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Certifications and Authentication

There are several types of certifications processed in the Office of the Secretary of State. We certify the incumbency of persons the Governor appoints to various Commissions and Cabinet positions; elected officials; and portions of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

Some documents (birth/death, marriage/divorce, police records, corporate good-standing certificates) submitted to this office are being used internationally for adoptions, dual citizenship, doing business, transferring school records, etc.

Whether or not a country will accept the apostille form of certification, depends on whether that country signed the Hague Treaty. The Hague Treaty is an international treaty agreeing to accept the signature of the Secretary of State of each state, without having it certified by the U.S. Secretary of State. Countries which signed the Hague Treaty accept the Apostille form of certification and for those which did not, the standard form is used. For a more complete explanation of the Hague Convention, visit the site of the U.S. State Department.

Statutory Authority: State Government Article, §7-106 and by virtue of the Secretary's being a member of the Board of State Canvassers.

Cover letter to use when sending documents to the Office of the Secretary of State

Frequently Asked Questions