Federal Apostille Service

Let us guess if you’re on this page right now it’s probably because you want to know how to hire a international document services company to help you get some kind of federally issued United States document apostilled or a document authenticated at the federal government level for a non-Hague Convention member country.

If that’s the case you’re in luck because we’re going to explain exactly how the entire federal document apostille and federal document authentication process works from start to finish in an easy to understand how to videos that you can watch and with two different step-by-step graphics that can be seen further down on this page.

United States
Department of State Building

First the United States Department of State is located at 2201 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20520. It’s the only location in the world that you or your company can be issued a federal apostille certificate or federal authentication certification on any type of legal document.

This means there are no other satellite or branch offices located anywhere else in the U.S.A or the world.

A USA foreign consulate, consular, consul, or embassy, a Secretary of State office in one of the fifty U.S states, or a U.S notary public official does not and cannot issue or create a federal apostille or federal authentication certificate.

You also cannot email, scan, fax or text your documents anywhere to receive a U.S federal apostille or federal authentication certification.

These are examples (see below) of what a federal apostille certificate and a federal authentication certificate will look like.

Once we hand file your documents at U.S State Department office they will come back with the attached 8 ½ x 11 piece of paper which is the official federal apostille certification or federal authentication certification.

Please be aware that if the grommet comes out of your document it most likely will become void and whatever international entity that requested and required you to get a federal apostille or federal authentication certificate on your documents will reject it.

This means you will have to go through this entire legal process again and we don’t want that to happen to you. So please be extra careful when handling, copying, or scanning your apostilled and authenticated documents.

United States Department of State
federal apostille certificate example.

United States Department of State
federal authentication certificate example.

You’re probably also wondering to yourself what type of documents are officially classified as federal government documents.

A federal document is classified as any document that was or will be issued from any United States government departments and agencies such as the EPA, FDA, FBI, DOJ, USDA, DOE, DOD, DOA, DOT, DOL, VA, DHS, SSA, or USPTO.

For example a FBI or federal criminal background check can only be apostilled or authenticated at the USDOS office.

But a U.S city, county, or state criminal background check would not be able to get a federal apostille or federal authentication unless it’s for a non-Hague convention member country.

For that you would need to go through the secretary of state in the state of where the criminal background check was done and issued from.

Depending on who or what entity in the world is asking you or your company to get a federal apostille or federal authentication certificate on a document.

They’re only two routes you can go through (we only offer Texas apostille services not any of the other 49 U.S states) to receive a USA federal apostille or authentication certificate on any type of legalized document.

You’ll have to get your document authenticated at the state level at one of the fifty U.S. secretary of state offices first.

Then once you’ve been issued a Texas authentication certificate (or from one of the other forty nine states secretary of state’s offices) you’ll be able to receive a federal authentication certificate on the document from the United States Department of State office in Washington D.C.

Please note that Apostille Texas only same day rush apostilles documents for the State of Texas.

So if you need to get your personal, business, or corporate documents apostilled or authenticated in another state (wherever the documents originated from) other than Texas we will not be able to help you with that specific legal document step.

Don’t worry we’ll still be able to help you certify and receive a federal USDOS apostille or authentication certificate and legalize and attest your documents at any embassy or consulate in Washington DC.

Which will be required for any non-Hague Apostille Convention Member countries like China, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The second way is you won’t have to go through the state government level step at all. Thus we can rush apostille or authenticate your documents directly at US Department of State in Washington D.C.

There is a lot of wrong information and blatant lies online told by various apostille courier companies about how fast they can get you or your company a federal apostille certificate or federal authentication certificate from the U.S Department of State.

First off the United States Department of State only accepts walk-in orders and return pickups from 8am-9am EST Monday-Friday.

Yes, you read that statement correctly the entire world only has a one hour window five business days a week to hand file documents and to pick them back up.

U.S State Department website screenshot.
(Click or pinch to enlarge graphic)

Then to make things more difficult and confusing for everyone the turnaround times for the USDOS to apostille or authenticate documents can change without notice.

What that means is when a person or apostille courier agents files a document in person at the USDOS office the federal employee that helps them will tell them in exactly how many days they have to wait before they can come back and pick up the documents.

On the Department of State’s official website they state it will take three business days but we’ve been told over the years from state officials that it can take four and even five business days.

We’ve learned that the four to five business day turnaround times normally only happens when the USDOS is extremely back logged, around major holidays, or when there is bad weather like hurricanes and snow storms that hit the DC metro area.

In our experience ninety percent of the time the U.S Department of State will have your documents ready for us to pickup in three business days from the day we rush hand file them for you (currently because of COVID-19 the USDOS is taking 6-8 weeks) to turnaround documents once they receive your documents from us).

Around nine percent of the time the USDOS will have your documents ready in four business days and on ultra rare occasions less than one percent of the time the USDOS will have your documents ready in five business days. 

Federal Apostille &
Authentication Steps

You contact us and say you need a document federally apostilled or authenticated at the U.S. Department of State.

You tell us what type of documents, how many documents and for what country you need documents filed for.

You download and complete our USDOS apostille and authentication order form.

You check out the USDOS apostille and authentication pricing on this page or on our order form.

You email or mail us the completed federal apostille order form.

You mail your original documents and a prepaid return shipping label or envelope to us.

We rush file your documents at the U.S. Department of State office in Washington, D.C.

We mail back all the documents that you sent us along with the new certificates to anywhere in the world that you want.

You’re so overwhelmed with happiness from hiring us that you refer every company and person you know to Apostille Texas.

Federal Apostille
& Authentication Facts

The fastest possible turnaround time (TAT) that any apostille or courier company in the world can apostille or authenticate your documents at the federal government level (not including the return shipping time) is four business days (6-8 weeks right now because of COVID-19).

If your documents are received by a company let’s say on a Monday in Washington D.C and even if you used the FedEx first morning delivery option which guarantees delivery by 8:30am.

No apostille or courier company can drive in rush hour traffic, park, and get through all of the State Department security clearances before the 8:59am cutoff time of that same day.

That means the earliest any apostille company can rush file your documents would be the next business morning between 8-9am EST on Tuesday.

Let’s assume the normal USDOS three business day turnaround time would apply so your documents would be ready to be picked up by Apostille Texas that Friday and shipped back to you that same day.

If the prepaid return shipping label that you sent us was for FedEx Saturday delivery you would get your documents back from us in exactly five days.

If you chose the normal FedEx/UPS overnight delivery option you would receive your documents back on that following Monday or seven days later.

Please note these stated turnaround times don’t include all federal, government, and bank holidays when the U.S Department of State is closed.

Or when they close or limit hours because of severe weather (hurricanes, snow storms) or health crises like with COVID-19.

United States Department
of State Apostille &
Authentication Pricing

All U.S. federal filing fees included in the price.

Filing status updates by email or text.

Money back guarantee if we don’t attempt to file your documents in the time frame you paid for.

Phone and email support seven days a week.

Courier of your documents to any shipping center (return shipping costs not included).

Additional federal documents filed at the same time only $95 each.