In the course of living in our current system of government some people find it necessary or desirable to have one or more copies of their Certificate of Live Birth “authenticated” by the proper authority where they live. Within the U.S. this is the Secretary of State of your state of birth. What one often runs into in trying to acquire “authentication” is that the clerk at their Secretary of State’s office will think you want an “apostille.”

So what is the difference and why would you choose one over the other? I’m glad you asked.

First of all, authentication is a process whereby a document is legalized for use in a foreign country that is NOT a signatory to the Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents. That convention is a treaty established to outline a more streamlined process of certifying documents for use in foreign countries. That process is known as “apostille.” Therefore, you would need to have a document you wish to be recognized by a foreign country either “authenticated” or “apostilled” depending upon whether or not the country or jurisdiction of destination is a signatory to The Convention.

Then why is this post entitled “Authentication of a Birth Certificate”?  I’m glad you asked that as well.

Because sometimes it’s necessary for one to prove that they are not “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” and an authenticated Certificate of Live Birth can be a vital piece of evidence of that – that’s why.