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How to Authenticate Documents in Canada?

Oct 10, 2016

Authentication of documents in Canada doesn’t often cross your mind unless you actually need to authenticate documents. Here’s what you need to know about the authentication process for documents in Canada.

What is to Authenticate Documents?

Often known as legalization, to authenticate documents means to certify the the signature, seal, or position on the document. It is done by a person who has the authority to issue, execute, or certify a document in one jurisdiction so that it can be recognized by another jurisdiction. However, to authenticate documents does not necessarily mean to confirm the content of the document is genuine, legal, or credible. The Legalization Service Centre (LSC) can take care of Authentication and Legalization of documents in Canada from start to finish. You cannot perform legalization on your own document, of course. Please click here to read more about LSC.

How to Send in Documents?

In Person – All you have to do is to go to Legalization Service Centre office with your documents. You may need an appointment depending on the location. You can also have another person bring in to authenticate documents for you if you do not have the time. Some offices are closed on the weekends and most are closed on holidays. If the documents cannot be immediately authenticated, you’ll need to come back at a later date to pick them up. You can wait if it won’t take too long, though. If they cannot be done immediately, you will be contacted when it is time to come back and get your authenticated documents.

Mailing Documents – You’ll need to fill out and enclose an LSC Order form (hard copy is preferred) which you can fill out online on our website here: https://www.legalizationservicecentre.ca/lsc-online-order-form/ It is probably going to be untrackable if you use regular mail and the Legalization Service Centre is not responsible if the documents get lost in the mail. It is better to use express courier services to mail your documents in like: Express Canada Post, Fedex, Purolator, UPS so that you can track your shipments all the way down. The processing time may differ on the type of documents so it is recommended to use express couriers.

How Long It Takes to Authenticate Documents?

Generally, to authenticate the documents takes about 7-8 business days (two weeks). Add in 5 business days at minimum if you are using Canadian regular mail services. If you need to authenticate documents urgently or sooner than two weeks the Legalization Service Centre will be your first point of contact as LSC authenticates documents in less than two business days rush service. It is much easier to bring your documents in in-person if you have the time, but that depends on your schedule. Bringing them to the office in-person will ensure they get there in good condition. If not, please use one of recognizable and reliable courier services we mentioned above and mail the documents in to our office in Ottawa. Once the documents are received, they will be processed immediately.

This should be the basis of what you need to know to get your documents Authenticated in Canada.

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