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Checklist to Ensure Your Documents are Accepted

Documents must be originals (not photocopies), signed by and contain the official seal of the proper Pennsylvania official.  NOTE: Diplomas, transcripts and criminal record checks must be notarized by a Pennsylvania notary public prior to requesting an apostille or certification.
The correct fee must be enclosed.
The country where the documents will be used must be identified.
County documents must be signed by the clerk in charge of the county office.  Documents will not be accepted if they are signed by an assistant or deputy clerk.
Marriage certificates must be signed by the register of wills or clerk of the orphans court (and not only the officiant or clergyperson).
Death certificates must be signed by the state registrar.  Death certificates will not be accepted if they are signed by a local registrar.  Birth certificates do not need to be and should not be notarized.
Photocopies of notarized or certified documents may not be certified by the Secretary of the Commonwealth.


The certificate of notarial act on notarized documents must be worded and completed using the English language. The certificate may be simultaneously worded and completed in another language that is understood by the notary public and must be immediately adjacent to the English-language certificate.