Authentication of documents: 3. Get your document notarized

The Apostille Convention will take effect in Canada on January 11, 2024

Visit the Changes to authentications services in Canada for information on changes to authentication services in Canada.

Our processing times are higher than normal

Check the Alternatives to authentication page before sending your request to the Authentication Services Section.

If there are alternative options available for any document in your submission, it may take longer to process your request.

Please be aware that processing times are consistent whether you submit directly to our department or through a third-party service provider.

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Does my document need to be notarized?

Find out if your document needs to be notarized before it can be authenticated by our office. If your original document cannot be authenticated, we may be able to authenticate a notarized copy. Check the specific requirements for your document in step 2.

Who can notarize my document?

Any Canadian notary whose signature we recognize can notarize your document.

If we are unable to recognize the signature of your notary, invite your notary to register with us. The notary can do this by providing a specimen signature.

How do I find a Canadian notary?

Search online for "notary public". The rules governing Canadian notaries vary between provinces and territories. The notary will tell you what they are able to do to notarize your document.

How is my document notarized?

A Canadian notary signs and seals your document. The notary can also prepare a separate certificate (sign it and attach it to your document).

When signing your document, the notary must:

  • have a valid certificate of appointment
  • handwrite their signature in ink
  • apply a stamp or seal showing their full name as it appears on their certificate of appointment and the Canadian province or territory in which they have been appointed
  • indicate the act they performed (e.g. certifying a true copy)
  • indicate the date on which they notarized the document
  • indicate the date on which their appointment as a notary expires (if applicable)

What can my notary do?

In signing your document, the notary may, for example:

  • witness a signature
  • receive a declaration or affidavit
  • certify that a document is a true copy of the original

Translated documents

A Canadian notary may also be able to certify a translation to be true if they speak both languages. If that is the case, ensure that the notary indicates on the document both of the following:

  • They attest to speaking both languages
  • They certify the accuracy of the translation
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