Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a Notary Public?
A Notary Public is a public officer, appointed by the government, who serves as an impartial witness in the signing and acknowledging of documents and various other acts.
2. Why would I need a Notary Public?
A Notary Public can authenticate and certify signatures, administer oaths, witness affidavits, and perform other acts depending on the jurisdiction.
3. How do I find a reputable Notary Public in Toronto?
You can search online directories, ask for referrals from legal professionals, or visit websites of professional organizations related to notaries in Toronto.
4. How much does it cost to get a document notarized in Toronto?
Fees can vary based on the nature of the document and the notary's discretion. It's best to call ahead and ask for a quote.
5. How long does the notarization process take?
The actual notarization is quick, often taking just a few minutes. However, it's essential to review the document to ensure accuracy.
6. Do I need an appointment for notarization?
While some notaries require appointments, places like Notary Plus in Toronto offer walk-in services.
7. Can a Notary Public provide legal advice?
No, a Notary Public cannot provide legal advice unless they are also a lawyer or a paralegal.
8. What identification is required for notarization?
A government-issued photo ID, like a driver's license or passport, is commonly required.
9. Can a Notary Public notarize a document in a foreign language?
Yes, but the notary must understand the language or ensure that the signer understands the content.
10. What if my document has blanks?
All blanks in a document should be filled in before notarization.
11. Can a Notary Public refuse to serve me?
Yes, if the notary has concerns about the identity of the signer, the signer's willingness, or the legality of the document.
12. Can a Notary Public notarize electronic documents?
Some Notaries in Toronto are equipped to notarize electronic documents, but it's essential to confirm ahead of time.
13. Are notarized documents valid internationally?
It depends on the country's requirements where the document will be used. Some countries may require an apostille or further certification.
14. What's the difference between a Notary Public and a Commissioner of Oaths?
Both can administer oaths, but a Notary Public has broader powers, including certifying documents.
15. Can a Notary Public notarize their own documents?
No, it's a conflict of interest for a notary to notarize their documents.
16. What if I can't appear in person for notarization?
In-person appearance is typically required, but due to recent technological advances, some jurisdictions might allow online notarizations.
17. How long is a notarization valid?
The notarization itself doesn't expire, but the document's validity might, depending on its nature.
18. How can I become a Notary Public in Toronto?
Requirements vary, but generally, you need to apply through the province's governing body, meet specific criteria, and pass an examination.
19. Can I get a document notarized on the weekend?
Some Notaries Public in Toronto offer weekend services. It's best to call and confirm.
20. Can a Notary Public witness a will?
Yes, a Notary Public can witness a will, but they cannot provide legal advice on its contents unless they are also a lawyer or a licensed paralegal.
21. Is notarization the same as authentication?
Not exactly. Notarization attests to the authenticity of a signature, while authentication verifies a document's legitimacy for international use.
22. Can I get a photocopy of a document notarized?
A Notary Public can notarize a copy certification, attesting that it's a true copy of the original.
23. What is a mobile notary?
A mobile notary travels to the client's location for notarization, offering convenience.
25. What is an apostille?
An apostille is a certification that verifies the authenticity of a notarized document for international use in countries that are part of the Hague Apostille Convention.
26. Can a Notary Public perform marriages in Toronto?
No, a Notary Public in Toronto does not have the authority to perform marriages.
27. Can I get a document notarized for another person using a power of attorney?
Yes, as long as you provide the original power of attorney and proper identification.
28. Do notarized documents need to be registered in Toronto?
Not necessarily, but depending on the document type, registration may be required.
29. What if I lose a notarized document?
The Notary Public cannot provide duplicates. You'd need to get a new copy of the document and have it notarized again.
30. What actions can lead to a Notary Public losing their commission?
Misconduct, fraud, or failure to comply with the laws and regulations governing notarial acts can result in the revocation of their commission.
31. Can a notary public refuse to notarize a document based on its content?
Yes, if the notary believes the content is illegal or questionable, they may refuse to notarize it.
32. Can a Notary Public notarize for family members?
While it's not illegal, it's recommended to avoid notarizing documents for immediate family to prevent potential conflicts of interest or questions of impartiality.
33. What's the difference between a seal and a stamp?
A seal usually embosses a document, leaving a raised impression, while a stamp provides inked information. Both are used by notaries, but the requirements vary by jurisdiction.
34. If I don't understand a document, will the notary explain it to me?
A Notary Public is not responsible for explaining legal documents. If you don't understand it, you should seek legal advice.
35. What do I do if my document requires witnesses?
You must provide your witnesses. Some notaries might have staff who can act as witnesses, but it's best to check in advance.
36. How can I verify the authenticity of a notary's commission?
You can check with the governing body or agency that oversees Notaries Public in Toronto.
37. What does "jurat" mean in notarization?
A jurat is a part of a document where the oath or affirmation is stated. It indicates that the signer swore to or affirmed the truthfulness of the document's contents.
38. Can a Notary Public edit or draft legal documents?
No, a Notary Public cannot draft or edit legal documents unless they are also a licensed attorney.
39. Do all documents need to be signed in the presence of a Notary Public?
For a document to be notarized, it typically needs to be signed in the notary's presence. However, there are exceptions, so always ask the notary about specific requirements.
40. What happens if a notary makes an error on a document?
Mistakes can result in the notarization being invalid. The document may need to be re-notarized correctly.
41. How do I file a complaint against a Notary Public in Toronto?
You can file a complaint with the governing body or agency overseeing Notaries Public in Toronto, providing all necessary details of the misconduct or issue.
42. Are there different types of notarial acts?
Yes, common notarial acts include acknowledgments, jurats, oaths or affirmations, and copy certifications.
43. Can a Notary Public reject a form of identification I provide?
Yes, if the notary believes the ID is invalid or doesn't meet the required standards, they can refuse to accept it.
44. If I have a digital document, can it be printed and then notarized?
Yes, many notaries will accept printed digital documents for notarization, but you should ensure that the printed copy accurately represents the original digital document.
45. Is there a governing body for Notaries Public in Toronto?
Yes, Notaries Public in Toronto and the rest of Ontario are regulated by the Ministry of the Attorney General or other designated bodies.
46. Can documents notarized in Toronto be disputed in court?
Yes, while notarization verifies the authenticity of a signature, the content or validity of a document can still be disputed in court.
47. Do Notaries Public in Toronto require ongoing training or re-certification?
While initial training and certification are mandatory, requirements for ongoing training or re-certification vary. It's advisable for Notaries Public to stay updated with changing laws and best practices.
48. Can a Notary Public refuse service if I have a physical disability?
No, Notaries Public must accommodate individuals with disabilities, provided the individual can communicate their willingness to sign and understand the document.
49. Can a document be notarized if it's already been signed?
Typically, signers must sign in the presence of the notary. However, in some cases, the signer can acknowledge that the signature is theirs in front of the notary.
50. Is there a difference between a notary in Toronto and other parts of Canada?
While the fundamental role of a notary remains consistent, specific duties, responsibilities, and regulations might vary by province.
51. How do I know if my document requires notarization?
Typically, documents will have a space for a notarial seal or state the requirement. If uncertain, consult with the entity requesting the document or seek legal advice.
52. Can I get a document notarized for use in a business transaction?
Yes, business-related documents like contracts or agreements can be notarized.
53. Is there a maximum number of documents a notary can notarize at one time?
There's no set maximum, but fees might be charged per document or signature.
54. Can a Notary Public help with immigration documents?
A Notary Public can notarize immigration documents .
55. What happens if a Notary Public violates their oath of office?
Violations can result in penalties, including fines, the suspension or revocation of their notarial commission, and possible legal consequences.
56. Can digital signatures be notarized?
Yes, but the Notary Public must be equipped and authorized to notarize electronic signatures.
57. Is a notary seal required on all notarized documents in Toronto?
The requirements can vary. Some documents might be valid with just a notary stamp, while others might require an embossed seal.
58. Can a Notary Public also act as a witness on the same document they are notarizing?
No, the notary's role is to verify and attest to the authenticity of signatures. A separate individual should act as a witness.
59. Can I get a refund if there's an error in the notarization process?
Policies vary. Some notaries might offer a refund or re-notarize at no additional charge, while others might have different policies.
60. Can a Notary Public validate the accuracy of a document's contents?
No, a Notary Public only attests to the identity of the signer and the voluntary nature of the signature. They do not verify the accuracy or truthfulness of a document's contents.