West Virginia Certification
A West Virginia certification is an authenticated document for use in non-member states of the Hague Convention. The West Virginia Secretary of State - Business and Licensing Division will authenticate the signature or notarization for the document’s use abroad.
You must request a certification with the West Virginia Secretary of State by mail or in person. Submit the original notarized or certified document, contact information, and the foreign country in which the certification will be used, and the state will issue the certification.
The statutory fee is $10 per document certification.
West Virginia has the authority to authenticate a document only if it was issued in West Virginia. If the document was issued by another state, or at the federal level, you must contact the appropriate state or federal agency.
West Virginia requires the original certified or notarized document to issue the certification.
What is the contact information for the state?
West Virginia Secretary of State - Business and Licensing Division
Bldg. 1, Suite 157-K, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. East
Charleston, WV 25305-0770
Phone: 304-558-8000 or 866-767-8683
Name Search: https://apps.wv.gov/SOS/BusinessEntitySearch/
Online Filing: https://business4.wv.gov/Pages/default.aspx
What is a certification?
Before transacting business in many countries abroad, you may be required to obtain authentication of corporate documents, including Articles of Incorporation, Evidence of Merger, and other filings.
Certification is a type of authentication used for those countries that do not participate in the Hague Convention. Countries that do participate in the Hague Convention use the term "apostille." Certification is subject to additional review by the United States Department of State or by the embassy of the destination country.
Which countries accept certified documents?
Please visit the link below provided by the Hague Conference on Private International Law. Member nations accept apostille documents, whereas non-member states accept certification documents.
Apostille vs. certification?
Apostilles are used for those countries that participate in the Hague Convention. For those countries that do not participate, a certification will be used instead of an apostille. Certification, also known as "authentication," often requires additional review by the United States Department of State.
Obtaining Certified Copies
In order to obtain an authentication of a corporate document in most states, you must submit a certified copy of the corporate document. In many states, this occurs in a different division from where authentication are issued.
Notarization of documents
Nearly every state requires your documents to be notarized before submitting the apostille application. Pay careful attention to which body has the authority to notarize these documents, as it can take place at the city, county, or state level.
West Virginia Certification, West Virginia Authentication