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Who can legally notarize documents in Canada?

Who can legally notarize documents in Canada
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Notarization prevents fraud among legal documents, so it’s often an inevitable part of many legal processes.

If you’re wondering where you should go to notarize a document, here’s your answer. 

These people can legally notarize a document in Canada.

Notary Public

A notary public is part of the legal system and is often appointed under the Notaries and Commissioners Act. While they are usually lawyers, people working for an organization or business that requires the notarizing of documents. 

Schools, vehicle dealerships, insurance companies, mortgage companies, title companies and corporations often have a notary public on staff who may or may not be a lawyer.

They are tasked with administering and attesting oaths affidavits, affirmations or declarations. They also have the power to certify and attest a true copy of a document.

They are also able to witness or certify the execution of a document. 

Commissioner of Oaths

A commissioner of oath can act on some of the responsibilities of a notary public, but only to a limited extent. 

They can only administer and attest oaths affidavits, affirmations or declarations. All notaries can act as commissioners of oaths, but not all commissioners of oaths are notary public. 


Any lawyer who passes the bar exam automatically has the power of a commissioner of oath. However, their status as notary public varies per province and territory. 

For example, under the Alberta legal system, a lawyer is automatically assigned as a notary public and has all the powers attached to the post. The same is true for British Columbia and New Brunswick. 

Meanwhile, they still need to apply and remit an application fee to become a notary public in Ontario. 

Judges, Politicians, Students-at-Law

Like lawyers, judges can automatically notarize documents in certain provinces. Members of the legislature and parliament are also sometimes able to use the powers of a notary public.

Students-at-law can obtain the status of notary public and commissioner of oaths once they are registered by the Law Society.


In certain cases, professionals in different fields may also notarize documents. This is often limited to subjects under their expertise.

For example, doctors can notarize medical documents but they can’t notarize wills and estates. Dentists, embassy officials, police officers, veterinarians, funeral directors, pharmacists and engineers are some of the people who can notarize documents in their fields.

More Resources

There are plenty of instances where you’ll need a notarized document. 

You’ll need it to get a Power of Attorney, procure certain medical documents, and legalize a proof of sale for real estate transactions, sworn statements, wills and trusts. 

For more legal concerns, hiring the best lawyers can help you. Check out our reviews on the different lawyers practicing in Edmonton below: