Services of a notary
Under the Canada Evidence Act and related provincial and territory regulations, Canadian consular officials have the ability to execute a variety of notarial services abroad. These services are only provided when no local service providers are available. Consular personnel are unable to provide legal advice or represent individuals in court, nor can they post bail, pay legal expenses, or pay penalties.
Authentication of papers is sometimes required by foreign governments and organizations before they can accept them. Consult Global Affairs Canada’s Authentication of Documents section to understand how to authenticate Canadian documents so that they can be accepted internationally. Before leaving Canada, you should have your documents validated.
Before you leave Canada, read the dedicated section on the Authentication of Documents webpage on obtaining a Statement in Lieu of Certification of Non-Impediment to Marriage Abroad. Consular officers from Canada may potentially be able to assist you.
Officials at the nearest Canadian government office abroad can authenticate foreign documents such as death and marriage certificates. Each customized service has a fee associated with it.
When local service providers are unavailable, consular officers in other countries may perform various notarial services, such as witnessing a signature on a document and certifying true copies of original documents provided to the official. Each of these services has a fee associated with it, depending on where it is provided.
Contact the nearest Canadian government office abroad for further information. Consular officials can give a list of local lawyers who can assist Canadian travelers with legal and notarial matters.
Officials from the Canadian government can:
⦁ provide a list of local lawyers, notaries, and legal translation services that is up to date
⦁ supply you with local rules and regulations sources of information
⦁ For a charge, they will issue a Statement in Lieu of a Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage Abroad.
⦁ verify original seals and signatures on some international documents for a fee, if comparable specimens are produced by local authorities.
⦁ direct you to the Department of Global Affairs The Authentication and Service of Documents Section of Canada is responsible for authenticating Canadian documents so that they can be used internationally.⦁ If necessary, offer a list of local authentication service providers.
if notarial services are not available locally:
⦁ certify that specific documents are authentic copies and meet tight requirements
⦁ perform oaths and affirmations
⦁ signatures of witnesses
If the documents are to be used in Canada, they must be notarized.
Officials from the Canadian government in other countries are unable to:
⦁ interfering with private legal matters or the judicial affairs of another country
⦁ advice on legal matters
⦁ get a criminal background check done on your behalf
⦁ provide letters of assurance
⦁ issue letters of facilitation that can be used as travel documents, proof of citizenship, or identification.
⦁ legal/notarial documents to draft or alter
⦁ verifying a Canadian’s identification on behalf of a third party
⦁ Documents are stamped to confirm that they have been “seen” at a Canadian government office in another country.
⦁ certify the authenticity, validity, or trustworthiness of documents
⦁ suggest lawyers or vouch for their expertise or dependability
⦁ evaluate legal papers or offer advise on their substance, legitimacy, or other aspects
⦁ validate documents requiring a consular official to act as an agent on behalf of another entity
⦁ Authenticate papers with content that could be misleading or used fraudulently.
⦁ a marriage should be solemnized
⦁ issue a certificate confirming marital status, non-impediment, or marriage freedom in Canada or overseas
⦁ produce a document stating that a divorce obtained outside of Canada will be recognized in Canada
In Canada, who can verify an accurate photocopy of original documents?
⦁ First Nations band chiefs
⦁ the oaths commissioner
⦁ Service Canada Centre employee functioning in an official capacity
⦁ capacity as an official
⦁ mortuary director
⦁ a judge who oversees the administration of justice
⦁ attorney, magistrate, and notary
⦁ a financial institution’s manager
⦁ medical and health care providers: chiropractors, dentists, doctors, naturopathic doctors, nurse practitioners, ophthalmologists, optometrists, pharmacists, psychologists, and registered nurses
⦁ a member of parliament or a member of their team
⦁ a member or staff member of a provincial legislature
⦁ religious minister
⦁ the city clerk
⦁ a federal or provincial government department official or one of its departments
⦁ an embassy, consulate, or high commission official
⦁ a representative of a country with which Canada has a mutual social security arrangement
⦁ law enforcement officer
⦁ engineer, professional
⦁ worker in social services
⦁ Professor at a university
Please keep in mind that photocopies of your own documents cannot be certified. You also can’t ask a family member to do it for you. If one of the people listed above certifies your documents, they must meet the following requirements. They have to:
⦁ Compare the original document to the photocopy that was provided.
⦁ Make a note of their official position, sign it, and publish their name.
⦁ Take note of the date on which the photocopies were certified.
⦁ Give your contact information.
Include the following statement: This photocopy is an exact replica of the original document that has not been tampered with in any manner.
Please keep in mind that you must provide all of the above information to avoid any delays. Otherwise, your application may be rejected, forcing you to start again and give a new, accurate copy.
What is the difference between a certified copy and an uncertified copy?
Depending on the type of document, a certified copy is a photocopy that has been certified by a professional or granted by the government. A traditional certified copy is a photocopy of a document that has been professionally certified. A true certified copy, on the other hand, is a copy of a document provided by the government officials who originally issued it.
A notarized or certified copy indicates that your document (or a separate certificate) has been sealed by a Canadian notary public or commissioner for oaths. The seal or signature indicates that the document has been prepared, signed, and attached.