Say you need to use a document abroad but aren’t sure what steps to take. You search “notary public near me” and countless hits come up. How do you decide who to go to and what needs to be done to prepare your document for foreign use? This article will explain some of the basics.
What is notarization of a document?
A document that is notarized has been certified by a notary public. Every lawyer in BC is a notary public and can provide notarial services to you. When it comes to use of documents in a foreign jurisdiction, notarization is most often required to:
- Witness your signature on the document; and/or
- Certify that a copy of the document was made from an original.
A BC notary public can also receive statutory declarations and commission affidavits.
What is authentication and legalization of a document?
Authentication and legalization (also known as “apostille” in other countries) is often necessary before you can make foreign use of a Canadian document. Common examples of documents that may require authentication and legalization include powers of attorney, statutory declarations, birth certificates, death certificates, transcripts, affidavits, and certified true copies of original documents.
Who authenticates a document?
BC notarizations are made by lawyers and notaries, while authentications are done by either Global Affairs Canada or the BC Authentication Program. The government that issued the document is the one that authenticates it. So, for example, BC’s Authentication Program handles authentication of documents issued by a provincial official, including:
- BC court documents;
- Criminal record checks (documents issued by the RCMP or by a police station);
- Documents issued by the BC Vital Statistics Agency including Certificates of Birth, Death, Marriage, and Change of Name, Marriage Search, etc,; and
- Documents issued by BC Registries including Certificates of Incorporation, Good Standing, Change of Name, Partnership, Sole Proprietorship, Status, Notice of Articles, etc.
Do documents need to be notarized before authentication?
Documents often need to be notarized before they can be sent for authentication. Documents that must be notarized prior to authentication include powers of attorney, statutory declarations, affidavits, criminal record checks, and certified true copies of other original documents. Translated documents will also require a certified, notarized translation for the purposes of authentication. You should always confirm the specific requirements by contacting the embassy, high commission, or consulate of the country where you intend to use the document.
How do I find the right notary public near me?
There are over a million results if you Google “notary public near me” in Vancouver. The best way to find the right notary public is to consider why you need to use the document abroad. For example, if you need to ensure that documents will be legal and valid for foreign business purposes, talk to a lawyer with corporate and commercial expertise. If your document is for immigration, travel or a foreign work visa, your best bet is to consult with a lawyer who has experience with such matters. Contact Invicta Law Corporation to talk about your documents and find out more about our notarial services.