Are remote online notary services legal and valid across Canada and globally?
15 May 2020
Clients often ask whether remote online notary services will be valid in their province or state. The answer is: yes, however it depends on:
- whether the recipient of your document will accept an electronically signed (“e-signed”) document, and
- what the provincial laws state regarding electronic signatures.
Changing Laws for E-Signatures
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, provincial laws across Canada have rapidly changed since March 2020. For example:
- In Ontario, the Electronic Commerce Act establishes that electronic signatures are valid as a form of signature
- British Columbia permits e-signatures under the BC Electronic Transactions Act.
- As of May 12, 2020, under Bill 190, the Ontario Government amended the Notaries Act to establish that a notary public may “exercise his or her powers without being in the person’s physical presence.” This is a groundbreaking change for notaries.
Electronic signatures and digital notarizations are now permitted in Ontario, and Notary Pro is leading the country in providing this innovative service, right from the comfort of your home.
These recent amendments mean that Ontario notaries can provide virtual notary services for clients anywhere in the world. This is because the seal of an Ontario notary public is accepted across Canada and almost anywhere around the globe.
To date, as Canada’s first remote online notary service, Notary Pro has successfully provided electronic signatures and digital notarizations for clients across Canada – including in the far north – securely, digitally, and online, without issue.
Is it secure? Yes. But how?
Notary Pro’s robust security and identity verification protocols provide a high level of assurance to the recipient of your document, by confirming that your electronic signature is as authentic as one ‘wet’ signed with a real pen.
Every day, more and more institutions across the country receive, accept and trust Notary Pro’s high level of security, which includes: an encrypted signature seal, end-to-end digital document history and audit trail, and statement of of authenticity.
Who provides digital notary services?
Our professionally trained notaries (all licensed lawyers) stand behind these technical security requirements with expert customer service and attention to detail.
One last thought
The ultimate question becomes: will the recipient of your document accept an electronic signature?
When booking an appointment with Notary Pro, we ask all clients to confirm that they have checked that the recipient of their document will accept an e-signed copy. This verification checkpoint is our way of recognizing that e-signatures are still a new and sometimes uncertain service for many Canadians.
We want you to have comfort before paying for any service with us, and we ask clients to first check on the acceptance of e-signatures before we e-sign.