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Authentication of documents

Understanding document authentication: a primer on the what and why of authentication

Moving documentation between countries can be confusing and at times, overwhelming. If you are dealing with documents between two countries it is crucial that you understand the process needed to authenticate them. Without understanding and deploying the appropriate authentication, your documents could be considered invalid. For Canadians, or people coming into Canada, documents must be authenticated and legalized by the appropriate authorities. Because Canada is not a signatory of the Hague Convention, documents must be authenticated both by the appropriate authorities in the country of origination AND the appropriate Canadian authorities or vice-versa. Read on to learn what authentication is and how to ensure you are properly handling your documents.

What is Authentication?

Authentication is the legal process of guaranteeing the genuine nature and validity of the signature and seal of an official document. Authentication does NOT guarantee the validity of the contents of any document. Authentication will be required for any document that needs to be guaranteed by a third party authority. This process will allow other jurisdictions to recognize and allow the document to be used. The authentication and legalization must be processed in order for the document to be considered valid.

Steps to take for smooth authentication and legalization

1.) Notarization: Some documents will need to be first notarized before they can be authenticated and legalized. Contact us to see if your document needs to be notarized by a notary public to proceed through the process. Some vital statistic documents like birth, marriage and death certificates do not need to be notarized.

2.) Authentication: Once notarized (if applicable) your document will move to the authentication phase. Authentication authorities compare the signature and seal of your document against information on file. Make sure all parts of the signature seal and/or stamp of the notary are displayed clearly on the document. Submission your documents to our office for authentication will guarantee a timely authentication process.

3.) Legalization: Once your document has been authenticated, it will need to be legalized through the embassy or consulate of the destination country. An official at the embassy or consulate will confirm that the document has been appropriately prepared and will confirm the certificate of authentication. If everything is properly prepared, the consulate or embassy will issue and affix a certificate of legalization to your document.

What kind of documents need to be authenticated?

Any document that requires a third party legal recognition will need to be appropriately authenticated. Some examples of common documents that require authentication include, but are not limited to: birth, adoption and marriage certificates, school admission papers and transcripts, contracts that deal with partnerships, incorporation and fiscal matter, approval certificates for customs, power of attorney and police documents. If you have any questions regarding the need to authenticate a document, your best course of action is to contact our office for the most up to date requirements.

Legalization Service Centre has been helping people through the process of legal and timely authentication and legalization of documents leaving and coming to Canada for years. If you have questions about a document or need help completing the process, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Authentication of documents

How to authenticate Canadian documents

If you are new to authentication of documents in Canada, it is basically a service that proves that the signature, the position of an official as well as the seal of the document are all unique and genuine. This gives you proof that your document is authorized and will be recognized as such (a valid copy) when you use it.

 What Does Authentication Of Documents In (Or Outside) Canada Refer To?

Basically, the process of authenticating documents in or outside Canada ensures that your document is certified with the signature, seal or position at the document. It is also done by a person who has the authority to issue, execute or certify the document in a jurisdiction so that it can be recognized by another jurisdiction.

That being said, authentication of documents in Canada does not always relate to proving if the content of the document is genuine, legal or credible. Instead, it only confirms the signature of the authorized officer who signed the document.

What Types Of Documents Do You Need Authentication For?

Generally, the authentication of documents in Canada authenticates the seals and signatures on public documents such as notarials, birth certificates, court orders or other documents issued by public authorities. This way, they can be recognized in foreign countries.

The documents basically involve ones that are:

  1. Originating in a court, clerk of a court, a public prosecutor or process server
  2. Administrative documents
  3. Notarial acts
  4. Official certificates

For any or all of these types of documents, you should consider authentication in or outside Canada and provide us with the name of the country to which they will be transmitted.

What If The Documents Need To Be Translated?

Since Canada is a country where both English and French are spoken, the authentication of documents usually involves translations. If that is the case and your documents need to be translated, the best way to do that is to conatct our office as we provide the translation services for any languages. Also we notarize the translations which is an important requirement for further authentication of the documents.

attestation

What Role Does Notary Play in the Attestation Process?

You might have heard before that in order to complete your documents’ attestation, you may need to have them notarized first. That could leave you wondering; what exactly is notarization? What is the role of notarization in the attestation process? Notarization can be the first step in the attestation of some documents. If you don’t know what notarization is, or don’t know if your document needs notarization, we can help clear it up for you.

What is Notarization?

In the Roman Empire, notaries originated as special stenographers who kept records in the courts. Some accounts even place their origins as far back as the scribes of ancient Egypt. They have been entrusted to witness and record important events throughout history. Leonardo Da Vinci was the son of a notary, and there is evidence that William Shakespeare may have been employed by a notary, or been a notary himself.

Today, notaries execute official acknowledgements under oath testifying to the authenticity of the documents they sign or witness the signatures of. This is not exactly the same as the authentication process for other documents, which is why it is required only in certain cases. A notarization is a ministerial act, which means that notaries will carry out official laws and regulations impartially. While it is sometimes the case that, in countries like the US, almost anyone can obtain a notary license, In Canada a notary is most often a legal professional.

How to find a notary might not be as important as making sure your documents are well prepared before and after they are notarized, fortunately, the Legalization Service Centre can help you with both. We can connect you with professional notaries and make sure your documents meet the necessary requirements for your purpose.

When Will I Need a Notary?

A notarization will be a required first step in your document’s attestation under some circumstances. If you are submitting a criminal record check for authentication and legalization, and that record check has been issued by a local police department, you will need a notarization. If you require a Certified True Copy of your documents made, you will need a notary. Notarization is typically required for documents concerning Power of Attorney, affidavits and other contracts where a witness to the signing is necessary.

Which Documents Likely Won’t Require a Notary?

It is uncommon to seek out the help of a notary for the attestation of vital records, such as birth certificates, death certificates or marriage certificates. If you have had your criminal record check issued at the headquarters of the RCMP in Ottawa, they have taken your fingerprints and this is unlikely to require notarization. Additionally, if issued by an accredited college or university, documents such as diplomas or degrees will not need notarization if all relevant seals and signatures are clearly visible.

The process of document attestation can be complicated. As always, we’re here to help you every step of the way. The Legalization Service Centre is here to help you get your documents prepared, notarized, authenticated, legalized and fully attested in any situation.

Document notarized

How To Get A Canadian Document Notarized For International Travel?

There is always a common problem which international travelers do face whenever they want to travel from one country to another for business or residency. This is the nightmare of getting their documents notarized as required by the laws of every country. If you happen to be one of such persons then you would have known by now that notarized and subsequently authenticated documents are what actually authorize your movement abroad whether for business or residency or work purposes. This simply means that without a notarized and authenticated documents, your movement will be impeded.

What this post will be aimed at doing is to have you enlightened on the steps you will have to take to ensure that such a process is a huge success. These will be highlighted and briefly discussed below.

Getting Your Documents Notarized

This is a very vital step that you don’t want to ignore. A notary certificate involves having a seal placed at the end of your document indicating that a notary public has successfully carried out every witnessing as required by the law. It is important to note that a notary certificate may not be part of the original document as it can be attached to it. In order to get your document notarized, you will need a notary certificate, seal and finally a signature.

Meeting Different Requirements

You have to know that there are varying conditions when it comes to the process of notarization and authentication of documents. What this means is that the process is usually different from province to federal level, and country to country. Also, there is what is always referred to as general requirements.

The most pressing of all is the general requirements which you must meet. If you are a business person, you will be expected to submit your notarized powers of attorney, certificates of incorporation, affidavits, transcripts, deeds of assignment, commercial invoices, income verification, copy of international passport and any other documents related to your business. This may be required, for example, when you open a subsidiary of your business in foreign jurisdictions.

The requirements for the notarization and authentication of personal documents may include: marriage certificate, birth certificate, divorce decrees, judgment or probate wills, criminal background checks, fingerprints. Please note that you only authenticate these documents when you are required to do so by government authorities of foreign countries. For instance, being divorced requires you to submit a document verifying this status.

File in A Request For Notarization and Authentication Services

This is the stage where you will need to complete a form about your request for the notarization and authentication of documents owned by you. In Canada, Legalization Service Centre is the company that will assist you to get documents notarized and authenticated. You will need to fill out the LSC Order Form in order to request this service from the company. The order form is not difficult to complete, but if you will have questions on how to complete it, you can always call the Customer Service at LSC to help you with the completion. Once the order was placed, the agents of LSC will process your documents at Global Affairs Canada and then will further process them by appropriate consulates or Embassies accredited in Canada according to international laws.

In conclusion, any time when you travel abroad: for business, work or residency purposes, you will need to make sure that Canadian documents are properly notarized and authenticated so that they are recognized in the country of your destination. LSC will properly get your documents notarized.  Legalization Service Centre is your trusted partner in your international endeavor!

Authenticate Documents

How to Authenticate Documents in Canada?

Authentication of documents in Canada doesn’t often cross your mind unless you actually need to authenticate documents. Here’s what you need to know about the authentication process for documents in Canada.

What is to Authenticate Documents?

Often known as legalization, to authenticate documents means to certify the the signature, seal, or position on the document. It is done by a person who has the authority to issue, execute, or certify a document in one jurisdiction so that it can be recognized by another jurisdiction. However, to authenticate documents does not necessarily mean to confirm the content of the document is genuine, legal, or credible. The Legalization Service Centre (LSC) can take care of Authentication and Legalization of documents in Canada from start to finish. You cannot perform legalization on your own document, of course. Please click here to read more about LSC.

How to Send in Documents?

In Person – All you have to do is to go to Legalization Service Centre office with your documents. You may need an appointment depending on the location. You can also have another person bring in to authenticate documents for you if you do not have the time. Some offices are closed on the weekends and most are closed on holidays. If the documents cannot be immediately authenticated, you’ll need to come back at a later date to pick them up. You can wait if it won’t take too long, though. If they cannot be done immediately, you will be contacted when it is time to come back and get your authenticated documents.

Mailing Documents – You’ll need to fill out and enclose an LSC Order form (hard copy is preferred) which you can fill out online on our website here: https://legalizationservicecentre.ca/lsc-online-order-form/ It is probably going to be untrackable if you use regular mail and the Legalization Service Centre is not responsible if the documents get lost in the mail. It is better to use express courier services to mail your documents in like: Express Canada Post, Fedex, Purolator, UPS so that you can track your shipments all the way down. The processing time may differ on the type of documents so it is recommended to use express couriers.

How Long It Takes to Authenticate Documents?

Generally, to authenticate the documents takes about 7-8 business days (two weeks). Add in 5 business days at minimum if you are using Canadian regular mail services. If you need to authenticate documents urgently or sooner than two weeks the Legalization Service Centre will be your first point of contact as LSC authenticates documents in less than two business days rush service. It is much easier to bring your documents in in-person if you have the time, but that depends on your schedule. Bringing them to the office in-person will ensure they get there in good condition. If not, please use one of recognizable and reliable courier services we mentioned above and mail the documents in to our office in Ottawa. Once the documents are received, they will be processed immediately.

This should be the basis of what you need to know to get your documents Authenticated in Canada.