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Legalization/authentication process

As of March 16, 1999 Venezuela is a part of the Hague Convention abolishing the requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents of 1961. The Convention abolishes the requirement of diplomatic and consular legalization for public documents originating in one Convention  country (US) and intended for use in another (Venezuela). Documents issued in a Convention country which have been certified by a Convention apostille are entitled to recognition in any other Convention country without any further authentication. Such recognition is an obligation on the part of the United States to the other country's party to the Convention and the federal courts and state authorities have been alerted to this obligation. Consular officers in Convention countries are prohibited from placing a certification over the Convention apostille.

The inclusion of Venezuela in the Convention does not imply that documents no longer need to be legalized - they must continue to follow  the routinary steps involved in the process of legalization in order to obtain the Convention Apostille from the Secretary of State of the state where the document was notarized, or the Department of State if the document is from a Federal Agency. The steps are as follows:

  1. The document must be signed by a public notary
  2. The signature of that public notary must be endorsed by the Clerk and/or Secretary of State of your jurisdiction
  3. The document does not need to be further certified by a consular office


Documents that will be used at customs in Venezuela for import purposes, however, are not exempt from being legalized by the Consular offices. These documents are issued by the authorities concerned in the US. They do not need to be further certified by a Secretary of the Court, Secretary of State or Department of State. THEY MUST BE CERTIFIED DIRECTLY   BY THE CONSULAR OFFICE. Please refer to the Consular Fees page.

Secretaries of State

Secretary of State - Maine
148 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333
(207) 626-8400

Secretary of State - New Hampshire
107 North Maine Street
Room 204
Concord, NH 03301
(603) 271-3242

Secretary of State - Massachusetts
One Ashburton Place
Mc Cormack Building
17th. Floor Room 1719
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 727-2836


545 Boylston St.
3th Floor
Boston MA 02116
Phone #:

(617) 266-9368
Fax #:
(617) 266-2350

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