Ask the U.S. Consul:
How to legalize documents

How to legalize documents for use in Mexico is probably one of the most confusing questions that we receive. As of 1998, Mexico became a signatory to the Hague Convention on the Legalization of Documents. The US and Canada are also signatories. The Convention simplifies the old “chain” authentication procedure.

Documents which have the special Hague Legalization Certificate are acceptable in other countries where the treaty is in force without any other authentication. What that means for you is that if a Mexican government entity requests that you present a public document from the US, like a marriage certificate, birth and death certificates, documents issued by the court, or executed before a notary public, it must have an apostille affixed to it which legalizes the document for use in Mexico.

An apostille can only be obtained in the United States. Who are the U.S. “Competent Authorities” to issue the apostille certificate? There are three levels of U.S. competent authorities, one for Federal agencies, one for U.S. (federal) courts, and one for state documents, including documents executed before notaries. 

The address for some of them are listed below:

Federal Executive and Administrative Agencies: Authentications Office, Department of State, 518 23rd St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20520, (202) 647-5002 Fee: $5.00.
U.S. Courts: Clerks and Deputy Clerks of the Federal Court System. Fee: $5.00.

States, Territories and Other Jurisdictions: Each state and other jurisdiction in the United States (District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam). 

We have a list of addresses that we can provide.

To authenticate Mexican documents, the locations are:

Federal Documents :
1. Direccion General de Gobierno, Bucareli No. 99, Planta Baja, 06600 Mexico, D.F., tel: 535-31-12; 535-43-92, fax: 535-26-88.
2. Direccion de Coordinacion Politica Con Los Poderes de la Union, Abraham Gonzalez No. 48, Planta Baja, 06600 Mexico, D.F., tel: 535-51-31, fax: 566-12-25.
3. Subdireccion de Formalizacion y Control Abraham Gonzalez No. 48, Planta Baja, 06600 Mexico, D.F., tel: 535-53-84; 546-57-32, fax: 566-12-25
– YUCATAN: Calle 51 No. 459 x 50, Zona, Centro, 97000 Merida, Yuc., tel: 999 923 9142, 999-923 9636, 999-923 9671, 999-924 0815, fax: 999-923 5535
– QUINTANA ROO: Av. Primo de Verdad No. 181, int. 1 Esp. Av. Heroes, 67000 Chetumal, Q. Roo.
– CAMPECHE: Av. de las Palmas S/N junto al centro, Bizantino Bartimeo, 24020 Campeche

If you need to have a document authenticated, sometimes the easiest way is to request the document from the County Clerk or other office, and if you have someone in the US who can take the document to the state capital and to the appropriate office, that is the most efficient way. Failing that, if you have the document, you can send it to the state office that applies (via DHL or Fed Ex), enclose the fee and ask them to return it to you, enclosing a self addressed, stamped envelope. You might want to call ahead and ensure that the address and fee information have not changed, if the state doesn’t list it on their website.

US Consulate
Calle 60, No 338K x 29 y 31
Colonia Alcala Martin
Merida, Yucatan, Mexico  97050
Tel: (999) 942 5700
Fax: (999) 942 5759
Email: [email protected]