I've got an apostille and bottom line says: "...this apostille is not valid for use anywhere within the United States of America..."

What was the reason for this?

Is it applicable for all countries signed the "Apostille Convention" or just US?

upd: The document is a birth certificate. Apostille was done in Georgia US.

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  • 1
    What is the use case for using US apostille in the US?
    – Greendrake
    Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 20:59
  • I don't know. But why they added bold text?
    – Hedgehog
    Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 21:21
  • This copy of the certificate is valid for all countries abiding by the convention except the US (where other requirements apply, and you can get another copy). Commented Feb 10, 2019 at 22:54
  • @TimLymington the authenticated document is perfectly valid for use in the US. It is the apostille that is only valid outside the US. But that makes perfect sense, since the point of the apostille is to attest to the validity of the official endorsement on the document for the benefit of foreign officials. Within the US, there are no foreign officials, so there's no need for an apostille.
    – phoog
    Commented Feb 11, 2019 at 3:25

2 Answers 2


An apostille is a certification set up by a treaty, to streamline the recognition of documents that were created in one country but used in another. The text of the treaty is available online. I don't know the specific reason it can't be used within a country, or even if the assertion Hedgehog mentioned is even true. But certainly the treaty establishing apostilles was not signed for the purpose of getting documents recognized within the country where they were created.

If you describe the type of document, the US state where it was created, and the US state where it is to be used, someone may know what requirements exist to make the document acceptable in the state where it is to be used. It may also matter what agency will be receiving the document; an office of vital statistics might have different requirements than a court.

  • please see update
    – Hedgehog
    Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 21:18
  • A birth certificate or official copy of a birth certificate issued by a US state, or authorized town/city/county within a state, is usually accepted by all US federal, state, and local agencies throughout the country. The apostille is unnecessary. But due to limited training of many clerical government employees, submitting the birth certificate with the apostille may cause the certificate to be rejected. Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 21:22
  • does it mean that now I can't use this Birth certificate in US? Would you recommend to get another copy of BC?
    – Hedgehog
    Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 21:24
  • I think it would be safer to get another certified copy of the BC. The clerk receiving it may not understand what an apostille is, see the wording about the apostille not being valid in the US, and reject the BC. Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 21:27

The apostille is not valid in the US because it has no meaning in the US. Its purpose is to certify to the authorities of other countries that the signature and seal on the birth certificate are authentic, and that the person who signed the document does in fact hold the office stated on the document. But only the apostille is invalid inside the US. The birth certificate itself is perfectly valid.

As the other answer notes, however, the apostille and its disclaimer of validity in the US could confuse people, leaving you to explain to them that the apostille is irrelevant for use in the US. It might be easier to avoid that by getting another copy without an apostille.

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