When Do You Need a Notary Public?
Notaries public, often simply called notaries, perform a range of legal duties. Here are some cases where you might need their services.
Your Child is Travelling Outside the Country
The Government of Canada strongly recommends that children travelling abroad carry a letter of consent in cases where they’re leaving the country by themselves or with friends, relatives, groups or only one parent or guardian.
This letter indicates that the child’s legal guardians are aware of and consent to their travelling. Border authorities may request to see it at any point and failing to produce it can cause delays and potentially outright refusal to enter the country. The letter should be notarized and signed by every non-accompanying person who has legal custody of the child.
You’re Making a Large Sale or Purchase
If you’re buying or selling a house or other large-ticket item, closing the deal requires you to sign a number of documents. Usually, these are signed at a lawyer’s office, but you can also sign them with a notary public.
You Need To Take an Oath
An oath is a sworn declaration typically used to confirm a written document, often one that contains facts relevant to legal proceedings such as an affidavit. These documents are used either in court or for estate and land transactions. In Alberta, oaths must be taken before a commissioner of oaths or a notary public, although only the latter can endorse documents that will be used outside the province.
You Need Copies of Official Documents
Another difference between a commissioner of oaths and a notary public is that a commissioner can’t certify a copy as a true copy of an official document. If you need a copy of your passport or birth certificate, you’ll need to contact a notary public.
What to Bring to Your Appointment
Please bring one piece of government issued ID such as a driver’s licence or a Canadian passport. You should complete the blank spaces in the body of the document as much as possible ahead of time, but please wait to sign the document until you are in the presence of the notary public. You need to bring original documents and all relevant supporting documents. If you need the notary public to certify a true copy of a document, you must bring the original document for comparison.