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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.

Notary Apostille Certificate

How to Get Notary Apostille Certificate in Canada

An Apostille is an important certification which ensures that your documents remain valid and legal as you travel across nations. It is a means through which a legal document from one country could be acceptable and retain its validity in another country. This certification which is issued by a regulating power ascertains if the signature of a notary public or seal is authentic.

The notary apostille certification originated from the Hague Convention which took place on the 5th October, 1961. The convention abolished the need for legalizing foreign public documents among its members. A document which originates from a participating country for use in another country will require a notary apostille certificate that contains notary public’s signature or seal for its authentication. Individuals or firms authorized to use notary apostille certifications are selected by participating nations. However, Canada is not a signatory of the Hague Convention, hence, notary apostille certifications cannot be provided for its public documents.

Alternatively, Canada provides a Certificate of Authentication or Form 10 which is an International Certificate of Identity. This is an equivalent of an apostille which is used in nations that are signatory to the Hague Convention.

Procedure for Obtaining notary apostille Certification in Canada

Having established the fact that Canada does not offer an apostille certification, every public document will pass through a three-step process. These processes include:

  • Notarization
  • Authentication
  • Legalization

Each of these processes will be discussed in details.

Notarization

While member countries of Apostille Convention recognize the notary apostille certificates, in Canada the notaries do not issue certificates, but still the documents need to have a notarization. Notarization is the first essential step for certification of your documents. Without it, Global Affairs Canada will not authenticate a public document. Here, documents are notarized by a notary public or a lawyer.

Different professions in Canada such as Professional Engineers, Lawyers, Medical Doctors, School Principals, etc can notarize their identity documents, but they are not entitled to issue notary apostille certificates.

Authentication

Authentication is a certification of the genuineness of a document. Please do not confuse it with notary apostille certificate. This process does not only verify the source of a document, but also confirms the genuineness of its signature, stamp or seal on the document, in order to ensure that any document which is issued and certified in one jurisdiction is recognized in another jurisdiction.

It should be noted that authentication does not confirm or certify if a document or its contents is genuine, legal or credible.

The notarized documents are hereby submitted to the Global Affairs Canada for authentication of Canadian signatures on them.

The requirements of authentication vary from one country to another. Hence, it is important to contact the embassy, high commissioner or consulate of the country you are sending your documents to and inquire if there is need for it. Some of them will still ask for notary apostille, but do not panic as authentication is only way in Canada to certify the documents.

Below are the documents that can be authenticated by the Global Affairs Canada Authentication Sector:

  • Birth, marriage, divorce or death certificates
  • Criminal record checks (police clearance) or fingerprint certificates
  • Documents originating in a foreign country
  • Documents originating in Canada in a foreign language
  • Statements In Lieu of Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage Abroad
  • Medical Reports
  • Education Documents
  • Court documents
  •  Police clearance letters
  •  Affidavits
  •  Power of attorneys
  •  Health Canada certificates, etc.

Legalization

This is the last stage of the process. Here, the documents which have been notarized and authenticated are verified by the country’s foreign consulate you wish to send your documents to. For instance, should you wish to send your authenticated documents to France, you must have them legalized by the French consulate.

As you can see, obtainig a notary apostille certificate is a quite confusing process.

Here, at Legalization Service Centre, we assist our customers to obtain stamps on their Canadian documents so that they are recognizable overseas.