What Role Does Notary Play in the Attestation Process?

Jul 11, 2017

You might have heard before that in order to complete your documents’ attestation, you may need to have them notarized first. That could leave you wondering; what exactly is notarization? What is the role of notarization in the attestation process? Notarization can be the first step in the attestation of some documents. If you don’t know what notarization is, or don’t know if your document needs notarization, we can help clear it up for you.

What is Notarization?

In the Roman Empire, notaries originated as special stenographers who kept records in the courts. Some accounts even place their origins as far back as the scribes of ancient Egypt. They have been entrusted to witness and record important events throughout history. Leonardo Da Vinci was the son of a notary, and there is evidence that William Shakespeare may have been employed by a notary, or been a notary himself.

Today, notaries execute official acknowledgements under oath testifying to the authenticity of the documents they sign or witness the signatures of. This is not exactly the same as the authentication process for other documents, which is why it is required only in certain cases. A notarization is a ministerial act, which means that notaries will carry out official laws and regulations impartially. While it is sometimes the case that, in countries like the US, almost anyone can obtain a notary license, In Canada a notary is most often a legal professional.

How to find a notary might not be as important as making sure your documents are well prepared before and after they are notarized, fortunately, the Legalization Service Centre can help you with both. We can connect you with professional notaries and make sure your documents meet the necessary requirements for your purpose.

When Will I Need a Notary?

A notarization will be a required first step in your document’s attestation under some circumstances. If you are submitting a criminal record check for authentication and legalization, and that record check has been issued by a local police department, you will need a notarization. If you require a Certified True Copy of your documents made, you will need a notary. Notarization is typically required for documents concerning Power of Attorney, affidavits and other contracts where a witness to the signing is necessary.

Which Documents Likely Won’t Require a Notary?

It is uncommon to seek out the help of a notary for the attestation of vital records, such as birth certificates, death certificates or marriage certificates. If you have had your criminal record check issued at the headquarters of the RCMP in Ottawa, they have taken your fingerprints and this is unlikely to require notarization. Additionally, if issued by an accredited college or university, documents such as diplomas or degrees will not need notarization if all relevant seals and signatures are clearly visible.

The process of document attestation can be complicated. As always, we’re here to help you every step of the way. The Legalization Service Centre is here to help you get your documents prepared, notarized, authenticated, legalized and fully attested in any situation.

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