Apostilles and Authentication of Certified Copies

How to Authenticate a Certified Copy

A certified copy of a birth, death, or marriage certificate issued by the State of Hawaii may need to be officially authenticated so that it can be recognized and accepted by government officials of foreign countries.

If you require a certified copy of a birth, death, or marriage certificate to be authenticated for international legalization, you may request authentication at the same time you request a certified copy of the certificate. The Department of Health will coordinate with the Lieutenant Governor’s Office and the State Circuit Court to have the official forms prepared and attached to the certificate being issued.

For those foreign countries who are nations that have joined the 1961 Hague Convention, the authentication process requires just one official form called an Apostille to accompany the birth, death, or marriage certificate.

For nations who have not joined the Convention, the authentication process requires two separate forms to accompany the certificate. In Hawaii, one of these forms is called a Certification and is prepared by the Lieutenant Governor’s Office. The second form is called an Authentication and is prepared by the State Circuit Court.

How to Apply for Authentication

Applications for certificates requiring an Apostille and/or authentication for recognition by foreign governments can only be made by mail or in-person, and must be made at the same time as your application for a birth/marriage or death certificate.

If you are making the request in person, the clerk can assist you in determining which forms are needed and what the amount of the fees will be.

If you are making the request by mail, indicate that you want the certificate to be authenticated for international recognition and identify the foreign country that’s involved.

Costs

There are separate fees charged by each of the agencies involved in authenticating the certificate. Each fee must be paid separately in addition to the fee for the certificate. Prepayment is required.

In addition to the standard fees for birth/marriage and death certificates, the customer must also submit two (2) separate money orders or cashier’s checks in U.S. dollars only for:

  • $1.00 per APOSTILLE or CERTIFICATION made payable to: Office of the Lt. Governor
  • $3.00 per AUTHENTICATION made payable to: Chief Clerk, First Circuit Court

Do not send cash or personal checks. They will not be accepted and will be returned.

Eligibility

Any person applying for a certified copy of a birth, death, or marriage certificate is eligible to apply for its authentication, if necessary, for international purposes.

To view costs and download forms to apply for certified copies, visit the birth & marriage certificate page or the death certificates page.