What is a Guarantor? When and Why do I need one?

a Statutory Declaration in Lieu of a Guarantor

If you’ve been asked to provide a guarantor for your birth certificate or your Canadian passport, and you want a full guide on who that person is – then read on ahead.


This article will be covering the following questions: What is a guarantor? Who can be a guarantor in Ontario? What’s a declaration of guarantor? Can a notary public be a guarantor? And what to do if you can’t find a guarantor?

What is a Guarantor?

A guarantor is someone who can:


1. Verify your identity
2. Confirm the information that’s been stated about you in the document
3. Certify that the statements made on an application about you are true


You might be asked to give the name of a guarantor for birth certificates, applying for copies of the Canadian passport, and for renewals of other identifying government documents. Although the guarantor is not mandated to sign your application, their consent to attach their information to your application is necessary.

What is Required of a Guarantor?

Generally, a guarantor must meet certain criteria if they’re to qualify as a guarantor for birth certificate or Canadian passport or any other official documents.

These criteria are:

1. That the guarantor must be over 18 years of age
2. That the guarantor must be a Canadian citizen
3. That the guarantor must be a member of a specific occupation – like a lawyer or a doctor
4. That the guarantor must know the person whose documents they’re testifying for personally, for a specific number of years (usually, minimum of two years)

The fourth requirement is the most difficult to fulfil – especially if the person who needs their documents verified is new to Canada. In that case, however, you do have the option to attach a letter from a guarantor who has known you for less than two years as well – provided that you attach proof of landing within the guarantor’s area within the mentioned time-frame.

The fourth criterion also usually disqualifies a notary public from being your guarantor – as it’s very rare for a notary public to know you personally for more than two years.

Can Notary Public be Your Guarantor?

In short, no.

In order to be someone’s guarantor, the person has to know them for at least 2 years – and notaries usually don’t meet that requirement.

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Who Can Act as Guarantor?

A guarantor is someone who is an adult, Canadian citizen, who is a member of a specific profession, and also knows you personally. The list of occupations and professions that have been approved by the Canadian governments to act as guarantors include:

List of Occupations

1. A Notary public
2. A signing officer of a bank, credit union, or a trust company
3. A senior admin of a university or a community college
4. The principle or vice-principal of a primary or secondary school
5. A judge
6. A member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario
7. Chief of a band mentioned in the Indian Act
8. The ministry of religion who performs marriages
9. The municipal clerk, treasurer, police officer, or First Nations police and constables
10. The mayor

List of Approved Professions

1. Lawyers
2. Accountants
3. Engineers
4. Social workers
5. Primary and Secondary school teachers
6. Medical worker – midwife, dentist, nurse, pharmacist, surgeon, psychologist or a vet

When Do You Need a Guarantor?

You’ll need a guarantor in the following conditions:

1. If you’re applying through snail-mail
2. If you have an ID that doesn’t meet the ‘valid ID’ criteria enlisted by the Canadian government
3. If you’re submitting on behalf of another person or your dependents
4. If you’re submitting a picture using the SCIS Photo App

Do I Have To Pay a Guarantor?

No, you don’t have to pay a guarantor.


The person you have chosen to act as your guarantor is allowed to perform the following tasks without taking any money:

1. They can complete and sign a guarantor declaration form
2. Sign and date all the copies of your valid ID, front and back sides.
3. Sign, date and write your name or the names of a dependent on the back of a photograph
4. Verify the information about you in the event that they’re contacted by the Indiginous Services Canada

What Can I Do if I Don’t Have a Guarantor?

It will take longer than the usual process, but if you don’t know someone who can act as your guarantor, you can take the following steps:


1. If applying for a Canadian passport, sign the Statutory Declaration in Lieu of a Guarantor Form (PPTC 132) in front of a notary
2. If applying for documents other than the Canadian passport, contact the government agency to ask of your options

If you’re going with the first option, then you’ll need the declaration of guarantor, a reference letter, and a letter of explanation.


The letter of explanation has to include your name, contact details, the reasons for the application, the duration of your stay or residency in Canada, how your search to find a qualified guarantor did not work out for you, the date, and the order number of your application.


The reference letter has to be written by a Canadian citizen who is a member of the professions and occupations listed above, and who has known you for about two years. The reference letter must include the name and contact details of your reference, their occupation, their citizenship, and their signature and date.


And finally, you’ll be looking for a notary or a Commissioner of Oaths who can sign the declaration of guarantor or the Statutory Declaration in Lieu of a Guarantor Form (PPTC 132).


All-Canada Notary can notarize a Statutory Declaration in Lieu of a Guarantor! Simply book an appointment with us online here.

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