Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

  1. What does it mean to have a document « notarized »?

An Ontario Notary Public’s seal on a document indicates that you are saying that the facts contained in the document are true, and has the same effect as swearing to tell the truth under oath in a court of law. In Ontario, a lawyer licensed Notary Public is also a Commissioner of Oaths (also called a Commissioner for Taking Affidavits). Notary Public Ottawa offers both services.

  1. Which documents need to be notarized?

Not all documents require notarization, but many do. Foreign embassies, Canadian banks, other financial institutions and the court system often require documents to be notarized. Letters to be sent abroad generally require notarization to verify the identity of the sender.

  1. What is the role of an Ontario Notary Public?

An Ontario Notary Public’s role to verify the identity of the person signing the document. A notary public is a third-party witness to not only the signature of a document but also the fact that all parties who signed did so willingly and under their own power. The Notary will also confirm the signatory understands the meaning of what she or he is signing. The act of notarizing a document or witnessing a signature is the core function of a Notary Public.

  1. What are the steps for a notarization?
  • You must present valid identification (a valid piece of government issued photo ID with another piece) to your Notary.
  • Your Notary will then ensure you understand and can attest to what you’re about to sign.
  • The Notary Public then witnesses your signature.
  • Once you have signed the document, the Notary will affix her or his stamp (or “seal”) to the document. The document is now notarized.
  1. What is a Commissioner of Oaths?

A commissioner of oaths (also known as a Commissioner of Taking Affidavits) is a person who can legally administer an oath, affirmation or declaration, for example, to a person making an affidavit.

  1. Why is it important to have my document notarized?

Having a notary public witness a signature is a powerful risk management tool to prevent fraud and identity theft.

Getting agreements notarized adds a layer of verification that the people who signed the document are the people they say they are. Notarization not only makes it more likely that signors are who they say they are but also is mandatory in most provinces for certain agreements, such as deeds, mortgages, easements, powers of attorney and living wills.

​More questions? Check out our blog here.

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