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Is Apostille required for a U.S. territory? Like Puerto Rico

Updated: Apr 3, 2023

The U.S. has five permanently inhabited territories: Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in the Caribbean Sea, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands in the North Pacific Ocean, and American Samoa in the South Pacific Ocean.

Many of our clients have documents issued from the 50 states and DC. They're wondering if these documents to be used in one of the US territories need an Apostille.

What is an Apostille? An Apostille is a certificate that authenticates the signature of a public official on a document for use in another country that is one of the members of the 1961 Hague Convention Treaty.

The short answer is no. The reason is that an Apostille may never be used for the recognition of a document in the country where that document was issued – Apostilles are strictly for the use of public documents abroad.

So, Apostilles can only be issued for documents to be used outside the United States of America. Generally, the notarial act or a certified copy is sufficient for use in any American territory or possession.


American Notary Service Center Inc. provides fair, fast, confidential, and professional document notarization and certification services for our clients. We also provide various assistance services to small businesses led by socially and economically disadvantaged groups. Our service helps small businesses obtain federal government contracts, gain a foothold in the market, and boost their sales. For more information, please visit our website at, and contact us by calling 202-599-0777 or by email at


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