Common Problems with Authentication
There are a few common reasons that a document will not be authenticated:
If the document you are authenticating is notarized:
- No Certificate - In accordance with Minnesota Statute 358.65 (link), a notarial act must be evidenced by a certificate. Printable examples of short form certificates are provided below:
- Valid Minnesota Notary Commission - The commission must be valid and up to date and the expiration date on the notary stamp must be accurate. Name on Notary stamp must match Notary database. To determine if the Notary is active and how their name is registered search the notary database.
- School Documents Not Notarized - Documents with the signature of a school official and the school seal applied by the school registrar are not acceptable. Documents must be notarized by a Minnesota Notary Public before the Apostille can be affixed to the document.
- Private Documents - Private documents, including diplomas, transcripts, drivers license and adoption papers may be certified by a Minnesota notary, you must provide the original document for the notary to photocopy. A notary cannot certify a photocopy of a document unless the original document is provided to, and copied by, the notary personally.
- If the notary has any questions - The notary should refer to the Minnesota Notary Commission Guide or contact our office for more information.
- Insufficient Fees - The authentication fee is $5 per document to be authenticated.
- Must Be an Original Signature on the Document - All documents must be properly signed by a person representing the agency issuing the document and are required to be an original signature NOT a photocopied signature.
- Documents Recorded by Another State - The state that produced the original document needs to certify the document (I.E. a birth certificate from California needs to certified by the California Secretary of State's office).
- Federal Documents – Original Federal documents are not authenticated at the state level. Please contact the United States Department of State Authentication Office at 202-485-8000 or visit their website at Travel.State.Gov.
If you have any questions, please call us at 651-296-2803 or 1-877-551-6767 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
MN Relay Service: 711