Commissioning and notarizing documents are essential measures in confirming their legitimacy and legality. Knowing when to commission or notarize affidavits, contracts, powers of attorney, or other legal papers can save you time and money. People often intermix the two terms. To simplify, this blog post covers the difference between Commissioning and notarizing. We’ll provide an insightful overview of notarization and Commissioning, highlighting a notary vs commissioner of oaths

Let’s start with what notarization is and why document notarization is essential.

What is Notarization?

In Ontario, the Notaries Act regulates the process of notarizing documents.The Ministry of the Attorney General appoints a notary to serve as an impartial witness while signing documents. Their primary responsibility is to prevent fraud and ensure the authenticity of the signer’s identity.

To fulfill this role, a notary examines the signer’s identification and ensures their understanding of the signed document. They observe the signing process and affix their seal to confirm that the law conducts the procedure.

The Significance of Notarized Documents 

Document Notarization helps prevent fraud . Notaries are responsible for verifying the identity of the signers and ensuring they fully understand the document they are signing.

 Notarized documents are often required for international use. Many countries around the world recognize and accept notarized documents as reliable evidence.

What is Commissioning? 

Commissioning is required for documents used within a specific jurisdiction within the province of Ontario. It is often necessary for various legal documents, including affidavits, statutory declarations, and other sworn statements.

The commissioning process in Ontario is regulated by the Commissioners for Taking Affidavits Act. Under this Act, a commissioner for taking affidavits is an authorized individual who has the right to administer oaths, declarations, and affirmations and take affidavits in compliance with the Act.

The Significance of Commissioning Oath

Commissioning allows individuals to provide sworn testimony or make solemn declarations under oath. 

Furthermore, Commissioning is often required for official purposes, such as executing legal documents, statutory declarations, or applications. Many government agencies, institutions, and organizations require commissioned documents as evidence of the truthfulness and authenticity of the information provided.

Notary Public vs Commissioner of Oaths 

In Ontario, a Notary Public and a Commissioner of Oaths are authorized to administer oaths and affirmations, witness and authenticate documents, and perform other related functions. However , it is essential to grasp the differences between these two professions.

  •  Notary Publics are appointed by the provincial government, whereas various organizations or entities, such as law firms or government agencies, appoint Commissioners of Oaths.
  • Notary Publics have a broader jurisdiction and can perform their duties anywhere in Ontario. On the other hand, Commissioners of Oaths have more limited jurisdiction and can only administer oaths and affirmations within their specific organization or agency.
  •  Notary Publics have additional powers and can perform certain notarial acts that Commissioners of Oaths cannot. For example, a Notary Public can certify true copies of documents, authenticate signatures, and notarize international documents for use in foreign countries.
  •  Notary Publics are generally allowed to charge higher fees for their services compared to Commissioners of Oaths. The fees charged by Notary Publics are set by the provincial government, while Commissioners of Oaths may charge lower or no fees, depending on the organization or agency they are associated with.

The Final Verdict on Notary vs Commissioner of oath

On the whole, Notaries usually have higher fees than commissioners, but they provide a more comprehensive range of services. While notaries can do additional tasks like notarization and acknowledgment, commissioners of oaths are restricted to giving oaths or affirmations. If you’re unsure which type of officer you need for your situation, it’s best to consult a licensed attorney in your state for guidance. They can help clarify the requirements and point you in the right direction.

At The Notary Guy, we assist with all your notarization and commissioning needs. Our team is ready to help you through the process.

Feel free to reach out to us for any documents. 

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