Role of the Notary in Ontario

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What is a Notary?

Although there are exceptions, normally a Notary is a qualified lawyer - a member of the third and oldest branch of the legal profession, and a Member of the Law Society of Upper Canada (Ontario).    Although a Notary in Ontario is normally a lawyer, the Notary who is not a lawyer is not allowed to practice law, and the notarial function is not considered "practicing law".  

Brampton Notary Services as a  division of Santos Law Firm does provide legal services in the normal course of our practice.  You can find an overview of our legal services on offer in our home page.

Functions of the Notary

Notaries are primarily concerned with the authentication and certification of signatures and documents.  They may exercise the powers of a Commissioner for Oaths.

The majority also practice as Lawyers, providing legal services as solicitors and/or barristers in and for Ontario.

Many notaries provide a service for private individuals or commercial firms. The most common tasks performed by a Notary Public officer in Ontario are:

  • Preparing and witnessing powers of attorney 

  • Authenticating personal documents 

  • Authenticating company and business documents and transactions

  • Attestation of Oaths

  • Providing Notarial True copies of many document types such as Passports, Birth Certificates, Education Diplomas/Degrees, etc. to name a few common documents that pass our way.


Most notaries act in their Notarial capacity to provide the sort of services already described, but they can also provide authentication and a secure record for almost any sort of transaction, document or event.  The costs associated with the provision of the services in question are based on a simple price model:  you are billed by the seal/signature/oath that we are required to provide or authenticate.

Commissioners of Oaths

Commissioners for Oaths may administer oaths for use within Canada and their authority is still occasionally recognized in countries formerly within the British Empire.   All Notaries can commissioners Oaths and many documents such as Affidavits and Statutory Declarations call for an oath attestation before a Notary Public although the American practice is to ask for attestations by Notary Publics, and this bias is becoming the common practice in Ontario as well.