Canada Notary will perform many Tasks

(Please see update at bottom of page)

A Canada Notary will perform many tasks similar to a US notary. Their duties generally include administering oaths; taking affidavits, affirmations, and declarations. In addition, they may issue deeds, contracts, and other commercial transactions and attest to commercial instruments. Except in British Columbia, notaries public usually act as notaries on a part-time basis (see below).

The main difference, of course, is the ability of the notary to issue deeds, contract and other commercial transaction. This is similar to some of the duties US attorney's perform.

It appears that Canadian notaries public are appointed by the provincial government upon proper application, though practices vary between provinces. It takes about 2 and 1/2 years (approximately) to obtain the appointment. The requirements are listed below.

It is interesting to note that in many Canadian jurisdictions, lawyers are automatically appointed notaries public. This is similar to North Carolina, where it is not automatic, but attorneys are exempt from taking the notary exam. What is more interesting to me is that in Alberta, every law student, judge, MLA, MP, and Senator is also automatically a notary. All officers of the Canadian Forces are authorized to act as notaries public for Nova Scotia.

In case you are interested, in the US, military officers above the rank of O-3 can be notaries.

British Columbia divides the province into notarial districts. There are a fixed number of notaries for each district. These are full time notaries. Additionally, B.C. notaries perform a wider range of transactions. These transaction include real estate sales. Also, unlike other Canadian jurisdictions BC notaries are self-regulated through the Society of Notaries Public of BC.

But wait! There is more!

Did you know that in several Canadian jurisdictions there are also "Commissioners for Oaths." The Commissioner for Oath generally are only able to administer oaths and take affidavits for use in their jurisdiction. On the other hand, Canadian Notaries can administer oaths and take affidavits outside their jurisdiction.

What is the Process?

The process for becoming a Canadian Notary is much different than in the USA. The basic process takes 2 and 1/2 years and requires some business experience. Because a Canadian notary's duties are more expansive than in the US, this makes sense. But it is interesting to note.

The process basically works like this:

Step 1

Graduate with a college degree from an accredited university. The degree must be related to business. Applicants must possess a degree in a field such as business, law or finance.

Step 2

Have at least five years business experience in a related field. Preference will be given to individuals who have a legal background, worked in professional accounting, real estate, insurance or banking.

Step 3

Possess at least a basic knowledge of computers and software. If you do not know how to use a computer, take a course.

Step 4

Show that you have an above-average ability to communicate with others both verbally and in writing. You will also have to pass an English proficiency exam.

Step 5

Set up your notary practice. Again, be patient. This process can take up to two and a half years to complete.

I wanted to write about the Canada notary mainly because I received a question from a loyal reader in Canada. She was having difficulty finding information. In my attempts to assist her, I realized that there is not much information concerning the Canada Notary. I decided that I could share what information I have been able to find as well as ask for assistance from our readers.

If you have any Canada Notary information, please click here and let us know. We are looking for any relevant information you can give us about Canada Notary so we can share the information with others who are interested.

Many Thanks!


I have some updates for you. I have found, although not confirmed, that applications for Canada Notary can be obtained through the Ministry of the Attorney General. Phone number: 416-326-4064 and Fax: 416-326-4065.

Also, I have found the Ontario Notary Act that is interesting. It can be found Here.

Canada Notary Duties (Does not include BC)

Here is a list of some of the notary duties for Canada. The more I read about the Canadian notary system, the more I am impressed. Like I indicated before, many of the duties are similar to the duties of a US lawyer and, I have found, are similar to those of notaries around the world.

I have had some experience with notaries (or the equivalent) in Russia, China, Philippines, Vietnam, Japan and others. I am working on providing information on those now.

At any rate, here is a list of some, but not all, Canadian Notary duties:

* Administer or commission oaths and affirmations

* Certify and witness affidavits, declarations or other documents

* Take acknowledgments

* Take depositions or testimony

* Commission Affidavits of Service

* Drafting an Affidavit

* Statutory Declaration Confirming Identity

* Statutory Declaration of Marital Status

* Statutory Declaration re: Ownership of Property

* Prepare wills, mortgages, and other legal documents.

* Provide official authentication / witnessing of signature

* Certify true copy of school/college diplomas, certificates, university degrees

* Certify a document as a true copy

* Provide affidavits of lost document

* Letter of invitation for the purposes of applying for a Canadian visitor's visa

* Name changes

* Notarial certificates

* Duplicate original notarization

* Noting and protesting of bills of exchange

* Preparation of ships' protests.

* Passport Application: (includes certification of applicant's photo, declaration in lieu of guarantor and certification of documents that support the applicant's identity

* Permanent Resident Card Applications: includes certification of applicant's photo, declaration in lieu of guarantor and certification of documents that support the applicant's identity

* Consent to Travel Documents: Drafting and notarization of consent to travel document for when a child is traveling without both parents