How to Become a Notary in Ontario, Canada

How to Become a Notary in Ontario, Canada?

How to Become a Notary in Ontario? A notary public is a person who witnesses oaths, signs affidavits, and certifies documents to be true copies of the original. As a lawyer or paralegal, you can be appointed as a notary public after being licensed by the Law Society of Ontario (LSO). This is a lifetime appointment as long as you maintain a clean record with the LSO. Only Ontario lawyers and paralegals working in Ontario can apply.

If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a notary in Ontario, you’ve come to the right place. Becoming a notary is a rewarding line of work that requires expertise, authority, and trust. In this comprehensive guide, we will guide you step by step through the process of how to become a notary in Ontario. This article will provide you with all the essential information and steps you need to take.

How to Become a Notary in Ontario? Step-by-Step Guide:

Step 1: Meet the Eligibility Criteria

Before starting your journey to become a notary in Ontario, you must ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria set by the LSO. The particular requirements may vary. You need to:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent Canadian Resident.
  • Be a major/adult. (at least 18 years old)
  • Be a licensed lawyer or paralegal in Ontario.
  • Maintain a clean record with the Law Society of Ontario (LSO).
  • Have a spotless criminal record.

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Step 2: Submit a Request

To apply for a notary public appointment, you need to submit a request to the Official Documents Services (ODS). There are two methods to submit your request:

1. Submit a service request online at the notary public portal.

2. Download and print the service request form.

3. Submit the completed form in person or via mail to the provided address.

Note: Applications will not be accepted by fax.

Step 3: Review and Processing

Once ODS receives your request, they will review and process it. If successful, you will receive your Certificate of Appointment via mail to your address within 15 business days.

Note: It is important to provide a mailing address with a suitable mail drop-off slot to avoid any damage to your certificate.

Step 4: Cost and Payment

There is a one-time fee associated with the notary public appointment:

  • Lawyers and paralegals: $145 fee (one-time fee, all taxes exempted)
  • Government lawyers and paralegals: $0 (fees will be waived)

Accepted Payment Methods:

1. In-person: Visit the ODS office in person and make a payment with cash, Visa, Master Card, Debit Card, Certified Cheque, or Money order.

2. Mail: Send a Cheque or money order by mail made payable to “The Minister of Finance.”

For online service request submissions, make sure to include both your LSO number and service request confirmation number in the memo section of the Cheque or Money Order.

Step 5: Notary Public Package

Once your application is processed and approved, you will receive a notary public package in the mail from Official Documents Services (ODS). The package will include the following:

  • Certificate of Appointment issued by ODS
  • Form to provide a sample of your embossed seal and signature

 You must complete and return the form to ODS. The sample of your embossed seal and signature will be used by ODS to authenticate any future documents that you notarize. Failure to submit the form will result in ODS being unable to authenticate documents you notarize.

Note: If you make any changes to your signature or seal, you must update the sample of your signature and seal kept at ODS. Failure to update the sample may result in documents not being authenticated.

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Step 6: Fulfill Ongoing Requirements

As a notary in Ontario, you will have ongoing requirements to maintain your status. This includes:

  • Meeting continuing education requirements.
  • Maintaining your professional liability insurance.
  • Adhering to the rules and regulations set by LSO.
  • Renewing your appointment periodically.

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Bottom Line:

Becoming a notary in Ontario requires specific education, dedication, and practical work experience. By following the above-mentioned step-by-step guide about How to Become a Notary in Ontario and meeting the eligibility Criteria, you can enter into a fulfilling career as a notary. Remember to stay updated with the latest legal changes and maintain the highest ethics of professionalism and integrity in your practice.

FAQs about How to Become a Notary in Ontario:

How long does it take to become a notary in Ontario?

The duration of the process to become a notary in Ontario can vary. It depends on the following factors:

1. Time to complete the necessary education
2. Time to acquire practical experience
3. The processing time for your application

On average, it can take several months to a year to complete all the requirements.

Can a notary public provide legal advice?

No, notaries public are not authorized to provide legal advice. Their role is limited to verifying and certifying documents. If you require legal advice, it is recommended to consult with a qualified lawyer. 

Can I perform notarial functions outside of Ontario?

As a notary in Ontario, your authority is limited to the jurisdiction of the province. If you wish to perform notarial functions outside of Ontario, you may need to seek additional authorization or licensure in the relevant jurisdiction. 

How much can I expect to earn as a notary in Ontario?

The income of a notary in Ontario can vary depending on various factors such as your experience, client base, and the nature of the services provided. Notaries can earn a competitive income, and as you establish your reputation and expertise, your earning potential may increase.

Are notarial services in demand in Ontario?

Yes, notarial services are in demand in Ontario. Individuals and businesses often require the services of a notary for various legal transactions, including the certification of documents, taking affidavits, and administering oaths.

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