Authenticating U.S. Documents for Use in The Bahamas
To authenticate a U.S. document for use in the Bahamas, you must first obtain an apostille from the Vital Records office of the state that issued your document in the United States. Once a U.S. document has a U.S. apostille, it is ready to be used in the Bahamas. You do not need to bring it to the U.S. Embassy for attestation.
Obtaining an Apostille
Documents issued in the United States must be authenticated before they can be recognized as valid in the Bahamas. Examples of such documents are court documents, birth, death and marriages records, educational documents, incorporation papers and other legal papers.
In the United States, each state issues apostilles for its own documents. For example, a California birth certificate must be authenticated with a California apostille. Similarly, a New York death certificate must be authenticated by an apostille issued by the state of New York. Each state maintains a website explaining how to obtain an apostille.
Find the apostille authority in your state here or here.
Authenticating Bahamian Documents for Use in the U.S.
Bahamian documents can be authenticated for use overseas by the issuance of an apostille at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Consular-Passport-Visa Division in Nassau.
Documents with apostilles from the MFA do not require authentication at the U.S. Embassy or a Consulate General; they are ready to be used in the United States.
Bahamian apostilles apply to public documents such as:
- birth certificates
- death certificates
- marriage certificates
- powers of attorney
- court documents
- notarial acts
- matriculation and secondary level education certificates
The first step in getting an apostille is to have your document authenticated by the government where the document originated.
Apostilles do not apply to:
- Commercial documents
- Customs operations documents
- Documents executed by a diplomatic or consular agent
To authenticate these documents for use in the United States, you must contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) at:
Ministry Of Foreign Affairs
East Hill Street P. O. Box 3746
Nassau, The Bahamas
Tel: 242 323 5565 or 242 323 5578
The office’s hours are 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday for dropping off documents.