May 21, 2024
How to Become a Notary Public in Ontario

This article is resourced to enlighten you through how to become a Notary Public in Ontario and what requirements is involved.

Are you a paralegal but new to Ontario or are you are a practicing lawyer and you wish to be a notary public? That is quite possible with a few steps and requirement you need to possess but we promise the steps aren’t that vigorous.

But, what does it really mean to be a Notary Public in Ontario? ,

A notary public is broadly a public officer whose job role in the common law is constituted by the law to serve the public in non-contentious issues like general financial transactions, powers-of-attorney, estates, and foreign or international businesses.

A notary public serve a number of functions such as: validating a client’s signature, administer oaths and affirmations; provide notice of foreign drafts, take statutory declarations, take affidavits and acknowledgements, authenticates the execution of certain classes of documents; protest notes and bills of exchange; prepare marine protests in cases of damages; provide exemplifications and notarial copies; as well as also perform other particular official acts depending on the jurisdiction

In simpler terms, a notary public is a name given to a person who witnesses oaths, signs affidavit, and certifies documents to be true copies of their original.

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This post will show you what it takes and how to become a Notary Public in Ontario, eligible candidates, required documents and experience etc. Keep reading!

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How to become a Notary Public in Ontario (Application)

Below is a guide on how to become a Notary Public in Ontario, and the official documents needed to apply and process your application and other outlined requirements which is usually processed by the Official Documents Services and issues a Certificate of Appointment.

Before you apply to become a Notary Public in Ontario, you will need to meet certain requirements some main ones include:

Eligibility
You need to be a lawyer or paralegal in Ontario, as this position is only eligible to them and it qualifies you for an appointment as a notary public after being licensed by the Law Society of Ontario (LSO).

Worthy of note is that, this is a lifetime appointment and being in good standing with the LSO is relevant. Applicants can only be lawyers and paralegals working in Ontario.

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How to Apply
To apply for the position of a notary public, you will need to:

  • download and complete the Notary Public Application form online
  • click “Submit” on the form to email the application to Official Document Services electronically
  • pay the required fee by mail to: Official Documents Services
  • Submit you application to the department in charge at Toronto, Ontario M7A 0B6

Cost Involved

  • Private lawyers and paralegals will pay a stipulated $145 fee (one-time fee, all taxes exempted)
  • While, government lawyers and paralegals will pay $0 (which means that their fees will be waived)

Payment Process

Send a cheque or money order by mail made payable to: The Minister of Finance, Ontario.

Do not forget to include both your LSO number and application reference number in the memo section of the cheque or money order.

Note: Applicants who do not wish to submit their application online have the alternative to download, print and submit a completed hard copy version application by mail to the ODS office. Applications are not accepted by fax.

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After Completing Your Application Process

Once your application is fully processed, the next step on how to become a Notary Public in Ontario is you should expect to receive a notary public package in the mail with a Certificate of Appointment issued by Official Documents Services (ODS), this will come alongside a form where you can provide a specimen of your embossed seal and signature.

This is what the ODS will use to authenticate any future documents that you notarize. If you fail to send in this form, ODS will be unable to authenticate any documents you notarize.

For Non-lawyers and Non-paralegals
If you are neither a lawyer nor a paralegal and you are asking how to become a notary public in Ontario, one of the first things you will need to do, is sending out an application to be appointed a notary public through the Ministry of the Attorney General and wait for a feedback

Same requirement goes for Commissioners for taking affidavits: You need to apply for this designation through the Ministry of the Attorney General.

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