Notarizing Canadian documents for the authentication and legalization process

Published on Thursday, October 16, 2014

Have you been asked to have your documents authenticated and legalized? And now you’ve heard that your documents will first need to be notarized? We understand this frustrating and often confusing process and can provide you with the information that you need.

What is document notarization?

To have a document notarized means to have a specially authorized person, called a Notary Public, place their signature and stamp on the document, certifying that they have either witnessed a signature or made a certified true copy of an original document.

Why do I need to get my document notarized before authentication and legalization?

Basically, notarization may be a necessary first step to get your documents authenticated and legalized in Canada, as laid out in the regulations established by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFATD).

Are there documents that do not need to be notarized before authentication and legalization?

Certain documents do not need to be notarized before the Department of Foreign Affairs will authenticate them. This list includes:

• Original vital statistic documents such as long-form birth certificates, marriage and death certificates
• Criminal record checks issued by the RCMP headquarters in Ottawa
• Degrees/diplomas issued by an accredited educational institution, with the signature and seal of the registrar that includes a full signature, name and title

Visit the Department of Foreign Affairs website for more details.

Who can notarize documents?

A Notary Public has the authorization to notarize documents. Many lawyers are accredited as a Notary Public. You should be able to easily find a Notary in your local area.

What if I have further questions?

If you have more questions about document notarization and the authentication and legalization process, please feel free to contact us at International Documents Canada (IDC). We would be happy to discuss your situation and point you in the right direction.

Call toll free 1-888-433-1011 or visit us at .