What is an apostille and how do I get one?

Modified on Tue, 05 Jul 2022 at 08:27 PM

An Apostille is a document issued only by the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth. It verifies:

  1. The authenticity of the signature on the document
  2. The capacity in which the person signing the document acted
  3. The identity of any stamp or seal affixed to the document.


 The Apostille is a specific form of authentication for countries that participate in the Hague Convention of 1961.


Lesley University can certify your diploma in person or by mail. If you plan to mail in your documents, please include the following information/items in addition to the document(s) you need certified*:

  • The country of destination for the documents
  • A check made payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts ($6 for each document)
  • A prepaid return envelope to have the documents returned to you.


Would you like the documents returned via Federal Express, DHL, or any other express mail service? Please enclose a prepaid return envelope with a billing account number.


Please be advised that the Secretary does not accept credit cards as a form of pre-payment for express mail services.


You may also bring your documents to us in person. Please contact us at 617.349.8760 first so we can arrange to have our Notary present when you arrive. You may then either mail or hand deliver your documents to the Secretary at One Ashburton Place, Room 1719, in Boston, MA. The secretary will certify up to three documents while you wait. More than three documents will be completed and available for pick up after 3:00 the following day.


Processing time for Apostilles by mail can vary, but are generally processed within 2-3 weeks.


* In most cases, we will make a copy of your original diploma for certification and will return the original to you unmarked. However, if the country receiving your documents specifies an original document be certified, we recommend ordering a replacement diploma. You will not get that document back in most situations.

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