Authentication Certificates Conform to International Standards

Oregon follows the Uniform Apostille Standards. In January of 2012, we adopted the Model Apostille Certificate format of the Hague Conference on Private International Law to minimize confusion about the legalization requirements for documents going abroad.​  

Using this international format simplifies getting documents authenticated and speeds up the legalization of foreign documents. Getting an authentication is simpler because citizens going abroad no longer need to investigate which authentication format the target country accepts. Legalization of documents goes faster because this internally recognized format makes it easier for receiving parties to confirm that the certificates are authentic. 

Since adopting the Uniform Apostille Standards, every authentication certificate from the Oregon Secretary of State’s office is in one standard format which complies with national and international standards. Certificates look the same for countries belonging to the Hague Convention and nonsignatory countries alike. 

Recap: Formatting Changes 

  • The only signature on Oregon’s certificate, the signature of the Secretary of State, is printed from an signature on file. There is no longer a handwritten countersignature. 
  • An official green-colored stamp is placed so that it is partially on our certificate and partially on the underlying signature page. There is no longer a foil seal, nor will we emboss the document. 
  • Because the certificate addresses the capacity of the public official, it is attached to the signature page which bears that official’s signature. It will not be attached to the top of a bundled document unless the top page is the signature page. 
  • The attachment is offset to the left, and each certificate has a unique, random number by which you can verify its authenticity by contacting our office.
  • Certificates are always 8.5 x 11 inches with certain explanatory information at the bottom.

For more information, see the Hague Conference Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents​, Oct. 5, 1961.​

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Sample Apostille