Apostilles & Authentications
- If you are transferred by your employer to a foreign country, wanting to marry in a foreign country, or are adopting a child born in a foreign country, you most likely will need to present the certified copy of the birth, marriage, (in some cases divorce) or verification of no marriage letter (see instructions below regarding this document) issued by this office.
- If you are transporting a deceased family member to a foreign country or settling an estate of a deceased family member in a foreign country, you most likely will need to present the certified copy of the death certificate issued by this office.
- The 1961 Hague Convention established a specific form for the purpose of certifying documents from foreign countries. The countries which joined that convention accept this specific form which is called an Apostille. Countries which do not adhere to the Hague Convention require a different form called an Authentication.
- The Secretary of State of each state in the United States is authorized to prepare Apostilles and Authentications for documents created within that state's jurisdiction. The Kansas Secretary of State provides Apostilles and Authentications for various documents issued by Kansas officials.
Depending on the country and the circumstances, the documents may not be accepted by the foreign country without additional certification from the Secretary of State's Office.
Verification of No Marriage Letter
Many foreign countries require a document for proof of single status before a marriage in that country is allowed. If you currently reside or have recently resided in Kansas and need proof of single status for a foreign country, you need to make a request to this office for a marriage license search.
You may complete the same form used for a regular marriage license request. Click here to obtain the marriage license application form. It is important that you specify the number of years this search must cover. By state law, each five-year record search for a marriage license costs $15.00. Most foreign countries expect the search to cover from age eighteen to the present or if the individual was previously married and divorced, provide certified copies (with Apostilles or Authentications) of the marriage(s) and divorce(s) and then have the search done for the year of the last divorce to the present.
Check with the proper authorities regarding what type of documentation will be required from you. Please be sure to clearly specify to this office that you need a verification of no marriage letter. Otherwise, you will receive a standard letter from this office stating no record was found. The verification of no marriage letter contains specific language needed for proof of single status.
HOW TO OBTAIN AN APOSTILLE OR AUTHENTICATION FOR DOCUMENTS ISSUED BY THE KANSAS OFFICE OF VITAL STATISTICS:
- If you already have in your possession a certified copy of a Kansas vital record or verification of no marriage letter issued by this office and need an Apostille or Authentication for it, you need to send that document(s) to the Kansas Secretary of State's Office along with a $7.50 payment for each Apostille or Authentication. Please contact the Secretary of State's Office at (785) 296-4564 for instructions.
- If you do not yet have the certified copy or verification letter from our office, you need to first make a request for the appropriate document. Please see instructions on this web site for the particular type of certified copy you need
If you do not know whether a country requires an Apostille or an Authentication, simply specify the country for which it is needed. The Secretary of State's Office has a current listing of which countries require which document.
The Secretary of State's Office is located near our office and as a courtesy to our customers, when the request is made to our office for a certified vital record copy, we will also obtain the Apostille or Authentication for that record if the payment is provided.
Please follow these instructions:
You must clearly indicate in your request that an Apostille or Authentication is needed and you must include two separate payments: One check or money order made payable to "Kansas Vital Statistics" for the certified copy (fees for certified copies are included within instructions on how to request the specific type of vital record) and a separate check or money order made payable to "Secretary of State" for the Apostille or Authentication ($7.50 each).
Our staff will take the certified copy issued by this office to the Secretary of State's Office, along with your separate payment, and obtain the Apostille or Authentication which is then attached directly to the certified copy.
Include a business-size self-addressed stamped envelope. The smaller size envelopes are not sufficient for the certified copy with an Apostille or Authentication attached.