notary faqs
1. Who is a Lawyer Notary?

In Ontario, a lawyer notary is a licensed lawyer who performs acts regarding legal matters. Such matters include witnessing signatures on documents, notarizing legal documents, administering oaths and affirmations, among other tasks. A lawyer Notary can administer oaths and take affidavits outside their jurisdiction.

2. What is Notarization of a Document?

Notarization is the process of authenticating the signature(s) of the person(s) authorized or required to sign a document. It also includes the appending of the signature of a notary public as a witness to the signature(s), accompanied by an impression of his or her official notary seal. A notarized document may also be a certified document. A document requiring notarization is not necessarily required to have been prepared by the person requiring the service.

3. What is Certification of a Document?

Certification of a document is when a notary reviews a document ‘purportedly’ issued by a recognized authority and appends his signature accompanied by an impression of his or her official notary seal, certifying the document as genuine or meeting a certain standard.

4. Who is a Commissioner for Taking Oaths?

A commissioner is a person who can legally administer an oath, affirmation or declaration, to a person making an oath. A commissioner is not a notary but a notary can also perform the duties of a commissioner. The Commissioner for Oaths generally are only able to administer oaths and take affidavits for use in their jurisdiction. A commissioner can only commission a document that was prepared by the person making the oath.

5. Why Do I Need to Notarize a Document?

Documents are notarized to deter fraud and to ensure they are properly executed. The lawyer notary identifies the signing parties through an ID document(s) to screen out impostors. The lawyer also ensures parties have entered into agreements knowingly and willingly with the correct person.

6. What Sort of Documents Does One Typically Notarize?

You typically notarize loan documents including deeds, affidavits, contracts, powers of attorney are very common documents needing notarization.

7. Is A Notary Bonded or Insured?

Yes. By law, a lawyer notary must carry a minimum amount of liability insurance to protect the public who utilize the services.

8. Do I Have to Show an ID to the Notary?

Most certainly yes you do! 2 forms of government issued picture id are typically required. Without an id document, the lawyer notary has no proof you are who you say you are! When a notary notarizes your document, he is guaranteeing to whoever relies on that document in order to enter into a legal obligation, that you are the actual person who signed the document.

9. What Forms of ID are Acceptable?

Your Ontario driver’s license, a passport, a birth certificate or any other government issued picture id is acceptable. Your health insurance card (even though it has a picture) is NOT by law, an acceptable form of id for a notary in Ontario.

10. Who Is a Deponent or an Affiant?

The person making the oath or the declaration is referred to as the deponent or affiant.

11. What is a ‘Certified True Copy’ of a Document?

A certified true copy is one that is printed off of an original document (typically created by a government entity) and has been certified as true by the government entity. Certified means that a government seal has been stamped on it. While it can be copied, the seal won’t copy with it.  “Certified” document can only be done by an authority with the power to certify like the county clerk-recorder. A copy of a divorce decree can be printed from the original in a court clerk’s file and certified by the court clerk as being a ‘certified true copy. A certified true copy of a document is a true copy of the original and is treated for all purposes as an original document.

12. What is a ‘Notarized Copy’ of a Document?

A notarized document on the other hand contains the signature of the deponent or person who created the document. The document is witnessed by the Notary appending his signature after viewing sufficient proof of the deponent’s identity.

13. What is a ‘Notarized True Copy’ of a Document?

A notarized true copy is obtained when a notary notarizes a copy of an original document by attaching a Jurat. A Jurat is a sworn statement under oath by a deponent stating that the stated copy is a true copy of the original. This is usually necessary when obtaining a certified true copy of a document from the authority that created it is not practicable. A notary can notarize a copy of an ‘original’ power of attorney or an Ontario driver’s license if that copy was made from an original document in the notary’s presence.

14. What is Document Authentication Services or ODS?

The Ontario Document Services ODS, authenticates and verifies the seal, stamp and signature of notaries’ public in Ontario and commissioners for taking affidavits who have been appointed by the Ministry of the Attorney General. If you are doing business or traveling abroad, you may need proof of authentication for official documents issued in Ontario. Consulates and embassies ask for these certificates to ensure that various documents are valid. We can get your documents authenticated by the ODS. However, the ODS does not validate the contents of documents. They only verify the authority of the notary.

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