If you are a custodian of crucial documents and want them to be authenticated or legalized, getting notarial services is crucial. Having a notary public witness the signature can also help prevent identity theft or fraud. Simply put, getting a document notarized adds a layer of protection and verification to reduce the risk of forging and make it more credible.
Suppose you are wondering how to notarize a document and why it is essential. In that case, you are on the right page. Read on to know the importance of having your documents notarized.
What is a Notary Public?
A notary public is a public official who can notarize a document. Their primary role is to verify the authenticity and signing of important documents like a will, trusts, power of attorney, deeds, estates, contracts, licenses, loan documents, and affidavits.
They witness the signing of essential documents and verify the signer’s identity, their knowledge of the contents in the document or transaction, and their willingness to proceed with signing the papers.
For one to become a Notary Public in Canada, they must meet the proven integrity and eligibility requirements. Notaries public provide legal services such as:
- Taking statutory and affidavits declarations
- Providing foreign drafts notice
- Protesting notes and bills of exchange
- Taking acknowledgments of conveyances like deeds
To notarize a document, a Notary Public must:
- Have a valid certificate as proof of their appointment
- Place their signature in ink on the document
- Apply a seal or stamp with their full name
- State the act they performed
- State the date that they notarized the document
What Does it Mean to Notarize a Document?
In simple terms, notarizing a document is having a Notary Public, a neutral third party, verify that your identity and the signature provided on the documents are authentic.
It is a fraud-deterrent process that ascertains the signer’s identity and that the document is real and the signature valid. Having your document notarized is more like swearing in a court of law under an oath that the facts contained in the document or transaction are actual.
Benefits of Notarizing Documents
Although not all documents need to be notarized, there are many benefits to having your documents notarized. Here are some reasons for notarizing your documents.
- To Promote Proper Execution
The primary purpose of notarizing documents is to ensure proper execution of important documents and prevent fraud. Notarizing documents guarantees the authenticity of legal documents and helps to avoid instances in which one party denies signing a document. When a notary public witnesses the signing, it adds an extra layer of protection, preventing fraud.
- Increases the Credibility of Documents
Although not all, some documents may not be legally binding until they are first notarized. In this case, having the document notarized can increase its value and authenticity. Global Affairs Canada cannot validate documents if they are not notarized.
A mortgage document, which protects the lender when the borrower fails to honor their obligation, can be considered invalid without a notary seal.
Also, an affidavit must have the notary public’s signature and seal to become valid. This is especially important when sued for making a false statement on oath.
Furthermore, it is essential to have a power of attorney notarized because you authorize your rights to someone else. Otherwise, the legal validity of these documents will be questionable, and this can cause them to be rejected in court. You may want to consult with an attorney in your province to know what documents need to be notarized.
- Offers Legal Protection
When your documents are notarized, you will be assured of legal protection in the event of a contract dispute or trial. A notary seal in any document proves that the signatures in the content are not fabricated but instead placed by a genuine person. The court is more likely to believe the notary seal over the other party falsely accusing you.
- Prevents the Need for a Witness in Court
Having your document notarized makes it self-authenticating under the law of evidence. Therefore, you can submit the notarized document as evidence other than presenting a witness to the court during a trial. This can help you save money and time.
How Notarization Works
Basically, notarization involves a notary public verifying who signed a document and when they did it. If you are signing a document, you need to meet the Notary Public in person to prove your identity. They will then record details of the identification.
As the document signer, you also need to show that you are mentally aware of the content and the purpose of the document. The notary should verify that you are in the right mind to understand what you are signing and that you have the legal capacity to sign.
The notary public is also tasked with ensuring that you are a willing signer. They need to ensure that you sign a document out of your own free will and nobody is forcing you to sign. You will also be required to swear that every statement provided in the document is true and correct. If a notary public notices an issue with the document signer, they cannot notarize or validate it.
Initially, the document signer had to notarize a document physically in the presence of a notary public. However, this is not necessary anymore as documents can be notarized online.
An online notary is a notary public authorized by the state government to perform remote authorization via an audio-visual conference. Generally, an online notary makes notarizing documents possible without the notary public being physically present.
How Does an Online Notary Work?
There is the document signer and the online notary public in an online notary. Unlike in a physical online notary process, the document signer or principal is not required to be in the same province as the online notary public.
However, an online notary must be in the province or territory of their authorization when performing an online notarization. Moreover, the online notary session can be digitally recorded and secured, and only authorized personnel can gain access.
Here are the basic steps for getting your documents notarized online:
- Schedule an online meeting with a notary public and choose the time that works best for you.
- After booking your appointment, you will receive an email with the link to your virtual meeting.
- Upload your original, unsigned document and IDs.
- The next step is to meet with the online notary, who will confirm your identity. After confirming your identity, they will securely sign your documents electronically.
- Once the notarization is done, you can download the notarized PDF and then print it or share it online. The notary can also mail a hardcopy with their original ink signature upon your request.
If you are planning to sign important documents, chances are you will need to get them notarized by a notary public. There are numerous reasons for notarizing your document, including fulfilling mandatory legal requirements.
All-Canada Notary can help you with your notarization needs. You can visit any our offices near you for in-person notarial services. We also can help you with online notary. Book your meeting now with our easy online booking.