U.S. Apostille for FBI background check - Foreign Documents Express


JUNE 10, 2021

background check apostilleU.S. citizens may be asked to present a background check, also called "lack of criminal record" or "certificate of good conduct" for a variety of reasons for use abroad including emplyment, college or university attendance, adoption, etc.  There are a few options available to U.S. citizens seeking to obtain proof of their lack of a criminal record including (a) local police background check, (b) statewide background check, (c) FBI record check (nationwide)


Apostilles for local police background checks:

You can go to your local police department where you reside or last resided in the U.S., and request that the police conduct a local or state criminal records search and provide you with a document reflecting that there is no history of a criminal record. Depending on the state, this search can be based on fingerprints or on your name and date of birth. 

If you need the document authenticated for foreign use (apostilled or legalized by a foreign embassy) you should ask for a notarized document, in other words the signature on your background check should be notarized by a notary public. In some cases, e.g. in New York City, the document is signed by an official whose signature can be authenticated directly, without notarization. But in most cases, the document has to be notarized.

Please note that some foreign countries do not accept locally issued background checks, even if the document has been apostilled or legalized by the embassy. Please inquire in the country of intended use what kind of background check you need to present.

Authentication of statewide background checks:

Some state, e.g. the State of New York, issue state wide background checks. These background checks can be based on fingerprints, or on exact name and date of birth. Some states also require social security number. Please inquire in the country of intended use what kind of background check you need to present.

FBI background checks and FBI apostilles:

How to apostilleWho may request an FBI criminal background check?

Only you can request a copy of your own Criminal Background Check. However, if you are overseas, you can request that the Criminal Background Check is sent straight to us for a U.S. State Department apostille.

How to apostille

How to get your criminal background check from the FBI?

The FBI offers two methods for requesting your Criminal Background Check.

Option 1: Submit your request directly to the FBI (external link).

Option 2: Submit to an FBI-approved Channeler (external link) which is a private business that has contracted with the FBI to receive the fingerprint submission and relevant data, collect the associated fee(s), electronically forward the fingerprint submission with the necessary information to the FBI CJIS Division for a national Identity History Summary check, and receive the electronic summary check result for dissemination to the individual.  If an authentication (apostille) is needed, please contact the Channeler to determine if this service is provided.

An FBI-approved Channeler may only process requests for a U.S. person (an individual who is a citizen of the U.S. or a lawful permanent resident of the U.S.). A lawful permanent resident is any person not a citizen of the U.S. who is residing in the U.S. under legally recognized and lawfully recorded permanent residence as an immigrant (also known “Permanent Resident Alien,” “Resident Alien Permit Holder,” and “Green Card Holder”).

How to apostille

FBI apostille guidelines

FBI background check is a federal document, this is why it needs to be apostilled by the U.S. Department of State in Washington DC.  This document can be apostilled as an original or as a scanned copy.

- original FBI background checks are acceptable for FBI apostilles

- scanned copies (sent by email) of FBI background checks are acceptable for FBI apostilles

You can call us at (646) 267-1140 with any questions about FBI apostille process and federal apostille requirements. We are available Monday - Sunday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. to answer your questions.

How to apostille

How long will it take get an FBI apostille (federal apostille)?

As all federal apostilles issued by the U.S. Department of State, this apostille will take 4-5 business days.

Read more about federal apostille guidelines and tips.

Not sure if your FBI background check qualifies for an apostille? Email a copy of your document for a free evaluation


FBI apostille: price, processing time, order form


FBI apostille: $175 (Fedex within the U.S. is included).
Processing time: 9-10 weeks.
FedEx (2nd day): $20
FedEx (standard overnight): $30
FedEx International: $75 (most countries)
FedEx International to Eastern Europe, South America, Africa: $115
Complete the Order form and enclose it with your document(s). Our mailing address is
Foreign Documents Express
331 Newman Springs Rd., Bldg. 1
4th Floor, Suite 143
Red Bank, NJ 07701


We process documents for ALL foreign countries. Please call us!

us legalization for all countries of the world



Apostilles in some state and federal agencies are still being processed with delays. Please contact us for processing times. 

175 apostille 1

Our guarantee: if we are not able to apostille your document(s), we will issue a 100% refund.

We process documents for all countries. 

We process documents from all 50 U.S. States (apostilles and certifications), the U.S. Department of State in Washington DC (federal apostilles and certifications), and all foreign embassies/consulates.


Foreign Documents Express is a registered service provider with the Secretary of State - authentications, Hague apostilles, and certification.

Our mailing address is

Foreign Documents Express
331 Newman Springs Rd., Bldg. 1
4th Floor, Suite 143
Red Bank, NJ 07701

Phone: (646) 267-1140

Fax: (800) 905-0421

We accept all major credit and debit cards. We also accept checks (including personal checks), money orders, PayPal, MoneyGram, Western Union, bank transfers.

Major credit cards accepted


western union

You can call us at (646) 267-1140 with any questions about apostille process. We are available Monday - Sunday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. to answer your questions. You can also fax or email copies of your documents for a free evaluation. We will advise if your documents qualify for apostilles and, if not, what steps need to be taken.

Processing times differ depending on nature of your documents. In each case will provide the time estimate, and will do our best to meet the deadline.

Delivery by USPS Priority mail (within the U.S.) is included in the price. FedEx (2nd day, within the U.S.): $20, FedEx (standard overnight): $30. We ship internationally. FedEx International to most countries is $75 (FedEx to Eastern Europe and South America is $115).

Apostilles and embassy legalization procedures are not complicated if you entrust your documents to legalization experts who know the requirements of U.S. apostille agencies, foreign consulates and embassies and the requirements of the receiving organizations in foreign countries.