We are often asked if we can perform an apostille. An apostille is an authentication of a public document issued pursuant to the 1961 Hague Convention abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. The Convention provides for the simplified certification of public (including notarized) documents to be used in countries that have joined the convention. Simply put, you would want to get an apostille done on a document that you would be using in another country.
Canada is not a signatory of the Hague Convention, and therefore apostille is not done in Canada. So how can you authenticate a document for use outside of Canada?
It's pretty easy, actually. All you need is a Certificate of Authentication issued by the Official Documents Services of the Government of Ontario. ODS authenticates documents by verifying the seal, stamp and signature of notaries public in Ontario and commissioners for taking affidavits who have been appointed by the Ministry of the Attorney General. ODS does not validate the contents of documents. The process takes about 30 minutes and costs between $16 and $32. For more information on how to have your documents certified by ODS, you can visit the Government of Ontario website.
If you, like most other people, are unable to cram a 30 minute trip to ODS into your busy schedule, Downtown Notary Toronto can help. In addition to notarizing your documents, we can take your documents to ODS and have them authenticated for you. If you are interested in this service, please contact us to learn more.