Notary Public 101


In this blog post, we explain key notary terms and definitions.

What is a Notary Public?

A notary public is someone who can legally verify that signatures, marks and copies of documents are true or genuine. They can also legally administer oaths, affirmations or statutory declarations. The Ontario Notaries Act sets out who can be a notary and what they can do. In Ontario, notaries are appointed by the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General pursuant to the Ontario Notaries Act. Generally, notaries in Ontario are licensed lawyers or paralegals and are members in good standing of the Law Society of Ontario.

What is a commissioner of oaths and affidavits?

Commissioner of oaths and affidavits: A commissioner of oaths and affidavits can legally administer oaths, affirmations or declarations. The Ontario Commissioners for Taking Affidavits Act sets out who can be a commissioner and what they can do. In Ontario, notaries are also commissioners of oaths and affidavits.

What does “notarization” mean?

“Notarizing a document” means a notary public verifies that the signatures, marks or copies of the document are true or genuine. To complete a notarization, the notary signs the document and stamps it with an official seal.

What are statutory declarations, affidavits and certified true copies?

A statutory declaration is a legal document that allows a person to declare that something is true in order to satisfy a legal requirement. Examples include statutory declarations of common law status and statutory declarations in lieu of guarantor.

An affidavit is a written sworn statement of fact made under oath or affirmation. Examples include OSAP affidavits, affidavits of identity and affidavits of service.

A certified true copy is a copy of an original document that a notary public has certified as a true and authentic copy. Examples include certified true copies of diplomas, degrees, college and university transcripts, passports and drivers’ licences.

Need a notary or commissioner for taking oaths?

Downtown Notary can help! We offer a full range of notary public and commissioner for taking oaths services, provided by fully accredited notaries. Have a question about our services? Contact us today. Ready to get started? Book your notary appointment online now!

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