How To Get And Apostille Your FBI Clearance?


Your FBI Clearances have to be LESS than 12 months old at the time you submit your completed dossier to Bulgaria. 

This means that the FBI clearances shouldn’t be the first thing that you do because it is “time stamped” and has to be less than 12 months old when submitted to Bulgaria with the dossier.  If you have questions about this timing, give us a call.  

How To Get Your FBI Clearance?

There is a way to get your FBI clearance by requesting it directly from the FBI.  However, that process can vary in length, and can sometimes be slower than we may like it to be. (If you’d like to pursue that route you can get the steps for doing so through the FBI’s site here.)

Therefore, we recommend that you use an expeditor.  These expeditors charge only $40 and turn around your clearance in about 2 – 3 days.  Below are a couple of options:

Expeditor Option 1 – National Background Information

Please contact them directly and follow their steps, including their application to get your FBI clearances expedited.  Their website is pretty easy to navigate, and their customer service is easy to get a hold of.  Their number is 800 441 1661. 

Expeditor Option 2 –

Another option is Applicant Services.  Please contact them directly and follow their steps.  They have a pretty good “FAQ” Section that makes it easy to understand what you need to do. It is linked belwo for you. 

Full List of Other Expeditors

The two expeditors above are most commonly used by our clients, but to give you more options, below is a full list of approved FBI channelers directly from the FBI’s site. 

Getting Fingerprinted

With either expeditor, you will have to go to a local police station and get fingerprinted.  Please ask that they give you a physical copy of the fingerprint cards, as you will need them to get the clearance and then send the (physical) clearance to get it stamped with an Apostille.  The expeditors above should be able to help you find a place to get fingerprinted, but your local social worker is someone who should also be able to point you to a place, if needed. 

How To Get an Apostille For My FBI Clearances? 

Ok, so far, you’ve only obtained your clearances (and have done so more quickly thru the expeditors).  Now you have your FBI clearances.  

Next step is to send them to the US Department of State for Apostille. 

Because these are Federally issued documents, they CANNOT be apostilled at your State’s Secretary of State. 

Instead, you have to send them to the Federal Government to get them apostilled. 

Where to Send My FBI Clearances to Get Apostille?

Please send your FBI Clearances to:

Current Address: 

Office of Authentications
U.S. Department of State
44132 Mercure Cir, P.O. Box 1206
Sterling, VA  20166-1206

The Fee is $20 Per Apostille.  (The price changed from $8 to $20 on July 15, 2021 according to their website here.  You are instructed to use the same form – DS4194, with the outdated fee of $8, but send in the new amount of $20 per document, until a new form is “made available”.  This notice was posted in July apparently, and a new form is still not available, as of November 2021. Please check their site here before you mail because surely a new form will sometime be available).

Their phone number is 202 485 8000.  Perhaps you can call them before you send it in.  

Please use the following “Cover Letter” used to process Apostille Requests.

What Else?

Note:  Effective October 6, 2014, all express mail air bill labels sent to the Office of Authentications for the use of returning documents must reflect the customer’s mailing address as both the sender and recipient.

FedEx not acceptable as of 02/01/2017 

Warning:  DOS really likes to change things!  So, please call them to make sure that nothing has changed.  Common things that can change include:  Address, cover letter, amount of fee, or what mail courier the accept or don’t accept. 

Their phone number is 202-485-8000.

Lets Review the Steps:

1.  Contact Expeditor – follow their instructions to get the needed forms to them.  If you have quetions, please call their customer service. 

2.  Once you get your clearances from Expeditor, you send to DOS in VA for apostille.    

3.  No copies. No affidavits. No notary oaths.

4.  Take the FBI Clearances and send them directly to US Department of State.

5.  Once The Department of State sends you your apostilled copy, make a photocopy of it – for the second set.  

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