Changes to authentication services in Canada

On this page you will find information about the Apostille Convention and how it will change authentication services before and after it takes effect in Canada on January 11, 2024.

On this page

The Apostille Convention

When the Apostille Convention comes into effect in Canada on January 11, 2024, authenticated documents will include a standard certificate called an apostille. The apostille eliminates steps required to get documents accepted in countries where the convention is in effect, including the legalization by a consular office of the country of destination. This will simplify the acceptance of Canadian public documents in the more than 120 countries that have signed the convention.

For more information, consult the list of countries that are signatories of the Apostille Convention.

Changes to authentication services in Canada

Currently, we issue authentication certificates for documents issued or notarized anywhere in Canada.

As of January 11, 2024, we will be responsible for issuing apostilles for documents issued by the Government of Canada and for documents issued or notarized in specific provinces and territories. Below, you will find full details of the changes.

Documents for which Global Affairs Canada will issue apostilles

You will send the following documents to Global Affairs Canada:

If your document was notarized in the provinces and territories listed above, you will send it to Global Affairs Canada no matter where it was originally issued.

Some documents need to be notarized before a competent authority can authenticated them. This may include some documents issued by the Government of Canada. Once the Apostille Convention comes into effect, the province or territory where your document was notarized is what will determine the competent authority where you must send it. Check the existing requirements before submitting them.

Authentication at Canadian offices abroad

Canadian offices abroad, that currently offer authentication services, will be issuing apostilles as of January 11, 2024. However, these offices will only offer apostille services for urgent cases during the transition period between January 11, 2024, and January 28, 2024.

Documents for which the provincial competent authority will issue apostilles

As of January 11, 2024, competent authorities in the following provinces will be responsible for issuing apostilles for documents issued or notarized in their respective provinces:

You will send documents issued in the provinces listed above to that province’s competent authority.

Regardless of where your document was issued, if your document was notarized in Alberta, Ontario, or Saskatchewan, you will send it to that province’s competent authority.

In British Columbia and Quebec, the Competent Authority can authenticate a notarized document only if the original document was issued in the province.

If we receive these documents after January 11, 2024, we will return them to the applicants without being authenticated.

Information about current authentication requirements

Where to send notarized documents for authentication

The table below shows where you will need to send your document, depending on where it was notarized. Check the links below for information on notarization and other requirements.

Document issued byNotarized inSend to
  • The Government of Canada
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nova Scotia
  • Nunavut
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Yukon
AlbertaMinistry of Justice of Alberta
OntarioMinistry of Public and Business Service Delivery of Ontario
SaskatchewanMinistry of Justice and Attorney General of Saskatchewan
  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Ontario
  • Saskatchewan
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nova Scotia
  • Nunavut
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Yukon
Global Affairs Canada
AlbertaMinistry of Justice of Alberta
British ColumbiaMinistry of the Attorney General of British Columbia
OntarioMinistry of Public and Business Service Delivery of Ontario
SaskatchewanMinistry of Justice and Attorney General of Saskatchewan
British ColumbiaBritish ColumbiaMinistry of the Attorney General of British Columbia
QuebecQuebecMinistère de la Justice du Québec
A foreign governmentAny Canadian province or territoryCanadian authorities do not authenticate foreign documents, even if they have been notarized by a Canadian notary or notary public. The country that issued the documents may authenticate them or obtain an apostille for them.

Getting an apostille if you’ve already sent us your documents for authentication

We will continue to issue authentication certificates until January 10, 2024.

If you want an apostille instead of an authentication certificate for a document you submittedto us before November 19, 2023, you can ask us to hold your request. To do so, send an email with the following information to Global Affairs Canada’s Authentication Services at apostille@international.gc.ca.

In the subject line of your email, write:

In the body of your email, give:

Based on current processing times, we expect to issue apostilles to documents we receive on or after November 20, 2023. If you submitted after that date, you do not need to take further action.

Using documents already authenticated in countries that are signatories of the Apostille Convention

If we have already authenticated your document, we may not issue an apostille, even if you resubmit it.

Documents authenticated before the Apostille Convention came into effect on January 11, 2024, may need to be legalized by the foreign representative office of the country of destination before they can be used in a country that is a signatory of the Apostille Convention.

To find out whether a country requires your document to be legalized, contact the country’s consular office. For contact information, consult Foreign representatives in Canada: Consular offices’ addresses.

Using Canadian documents in countries that aren’t signatories of the Apostille Convention

As of January 11, 2024, we will issue apostilles for all documents, even if you intend to use them in a country that is not a signatory of the Apostille Convention.

If you need to use a document in a country that is not a signatory of the Apostille Convention, you may need to get it authenticated by a competent authority in Canada and then have it legalized by the foreign representative office of the country of destination.

For information on a non-signatory country’s legalization requirement, contact the country’s foreign representative in Canada. For contact information, consult Foreign representatives in Canada: Consular offices’ addresses.

Using foreign documents in Canada

Canadian law does not require the authentication or legalization of foreign public documents before they can be used in Canada. This is not expected to change when the Apostille Convention comes into effect.

However, some individuals or institutions in Canada may still choose to accept only foreign documents that have been authenticated or have an apostille. How you apply to authenticate foreign documents will depend on where they were issued:

Competent authorities in Canada will not issue apostilles for foreign documents, even if they are notarized by a Canadian notary or notary public.

Verify the issuance of an apostille

To verify an apostille issued with a certificate number starting with CA-, AB-, BC- or SK-, send an email to apostille@international.gc.ca and include the following information:

To verify an apostille with a certificate number starting with ON-, contact Ontario’s Official Documents Services.

To verify an apostille with a certificate number starting with QC-, contact Quebec’s Registre des apostilles (in French only).

Future developments

Electronic apostilles

Canadian competent authorities will issue apostilles in print form only. Global Affairs Canada expects to offer electronic apostilles, or “e-apostilles,” in the future.

For more information or to subscribe for updates

If, after checking this page, you still have questions about the implementation of the Apostille Convention in Canada, email Global Affairs Canada’s Authentication Services at apostille@international.gc.ca. To sign up on our mailing list, send an email with the word “Subscribe” in the subject line.

We will not be able to respond to questions about provincial authentication services.

For general information about authentication services at Global Affairs Canada, please visit Authentication of documents: 1. Before you start.

List of countries where the Apostille Convention is not in effect (as of December 2023)

The following list is provided for your convenience only and it is your responsibility to verify the accuracy of the information listed there.

* The Apostille Convention will come into effect in Rwanda on June 5, 2024.

For the list of countries that have signed the Apostille Convention, visit the Apostille Section of the Hague Conference on Private International Law.

Date Modified: