State Document Authentication for Use in China Before Consulate Authentication
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How to Authenticate Document by Secretary of State?
Note: Some states will require certification of the notary seal by a County Clerk first (see sample). Please check with your state’s requirements if County certification is needed.
The Secretary of State Office must certify the notary seal or the certified copy of your document by adding a statement page with a state seal. Federal documents and documents issued in states under the jurisdiction of the Chinese Embassy in DC will require authentication from the US Department of State afterwards.
The Secretary of State office will authenticate each document separately by inserting a cover statement with a specified large seal, signature and wording that will be recognized by the Chinese Consulate or Embassy. Please make sure to indicate the document will be used in China when you submit your document to the Secretary of State. You must apply for authentication rather than apostille as China is not a member of the Hague Apostille Convention.
Important note: Once authenticated, the staples must not be removed or tampered with. The Chinese Consulate considers documents with tampered staples as invalid. If this occurs, you will have to restart the process from the beginning.
Federal documents and documents issued in states under the jurisdiction of the Chinese Embassy in DC will require authentication from the US Department of State afterwards. This will need to be done after authentication by Secretary of State has been completed.
States under DC jurisdiction include Delaware, Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming and Washington DC.
|Samples (click to enlarge):
|NY Department of State
|CA Secretary of State
|WA Secretary of State
After authentication by Secretary of State has been completed, please proceed to Chinese Consulate Authentication.
If you require further authentication by US Department of State, please click here.