Notary Public & Commissioner of Oaths
There is a difference between a Notary Public and a Commissioner of Oaths. Knowing this difference can save you time, money, and the headaches from dealing with delays and repeat documents.
A good tip is that you should review the requirements for the documentation you intend to notarize or commission with the recipient (e.g. government, school, etc.) so that you are aware of them before seeing a lawyer. Doing so can allow you to better clarify your instructions to the lawyer.
Commissioner for Taking Affidavits/Commissioner of Oaths
A Commissioner for taking Affidavits (or a Commissioner of Oaths) is regulated under the Commissioners for Taking Affidavits Act, R.S.O. 1990, Chapter C.17. They will take an affidavit (a written statement confirmed by oath or affirmation) or declaration by asking you to swear or affirm that what you are saying in the document is true.
A Commissioner of Oaths is not responsible for the content you are swearing on. They are just confirming from you that you believe everything on the document you are swearing is true.
A notary public is regulated under the Notaries Act, R.S.O. 1990, Chapter N.6. They have all the same powers of a Commissioner of Oaths. However, they can also verify that signatures, marks and copies of documents are true or genuine.
Is a Lawyer A Notary Public or a Commissioner of Oaths?
Every lawyer in Ontario is automatically a Commissioner of Oaths by virtue of their profession. However, they still need to apply with the government to become a Notary Public.
Kristoffer puts emphasis on strong customer service, so please refer to our client checklist so that your appointment is quick, efficient, and gets the job done to your satisfaction:
- Book an appointment. As a courtesy, we will email or text you these instructions as well.
- Notary fees are charged per notary signature and seal. Please note, this does not mean per document.
- We are currently only accepting payment in Cash or E-Transfer in order to reduce transaction fees and thus minimize my client fees.
- An itemized receipt will be issued to you.
- Make sure you bring ONE government issued photo ID (e.g. driver’s license, passport, citizenship card, permanent residency card, OHIP, etc.) or TWO government issued non-photo identification (e.g. Birth Certificate, SIN Card, etc.).
- The name on your government ID(s) you bring MUST match the name you are using on your document (e.g. if you have two last names.) This is important.
- To save my clients (and myself) time, I kindly ask that they MARK an X at each place that I am required to sign. You may also sticky note if you prefer.
Certifiying/Notarizing True Copies of Documents
- Bring BOTH a photocopy and the original document to your appointment. By law, I must view the original.
- If you photocopy multiple documents onto a single page, I still have to place my seal for EACH photocopied image by law.
- Multi-page documentation may only need one seal depending on where the recipient/institution requires my signature and seal. I will review the documentation and advise you. However, it does not hurt to ask them beforehand to save you time.
Are You Photocopying Your Notarized Document for Your Own Records?
For the convenience of my clients, I usually use seal stickers because they make it easier for my clients to photocopy than a raised embossed seal. I have found that gold seals show better on photocopies than red seals. By default, I bring gold seals for this purpose. However, if you would like a red seal, please let me know.
How Can Kristoffer Help?
Kristoffer offers both commissioning and notary services. You can get more information by calling (416) 844-KRIS (5747) or filling out our contact form.
Some of the features to my services include the following below. Please note that these services are subject to availability and adherence to government standards (e.g. Covid-19).
- In-Office Notarizations/Commissioning
- Travel Notarizations/Commissioning (i.e. I can come to you if you are within the Greater Toronto Area for an additional fee)
- Online Commissioning via Video Conference
- Document Drafting for certain types such as Letters of Travel Consent, Letters of Invitation, Affidavits, Statutory Declarations, etc. Please contact me for more information on specific documentation.