In many cases, you'll need a notarized and certified diploma and transcript.
People who apply for jobs or admission to universities in other countries often need a notarized or authenticated/apostilled diploma or transcript. Some employers in the U.S. may also ask for a transcript or diploma to be notarized for authenticity.
If you need to get it authenticated or apostilled, notarizing your diploma/transcript is the first step. (Click here for a brief introduction of notarization and authentication and here for apostille.)
STEP 1, Contact the Office of the Registrar of your school to get it notarized.
Usually, the Office of the Registrar offers notary services for diplomas and transcripts.
This step may vary by school. Some schools indicate that students can directly email scanned copies of diploma to the Registrar to get it notarized. Some schools will not accept the scanned or printed diploma and students need to mail the original diploma with a photocopy of their ID to the Office of the Registrar or order a duplicate diploma from the school.
A notarized diploma/transcript in most states will include:
1. The signature of the Registrar.
2. Get the signature of 1 notarized by a notary public. If the school does not have a notary on staff, you will need to find a traveling notary to meet with the school Registrar. A complete notarization shall include a completed notarial certificate, signature, and stamp of the notary.
The above may be completed on the front or back of the diploma, or on a separate letterhead of the school.
In general, the notarization of the school in this step shall meet the requirements of the State Secretary's Office where the school is located. Click here for Directory of Secretary of State Offices and Websites.
STEP 2, Ger your diploma/transcript authenticated.
If the country where your documents are used (such as France, Australia, Canada, Japan, etc.) is a member of the Hague Apostille Convention, you need to get an Apostille at the Secretary of State Office. There are no further steps to follow.
If the country where your documents are used (such as China) is NOT a member of the Hague Apostille Convention, you need to get an Authentication at the Secretary of State Office, then get an Authentication at the Department of State, and if necessary, get it legalized at the embassy of that country.
Taking the University of Virginia as an example, the school's requirements for notarization of a diploma are:
“If you need a copy of your diploma for certification purposes, take your original diploma to a copy center and have an 8.5" x 11" photocopy made. Mail the copy to UREG. We will certify and notarize it as being a true copy of the original. (If you do not have the original, diploma copies cost $50 and require 8-10 weeks to prepare.)”
In the whole process, the details of the notarization and the correctness of the authentication type are directly related to whether the document can be accepted and used in the end. We recommend that you find a professional to assess whether you get the documents notarized correctly with a proper notarial certificate and to assist you in completing the subsequent process of certification.