There are easy ways to become a notary public in Ontario. But, first, to give you more clarity on this job.
First, a notary public is an in-demand job in Ontario, and the people already making a living out of it earn at least $44,900 yearly.
And the notary public occupation will remain in the limelight for the next three years or more.
That said, becoming a notary public in Ontario is not such an arduous task. As a result, more people are taking up this job not just in Ontario but in the whole of Canada.
However, steps must be taken before you arrive at the point of being a certified notary public. And it would be best if you met all the rules at each level.
Now, to read further into this topic, let’s find out who is a notary public.
Who is a notary public?
A person who acts as an official witness to the signing of agreements, documents, or legal contracts is a notary public. In addition, a notary has the power to handle statutory declarations or oaths meant for affidavits.
What is the job of a notary public?
Notaries do not only witness the signing of legal contracts or documents. They also help to draft wills, mortgages, or any legal drafting.
They reserve the authority to notarize documents signed in their presence. Another branch of their job includes affirming that legal documents are in their original or copies. More so, they determine the authenticity of signed documents and verify that the signatures in the documents are genuine and not fake.
Who can be a notary public in Ontario?
If you love the idea of becoming a notary public in Ontario, then you must be a practicing lawyer or a paralegal.
On the contrary, non-lawyers can equally pick up this job in Ontario, but the requirements are not the same for lawyers wishing for this job too.
Again, we must mention that getting a go-ahead from the Ministry of the Attorney General to become a non-lawyer notary public could be a 50-50 chance.
So, getting all your documents cleared may not give you the job. However, it will surely give you an edge to be accepted.
But perhaps you wish to become a notary public in Ontario as a non-lawyer, by all means. For not taking that chance is a risk on its own that you can’t afford.
Now, let us indulge you in the requirements you need to get into the job.
Steps to apply for a notary public as a lawyer or paralegal in Ontario?
If you are already practicing law in Ontario or are a paralegal and need to add a notary public to it. Then, you must take these steps.
To begin with, you must be licensed by the Law Society of Ontario (LSO).
Anyone, both the lawyers and the paralegals with this license, are eligible to apply for the notary public office.
It means you do not just have to be a practicing lawyer or paralegal from anywhere.
It would help if you were licensed in Ontario by the Law Society of Ontario. Then, you can move to the other step with your license in your portfolio.
Download and fill out the notary public application form. This form is an important part of your application.
After downloading and filling out the application form, you print it out if you do not feel like submitting it online.
Then, click ‘submit’ for your form to be sent to the appropriate office if you wish to submit it online.
You can only download and access this form with the Adobe Acrobat Reader Application.
For those mailing their forms, the form will get rejected if you mail it by fax.
So, mail your form through the office of the Official Documents Services in Ontario, 222 Jarvis Street.
You have to pay the sum of $145 fee for private lawyers and paralegals.
However, the government lawyers and paralegals do not have to pay this fee.
Your Cheque to the Minister of Finance must bear your Law Society of Ontario number and application reference.
The payment is a one-time payment for the non-governmental practicing lawyers and paralegals in Ontario.
Wait for your application to be processed. Once your application pulls through, you will receive the Certification of Appointment and a notary public package in your mail.
The certification comes from the Official Documents Services. They will ask you to fill out a form that will represent your signature.
This is to know your signature and authenticate it henceforth.
Should you dismiss this process, any document with your signature or notarized will not be accepted because it is not recognized.
How to apply for a non-lawyer notary public in Ontario
You can become a notary public even as a non-lawyer in Ontario. But there are things you will not be permitted to do, regardless.
Now, these steps will guide you to actualizing your goal.
First, you must be a Canadian citizen before you become a notary public. Yes, it is reserved for just the citizens of Canada.
Your job must require that you notarize documents in Ontario. Therefore, your job here is a determining factor for you to be considered.
Again, you just need to be notarizing for:
- Trademark agents
- Senior government officials
- Ontario registered corporations that are engaged in international trade.
- Head offices of national unions
Meanwhile, you can not notarize for:
- Anyone going into a new line of business
- People that want to expand their services that already have clients.
Download and submit the application form that you duly signed and dated.
This means you give the Ministry of the Attorney General the right to use the information to do a background check for criminal records. The Canadian police information center will be a part of the team.
A letter of authorization is written on letterhead. Signed by a senior official in the organization where you work.
However, self-employed individuals can write and sign the letter by themselves.
The letter must carry the information that the person is a non-lawyer notary public approved candidate on behalf of the company.
Also, the letter should include:
- The candidate’s legal name
- Role in the company
- Type of documents needing notarization in a month.
- Type of business the organization run.
Payment to the Minister of Finance, the sum of $110 in a cheque.
The ministry does not accept cash or credit information.
Send your documents (original) and the payment to the Ministry of Attorney General.
After all the steps above, you and your organization should patiently and positively wait for a reply from the ministry. The processing period takes about six weeks or more.
For more helpful tips, ensure your name is full and not in initials.
It is preferable to fill out the application form in capital letters and small letters according to the form’s instructions.
You can attach another paper if you need to. Don’t leave any spaces unfilled. Answer all questions correctly. Write concisely and clearly if you need to.
If you are replacing another notary public, state their name, the reason for replacement, and the date.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does the notary public make in Toronto?
Notary public in Toronto is a serious business, and they make fairly good money. The estimated amount these notaries go home yearly is about $54,400.
How long does it take to become a notary public in Canada?
It takes a minimum of two and a half years to complete the process and become a certified notary public.
Since the job is becoming more demanding, many people are taking advantage of it, which is, in turn, making the process longer.
Can anybody become a notary in Ontario?
Yes, but you must first be a citizen of Canada to be eligible. Non-citizens can not apply for this position.
Also, as a citizen, you must have a job that requires you to notarize documents regularly before the ministry can consider you.
We have written the steps to guide you on how to apply and become a certified notary public.
Is it hard to become a notary public in Canada?
Indeed, it is a long process that can last up to a year or more. However, if this is indeed what you need, the difficult process should not deter you from going all out for what you want.
What does it take to become a notary public?
First, you must be of age. At least 18 years and above.
Have a clean background. A criminal record makes you ineligible.
Take a course if you must. Some countries will require any notary public applicant to take a course slated for this job. Your success and completion will give you an edge.
What is the difference between a notary public and a lawyer?
Since notaries are considered legal practitioners, there are things they can not just handle.
A notary public is limited to signing and approving documents. They can not represent clients in courts.
Moreover, there are documents non-lawyer notary public can not attend to.
So, it is not wise to compare. Except the notary public is a lawyer.
To conclude, how to become a notary public in Ontario takes a seemingly long process.
First, you must identify where you belong and what to expect. A paralegal or a lawyer already practicing may have it easier than a non-lawyer.
However, people apply and get accepted and certified in Ontario regularly. So, while you brace yourself up for the wait, you can go on and apply as soon as possible.
In no distant time, your application will be approved.