LYNN ARCHBOLD
Lawyer
Notary Public
The act of a lawyer signing/attesting to a document is known as a “notarization”.   The most common types of documents that people need to have notarized are:  Death Certificates, Wills, Powers of Attorney, School Transcripts, Travel Consent forms for minors travelling abroad, documents to be used out-of-province, Court Orders/Pleadings, etc.. The act of notarizing a document is not the same as certifying the trueness of a document.  A document to be notarized will be prefaced with a form that the Notary will sign and affix his/her seal to the form.  A “certified true copy” is not the same as a “Notarial Copy”.

Some documents will only require a Commissioner of Oaths to witness the document – a lawyer in good standing can be both a Commissioner and a Notary.  In some law firms (and in my law firm), I have a full time Commissioner of Oaths on staff.   
It is imperative that the Notary compare document to be notarized with the original.  In the case of notarizing a person’s signature, the person signing must be present with the Notary and sign the document before the Notary.
What is a Notary Public?
Notaries Public record matters of judicial importance as well as private transactions or events where an officially authenticated record or a document drawn up with professional skill or knowledge is required. Significant weight attaches to documents certified by notaries public. Documents certified by notaries public are sealed with the notary's seal and are recorded by the notary public in a register maintained by him/her. These are known as "notarial acts".

A Notary usually affixes his/her seal to legal documents with an official seal.

The professional work of a Notary is covered by an insurance plan which protects the public in most jurisdictions, but you should verify this in your own dealings with any notary anywhere. Traditionally, notaries public recorded matters of judicial importance as well as private transactions or events where an officially authenticated record or document drawn up with professional skill or knowledge was required.

Notarial Acts
Notarial acts and certificates are recognized in countries of the British Commonwealth and some other countries without the need for any further certification from the respective Foreign Ministry or foreign diplomatic missions.
What Does a Notary Do?
A Notary Public or Notary is a legal officer with specific judicial authority or a public officer appointed under authority of law with power to:
• Administer or commission oaths and affirmations
• Certify and witness affidavits, declarations or other documents
• Take acknowledgments
• Take depsitions or testimony
• Commission Affidavits of Service
• Drafting an Affidavit
• Statutory Declaration of Confirming Identity
• Statutory Declarations 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
• Provide affidavits of lost documents
• Letter of invitation for the purposes of applying for a Canadian visitor's visa
• Name changes
• Notarial certificates
• Dulicate original notarizations
• Noting and protesting of bills of exchange
• Preparation of ships' protests
• Passport Application: (includes certifications of applicant's photo, declaration in lieu of guarantor and ceritification of documents that support the applicant's identity
• Permanant 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 of Travel Documents: Drafting and botarization of consent to travel document for when a child is traveling without both parents
• Draft a Power of Attorney
These are the most common services, but there are many others.
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of Waterloo - Wellington