What you should know a Notary Public in Ontario
This post provides a brief overview of services provided by notaries and commissioners in Ontario.
Frequent Questions and Answers
Who is a Notary Public?
In Ontario, a notary public is a person who has been appointed by the province to witnesses oaths, signs affidavits, and certifies documents to be true copies of the original.
The Ontario Notaries Act sets out who can be a notary and what they can do.
Legal professionals, lawyers, and paralegals can be appointed as a notary public after being licensed by the Law Society of Ontario (LSO). This is a lifetime appointment, if is in good standing with the LSO.
A notary public who is not a lawyer is no allowed to providing legal advice.
What Does a Notary Public Do?
A notary public can verify that signatures, marks, and copies of documents are true or genuine. In a nutshell, a notary public helps to deter fraud confirming the identity of the signer(s), their willingness to sign the documents, and their awareness of the contents of the document or transaction.
What are the most common documents a Notary Public Can Verify?
- Power of Attorney
- Will and Last Testament
- Statutory declarations
- Affidavits, including Name Clarification, Common Law Relationship, etc.
- Loan documents, etc.
What is On-Line Notarization?
On-line notarization is also called e-notarization or remote commissioning and is the process for commissioning oaths, affidavits, statutory declarations, and other documents using technology like video calls instead of in person.
In Ontario, remote commissioning can only be performed by a commissioner of oaths and affidavits or a notary public.
Does On-line Notarization is effective for any document?
No, on-line notarization is restricted in some cases; for instance, certified and true copies only can be issued in person because a notary public must have access to physical originals to compare their copies and confirm that they are authentic and true copies.
Also, in Ontario the following documents must be signed in person and not electronically:
- Negotiable instruments, including cheques, promissory notes, bills of exchange, etc.
- Wills and codicils
- Powers of attorney
- Trusts created by wills or codicils
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