You have questions, we have answers. Doss Law’s trusted team of Toronto & Durham Region Lawyers are here to help take the mystery out of notarization and commissioning, and to help you ensure you complete your documents appropriately.

 

What is the Difference Between a Notarization and Commissioning?

The main difference between a notarization and commissioning is where the document is to be used and what the purpose of the document is. Another difference is only a notary can make a certified true copy of a document, attest an oath, or certify the execution of a document. To simplify:

Commissioner of Oaths – Asks the person who has written the affidavit to swear that the contents of the affidavit are true.

Notary Public – Has the legal capabilities to not only commission contracts and agreements but also act as witness to ensure the documents and signatures are valid/genuine.

 

What’s the Difference Between an Affidavit and a Statutory Declaration?

The difference between the affidavit and the declaration is that the statutory declaration is declared whereas the affidavit is sworn to be true. The statutory declaration is more commonly used outside of court settings. These types of declarations are made subject to the provisions of certain legislation. Some common statutory declarations are:

  • Statutory declarations confirming identity
  • Statutory declarations confirming a document has been lost or stolen
  • Statutory declaration in lieu of a guarantor for passport processing
  • Statutory declarations regarding the ownership of property, and
  • Statutory declarations confirming marital status

Although a statutory declaration is not sworn, both the statutory declaration and affidavit must be based on truth and have the same force of effect as if made under oath. A misrepresented fact under either document is an offence, as such seeking professional assistance when preparing an affidavit or a statutory declaration is crucial. Contact us and we would be happy to assist you with drafting the appropriate documents.

 

Are Ontario Lawyers Also Commissioners?

A person who is entitled to practice law in Ontario is automatically a commissioner for taking affidavits in Ontario.

What Are the Steps to Commission a Document?

  1.  Present valid identification to your Commissioner. This must be a valid piece of government issued photo ID along with another piece of ID.
  2. The Commissioner will confirm that you understand and can attest to the affidavit you are about to sign.
  3. The Commissioner will ask you to either swear or affirm its contents, while holding a religious book or raising your right hand.
  4. You will then sign the affidavit with the Commissioner acting as witness.

 

Are Ontario Lawyers Also Notaries?

If you need a document notarized it’s important to note that not all Ontario lawyers are notary publics. Unlike a commissioner for affidavits, they must first apply and pay an application fee in order to be appointed as a notary public.

 

What Are the Steps for Notarization?

  1. Present valid identification to your Notary. This must be a valid piece of government issued photo ID along with another piece of ID.
  2. The Notary will confirm that you understand and can attest to the document you are about to sign.
  3. The Notary Public will act as witness to your signature.
  4. After you have signed the document, the Notary will place her stamp or seal (or “seal”) to the document.
  5. The document is now considered notarized.

 

Can a Notary Public Help Me with My Permanent Resident Card Application?

When applying for a PR card, an applicant must have their application, photo, and, if applicable, copies of documents confirming their identity signed by an eligible Guarantor. If you do not know a qualified guarantor for your permanent resident application, a notary public can administer the oath for the statutory Declaration in Lieu of Guarantor and have your photographs verified. You can complete your permanent resident application but must leave the Statutory Declaration in Lieu of Guarantor to be signed at our office.

 

Can a Notary Public Help Me with My Canadian Passport Application?

When applying for a Permanent Residence card, an applicant must have their application, photo, and, if applicable, copies of documents confirming their identity signed by an eligible Guarantor. If you do not know a qualified guarantor for your permanent resident application, a notary public can administer the oath for the statutory Declaration in Lieu of Guarantor and have your photographs verified. You can complete your permanent resident application but must leave the Statutory Declaration in Lieu of Guarantor to be signed at our office.

 

Does the Oath or Solemn Declaration Have to Be Commissioned in Person?

Yes. You must be present in our office to take an oath or solemn declaration in front of our notary public, who is qualified to take oaths. An oath or solemn declaration cannot be made over the telephone.

 

Can a Notary Public Apostille Documents?

No. Canada is not a signatory to the international treaty that allows for the apostilling of documents. An alternative to apostilling documents is to have the notary public’s seal and signature authenticated and then legalized by the foreign consulate.