Is a Canadian Notary Seal Recognized Outside of Canada?

If you are doing business or travelling abroad and require notarized documents, it is up to you to verify their requirements. A Canadian notary seal may be recognized and accepted or you may need proof of authentication. Consulates and embassies may ask for a certificate to ensure that various documents are valid. To meet those requirements, your document may need to go through, what is known in Canada, as the authentication and legalization process:

Step 1: Verify Requirements

Contact the appropriate consulate/embassy to verify their requirements.

Step 2: Get Your Document(s) Notarized

Notarizing a document means verifying it to be a true copy of the original. The notary need only to obtain the original document and a photocopy from the client. When notarizing a document, the notary compares the original to the copy, and if the two are identical, certifies and attests that the copy is a true copy of the original. The notary then executes the certificate and affixes a notarial seal.

Notary Pro can handle this process. You can book an in-person appointment online. Simply select the location, date and time.

Step 3: Authentication

Authentication is a certification of the genuineness of the signature and seal or the position of an official who has the authority to execute, issue, or certify a document so that a document executed, issued or certified in one jurisdiction may be recognized in another. Authentication does not certify the genuineness, legality or credibility of the documents or their contents.

Global Affairs Canada (“GAC”) authenticates documents for the public through their JLAC branch for a wide range of documents.

You may request that a Canadian public document be authenticated by asking GAC to confirm that a Canadian public official’s signature, seal or stamp on the document is genuine.

​Step 4: Legalization

After being authenticated by GAC, embassies require that documents be legalized. The general requirements to legalize documents in embassies are:

  • The document must be an original or certified true copy of the original by a notary public or commissioner of oaths.
  • It must be stamped by GAC.
  • Some embassies require translation.
  • Some embassies require a cover letter explaining the purpose of use.

Some embassies require supporting documents linking authentication with the provided document (business/work contracts, travel visas, educational offers, etc.).

Ready to notarize your documents?

Notary Pro’s mission is to make notarizing easy, convenient, and secure. With our simple online booking platform and flexible times that fit your schedule, we have many locations throughout Ontario, Alberta and Canada. Book your in-person appointment or notarize your document remotely by visiting us online. Discover how notarizing should be!

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