York State Department of State. The Department of State issues a Certificate of Authentication in the name of the State of New York for any public document submitted to it. This is also known as the “Apostille” process, and several steps are involved.

  1. Your Columbia document must first be certified as genuine by an official in the Office of the University Registrar, 205 Kent Hall, and the signature of that official must be notarized by a notary in that office. There is no fee for this service.
    1. You may bring the document in person to 205 Kent, mail it to us, or scan and email to registrar@columbia.edu.
    2. We will mail it to an address you provide, or will hold it for you to pick it up.
  2. Next, bring your document to the New York County Clerk at 60 Centre St., Room 141B, where the notarial signature must be authenticated. The Clerk’s office charges a small fee for this service. For more information, please see: http://www.nycourts.gov/courts/1jd/supctmanh/Official%20VON.shtml.
  3. Next, arrange for the Department of State to complete the process. Make sure steps one and two are complete, or the Department will reject your document. Again, there is a small fee. You may either:
    1. Bring your document to the New York State Department of State at 123 William St. in lower Manhattan, or
    2. Mail it to the U.S. Department of State or the NYS Department of State in Albany.

For general information on the process, please visit the NYS Department of State website at http://www.dos.ny.gov/corps/apostille.html.