What is ‘notarizing’ and who is a Notary Public?

A notary public has been commissioned by the provincial or territorial government to authenticate the execution of legal documents or administer oaths. 

In Canada, the laws governing the role and responsibilities of notaries public vary by province and territory, are some jurisdictions allow notaries public to perform a wide range of services while others limit their role.

The role of a notary public is to act as an independent and impartial witness to document signing, to certify whether the individuals involved are who they say they are, to see if the documents have been signed willingly, and to certify ‘True Copies’ of original documents. A notary public’s signature on a document ensures authenticity, which is important in certain legal situations. 

A notary public, therefore, has all the powers of a commissioner for taking affidavits in Ontario, and can also witness and certify (and attest) the execution of documents; certifying them to be true copies of the original. 

Notarizing a letter or a document is the process where a Notary Public verifies the identity of a signer and confirms that the signature on a said document is genuine. 

There are a number of steps in which a letter or document is notarized, which are as follows:

Step 1: Preparation of the document

Step 2: Meeting with your notary public and presenting a valid ID

Step 3: Signing of document in the presence of the Notary Public

Step 4: Notary Public signs, stamps, and seals the document 

The notary public will also ask the signer to swear or affirm that the contents of the document are true and accurate if the document is an affidavit or declaration. Once this has been done and the ID of the signer is verified, the person will execute the document and the notary public will affix their sign, stamp, and seal as may be required. After the notarization is complete, the notary returns the original document to the signer. 

Additionally, it is important that the signer keep the original document in a safe place, as it may be required for legal or administrative purposes later. 

Why is it necessary to notarize a letter or document?

Notarizing a letter or document is beneficial because it adds an additional level of authenticity and security to your documents. 

A notarized letter is a document that has been verified by a notary public, confirming that the transaction is authentic and properly executed. Essentially, it is like taking an oath in a court of law, where you declare that the contents of the document are true. Notarizing a letter or a document verifies the identity of the signer and confirms that the signatures on the document are genuine. 

There are several types of documents that require notarization, including educational transcripts, legal documents, declarations, marriage or divorce certificates, powers of attorney, birth or death certificates, professional or business documents, and medical records.

In Canada, a notary public signs and seals your document, and may also prepare a separate certificate to attach to your document. 

To notarize your document, the notary must have a valid certificate of appointment and must handwrite their signature in ink. They must also apply a stamp or seal showing their full name as it appears on their certificate of appointment, the Canadian province or territory in which they have been appointed, and indicate the act they performed (e.g. certifying a true copy), as well as the date on which they notarized the document and the date on which their appointment as a notary expires (if applicable).

The purpose of notarizing a document is to have a neutral third party, the Notary Public, verify the authenticity of the identity and signature of the signer. 

This process acts as a deterrent against fraud by ensuring that the document is legitimate and that the signature is valid. By notarizing your document, you are essentially taking an oath under penalty of perjury that the facts contained in the document are true.

How is a notarized document different from a non-notarized document?

A notarized document has been signed and verified by a notary public, a public official who is authorized by the government to witness and certify the signing of legal documents and administer oaths and affirmations. 

In contrast, a non-notarized document is simply a document that has been signed but has not yet been verified by a notary public. Non-notarized documents may be considered legally binding, but less credible than notarized documents as they have not been verified by a Notary Public or another appointed government official. 

Notarized documents are used in legal and financial transactions, where the authenticity of the document and identity of the signer is important (such as in real estate transactions, legal agreements and loan documents). 

What happens if I don’t notarize a document or letter? 

Without the verification of a notary public, there is no impartial third-party assurance that the document was signed voluntarily and with full understanding of its contents. 

In some situations, a non-notarized document may also not be accepted or may carry less weight in legal or financial transactions (such as legal agreements and loan documents). It is best to check with a lawyer or notary public if you are unsure of whether your document requires notarization or not. 


Notaries are government-appointed officials who are authorized to certify the signing of legal documents, such as deeds, mortgages, and contracts. 

They help to verify the identity of the person signing the document and ensure that they are doing so voluntarily and of their own free will. 

The notary public acts as a neutral third party who verifies identities, witnesses the signing of documents and applies his/her official stamps on your documents-in a process known as notarization. Further, this process also makes it difficult for anyone to alter or forge the document. 

Additionally, ‘notarized documents’ are mostly required for legal and financial transactions such as loan applications and real estate deals, and they may sometimes even be required by government agencies or other official organizations-which is why it is important and beneficial to have your documents notarized by a credible and trusted Notary Public.

As a leading notary public in Mississauga and Brampton, The Notary Guy consists of a team of professionals dedicated to providing quick, affordable, and reliable notary services. Our experienced notaries will handle your documentation with the utmost care and efficiency, ensuring that your process is seamless and secure. Start your notarization process with us today.

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