Toronto Notary


What does a Notary do?


In Ontario, a Notary primarily does three things: (1) witness signatures, (2) provide certified true copies of documents, and (3) commission oaths or affidavits. Each of these tasks sound simple, and most of the time, they are. However, this blog post will shed light on some of the nuances between the three and some things to look out for before your appointment.


Witness Signature
Typically, these documents require a notary to confirm your identity and witness your signature. It is pretty straight forward most of the time. From time to time, our customers will present us with documents where the name on the document does not match the name on the government issued photo identification. In these situations, we request the client amend the document with the correct name before our notaries can witness the signature. Typically, these appointments last less than 5 minutes.

Certified True Copies
A certified true copy is a document provided by a notary that can be used overseas when the original is unavailable. Most clients bring the copies, along with the original document, to their appointment. A notary will compare the original and stamp and seal it once they are satisfied it is a true copy. Our notaries do not require to keep a true copy of a certified true copy.   

Sworn Oaths
Sworn oaths in front of a notary are the equivalent of an oath sworn in front of a judge in a court room. The oath legally binds the oath taker that the contents of the document are true and accurate and no false representations have been made. The oath taker must orally say “yes” before an oath can be completed. Nodding of the head does not qualify. As with signature witnessing, our notaries must retain a copy of the government issued photo identification along with the sworn statement.

The reason we must retain a copy of these documents is simple: in two years, we will not remember the appointment but may be asked to confirm an individual swore an oath. We need to be able to point back to a specific person. However, we protect your documents by storing them securely in Google Drive and further encrypt the documents using BoxCryptor.

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