Apostille of a Document: Authentication and Legalization Services, Canada

Managing all aspects of document authentication and legalization services in Canada is known as apostille of a document. An Apostille stamp issues a certificate whereby a document can be used abroad. The Apostille procedure is meant to eliminate doubts in foreign countries with a 2-step procedure:

  • Authentication: by government agencies that have records of notaries public
  • Legalization: by the foreign consulate / embassy of the country where the document is to be used.

Many countries like to combine the above 2 steps into a single process known as Apostille. But in Canada for public documents to be recognized in foreign countries, the above traditional 2-step certification method is still employed.

“Authentication” removes the burden on foreign courts and authorities, by validating documents that originate outside their countries. Authentication is carried out by the DFAIT (Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade). At Notarizers, we will assist you with the entire authentication process. Below are the required steps:

Step 1: Notarization process requires the notary to either witness you sign a document or to compare your original document with a photocopy. A notarial certificate is issued by placing a seal and signature on the photocopy verifying it to be true. The next step is to authenticate the document.

Step 2: Authentication process verifies the legal authority and registration of the notary public/commissioner of oaths that notarized or commissioned your documents. Submit your documents and your identifications to Notarizers, we will obtain the stamp and seal of DFAIT. The final step is to make the document legal.

Step 3: Legalization is done by a foreign consulate or an embassy. Notarizers will also take care of this for you.

Notarizers provides the above services for a fee. If you need notarizaton, authentication and legalization services Canada, you can contact experts, Notarizers for this service for a free consultation on 416-782-5926, or Toll Free: 1-888-672-7266.

5 Steps to Authenticate a Notarized Document Abroad

Notarization services are one of the oldest consular functions and they usually refer to oaths, affidavits and acknowledgments. If you are traveling abroad, or planning on doing business, you may need proof of authentication for official documents issued to you in Ontario. Consulates and embassies ask for these certificates to ensure that various documents are valid.

Although most lawyers in Canada are Notaries Public, an Embassy or Consulate can also provide notarial and authentication services. When you go to any Canadian embassy or consulate abroad they can provide a service similar to the functions of a notary public in Canada. This also happens in the U.S. Like a U.S. notary public, the Canadian consular official must require the personal appearance of the person requesting the notarial service. You can also get a document notarized by a local foreign notary and then only get the document authenticated by a Canadian consul.

Unlike “notarization”, an “authentication” is the placing of a consular seal over the seal of a foreign authority, but the seal and signature have to be on file with the Consulate or Embassy. A consular authentication in no way attests to the authenticity of the contents of a document but merely attest to the seal and signature of the issuing authority. Authentication may be completed either in person or by mail.

Documents that can be authenticated

  • Birth, adoption, marriage, divorce or death certificates
  • Ownership of property documents
  • School, college or university admission papers and transcripts
  • Commercial documents
  • Business contracts dealing with incorporation and partnerships
  • Certificates approved for customs
  • Government documents

Step 1:

Contact us to verify requirements of the Consulate/Embassy.

Step 2:

Have your document notarized by Notarizers, a notary public service provider in Ontario.

Step 3:

For documents more than one-quarter inch (or 7 mm) thick, have 2 holes punched in the upper-left-hand corner, where the authentication certificate can be attached.

Step 4:

Pay the required fee, either in person or by post. Cheques and money orders are to be made payable to: Notarizers.

Step 5:

Mail the request or deliver it in person to us. Faxed documents are not accepted.

Authentication process

Authentication is not a validation. By comparing the signature and seal or stamp on the document against the information given by the notary public.

You will be issued a Certificate of Authentication attached to each document.

Standard processing time

We provide two processing options to clients: Express or Regular. Express is very fast, but more expensive, while the Regular is economical but takes longer time.

Getting Married in Canada

Are you planning to get married in Ontario? Congratulations! There are some government documents you need if you plan to marry in Ontario, such as a marriage license, a marriage certificate, and a just married application for changing your last name. You need to be at least 16 years old to get married legally in Canada and if you are below 18 you need the consent of both parents in writing.

Step 1: Forms to fill out before you marry

Before you get married, there are certain forms you need to fill out. This is either a marriage license, or a church publication and announcement known as the ‘the publication of banns. If either you or your spouse were married before, Banns cannot be published in that case you’ll need to get a marriage license.

You and your spouse, witnesses and the person who performed the ceremony will all sign the license or banns immediately after the marriage ceremony.

Step 2: Get a marriage license

Getting a marriage license requires 2 government-issued IDs per person getting married, one of which must include a photo. You may download a marriage license application form online. Acceptable IDs include:

  • Canadian Citizenship Card
  • Valid Passport
  • Valid Driver’s License
  • Birth Certificate (or change of name certificates)
  • Record of immigrant landing
  • Valid Ontario Photo Card

The validity of a marriage license is 3 months from the date of issue.

Step 3: Get a marriage certificate

Before you can get a marriage certificate, you need to register your marriage in Canada. The official who conducted your marriage you will do this by sending a complete and signed marriage license to us for notarization.

This important document provides a legal record of your marriage, listing the date, place and names of the people who were married. It is not only legal proof that you are married, but also allows you to:

  • Get certain social benefits
  • Settle an estate
  • Change your last name

Step 4: Change last name after marriage

When you marry, legally you need not change your last name (surname). But if you want to change your last name, you may use our help.

Special Cases:

1. Remarry after a divorce

If you are about to remarry after a divorce, you will need to carry your official divorce documents (below), in original, or court-certified copies.

  • the final decree
  • the final judgment
  • a certificate of divorce

2. Out-of-country divorces

If you were divorced outside of Canada, you need to show proof that you’re no longer married and these documents need to be verified by the government. This process can take up to four weeks. You will need to provide the following documents:

  • Marriage license application form that is completed and signed.
  • Statement of sole responsibility for each divorcee signed by both people who are planning to get married and a witness.
  • Legal opinion letter giving reasons why the divorce or annulment should be recognized in Ontario.
  • Divorce decree or annulment in original or court-certified copy in English or French.

If you are getting married in Ontario, or plan on having a marriage abroad, Notarizers can assist you with your documents. For more information, please call 416-782-5926 or Toll Free: 1-888-672-7266

Consequences If You Die Without a Will

Do you think that you do not need a Will? If you live in Canada, then rethink your decision before you put off your will creation and estate planning to a much later date. Consider the following consequences of dying without a will in Ontario.

1. No Executor: If you pass away without making a will in Canada, you will not have an executor. This means that someone must be appointed by a judge to manage your estate and it may cause delays, increase expenses, as well as cause frustrations to those you left behind.

2. No Guardians: if you leave behind any minor child(ren) when you die, the government can choose who takes care of your children instead of them being in the hands of someone you and your kids want.

3. No Burial Preferences: Some studies indicate that more than half of Canadians do not have a will and some 60% do not have arrangements for their funeral.

4. No Beneficiaries: Without a will, you cannot exclude or include beneficiaries.

Why Can a Will Financially Secure Your Children and Grandchildren?

  • Wills are a MUST to secure financial future of minor children and grandchildren and a family business or heirloom.
  • Your children may not get what you wished for and they may not have a trust when they reach age 18. The government can take your children’s share if they are minors, decide their financial future and take away part of your estate as fees.
  • If you children die before you and you want your estate to go to your grandchildren instead, only a will can help you in your time of distress.
  • Family businesses and heirlooms can remain in the family with a will.

Ultimately, your entire lifetime earnings, property, wealth and estate can be put in the hands of the law and government, which will decide on the financial fate of your near and dear ones.

To avoid these potential problems, you can plan ahead by making a Will in Canada, as part of a rewarding estate plan, that will be of great value to your family in the long run.

If you are in Ontario, Canada and need assistance and information regarding will preparation, will probate and legal wills in Canada, Notarizers can assist you. For a free consultation, Call us at 416-782-5926, Toll Free: 1-888-672-7266

Common Types of Power of Attorney in Canada

The two most common types of Power of Attorney are:

  1. Power of Attorney for Property
  2. Power of Attorney for Personal Care (or Health).

What is a Power of Attorney for Property?

If you give someone a Power of Attorney for Property, he or she can help you manage your finances, or when you become unable to manage your property in future, your money will be in safe hands.

Your ‘Property’ can include any of the following:

  • Your money
  • Your home (as an owner)
  • Anything else you own

Power of Attorney for Property is a document that legally permits your attorney to manage your finances and property, provided that you are mentally capable.

You can also give a Power of Attorney for Property for a limited period of time. For example, if you plan to be out of the country for a while, you might want someone else to manage your property only while you are away.

What is Power of Attorney for Personal Care?

For some decisions, like those involving medical treatment, the law states that a doctor and other health care givers must get your substitute decision-makers consent before taking any action. You can appoint anyone you choose as your attorney for personal care, other than someone who is paid to provide health care or residential services to you, unless it is your own spouse or relative.

Power of Attorney for Personal Care is made for use by the person you choose to trust to be your decision-maker if you become mentally incapable of making decisions about your health and well being in the future. It gives you a chance to say what you want and do not want. For example, if you do not want certain medical treatments if you get seriously ill, you can state this in your Power of Attorney. You can also name two or more attorneys for personal care. They will act jointly (they must all agree) unless you say otherwise. If one of them dies, becomes incapable or resigns, unless you say otherwise, the remaining attorney can act. Making a Power of Attorney for Personal Care ensures that your wishes about your personal care decisions will be respected and carried out should the need arise. You can add instructions, conditions as well as restrictions in the power of attorney, which your agent or attorney will be required to adhere to.

If you are looking for a Power of Attorney to be used in Ontario, Canada, United States or any other country in the world, contact us at Notarizers for a free consultation on 416-782-5926, or Toll Free: 1-888-672-7266.