Immigration & Paralegal Services Notary Services

Witnessing or Notarization of Signature

Witnessing or Notarization of Signature

You’ve discovered that one or more papers require authentication and legalization. And now you’ve learned that your documents must be notarized first? This short essay discusses the notarization process in terms of document authentication and legalization.

What does it mean to notarize a document?

The signing of a document is notarized when it is witnessed by a specifically authorized individual known as a Notary Public. After that, the Notary Public will sign and stamp the paper, stating that they have witnessed the signature and verified the parties’ identities.

Why is it necessary to get my document notarized before it can be authenticated and legalized?

Essentially, notarization is the first stage in having your documents certified and approved in Canada, as outlined by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade’s laws.

Are there any papers that do not require notarization before being authenticated and legalized?

⦁ Certain documents do not need to be notarized in order to be authenticated by the Department of Foreign Affairs. This list includes the following items:
⦁ Long-form birth certificates, marriage certificates, and death certificates are examples of original vital statistics papers.
⦁ The RCMP headquarters in Ottawa conducts criminal record checks.
⦁ Degrees or certificates awarded by an approved educational institution that clearly display the registrar’s signature and seal, as well as a full signature, name, and title.

Who has the authority to notarize documents?

Notaries Public are allowed to notarize papers. Many lawyers also hold the title of Notary Public. You should be able to locate a Notary in your immediate region with ease.

Helpful Hints

If you must sign the paper, be sure to do it in front of the notary. They need to see you sign the document, so don’t do it ahead of time. Make sure the notary signs the document and that their name is printed properly. If the name of the notary cannot be read, the document will be rejected by the Department of Foreign Affairs.



Number of Document Copies. When you have an original document and want a certified copy of it made by the Notary.
Both the originals and photocopies should be brought. The original must be seen by the Notary, and our office does not have a photocopy or printer.

Please note that if you are duplicating two documents onto a single page (for example, a passport and a driver’s license), each photocopied image on the page must be sealed and certified separately by the Notary, which will result in a cost for each sealed picture.

Even if the front and back of a document are photocopied on distinct pages, they are counted as one certified copy.

Who is able to bring?

You may bring the original documents of another individual; the documents do not have to be yours.

Documents in a Foreign Language – The original documents can be in any language.

Is it better to go with black/white or color?

If the institution you’re submitting them to requires color copies, they’ll typically let you know; otherwise, black-and-white copies are usually acceptable.

Multi-Page Documents – A multi-page document just requires one seal, unless your institution specifies otherwise. Near his signature, the Notary will mark the number of pages in the document and stamp each page with his signature.

Certification of electronic documents

When the original document can only be located on a webpage of a website or in an email, we offer an Electronic Document Certification Service, in which the Notary certifies that the printout is a true copy of the electronic document.

Notaries usually certify copies of original papers where the Notary can see the original in person. Although similar, an Electronic Certification may not meet the legal requirements of the institution requesting your documents, particularly if the institution has specifically requested Certified Copies of original documents.

It is the Client’s obligation to determine whether an Electronic Certification will meet your institution’s needs; the Notary cannot guarantee that an Electronic Document Certification will be beneficial.

To use our Electronic Document Service, please click here. Please bring the website and/or email address, as well as a printout and/or Xerox of each of your electronic papers; our office does not have a copier or printer.

We can view your electronic papers on our office’s tablet, or if feasible, have the website and/or email address available on your own electronic device when you arrive at our office to save time. Each document’s downloading must be visible to the Notary.

Only one seal is required for a multi-page document. The Notary will seal the first page and stamp the other pages with his or her signature.
You may bring the documents of another individual; the documents do not have to be yours.

It doesn’t matter what language the original documents are written in.

Because electronic documents take substantially longer to process, there is a higher price for this service.

Please mention how many of your original documents will be electronic documents when scheduling an appointment with our office so that we can allocate additional time to your visit.

Witnessing/Notarizing a Signature

Any document should be signed in front of a notary. Out-of-province or out-of-country documents are acceptable.

It is possible for documents to be written in a foreign language. The Notary merely needs to make sure you’re who you say you are and watch you sign. In addition, if your English name is not already printed beside your signature, you will be prompted to do so.

The name on your government-issued photo ID must match the name on the paper you’re signing. If you have two last names, this is extremely significant.

The individual who is having their signature notarized is required by law to appear and sign in front of the Notary.

If your document requires an additional witness, please bring someone with you if possible; otherwise, we will ask another client to serve as the additional witness. However, you must present the extra witness for Wills and Continuing Powers of Attorney documents.