Frequently Asked Questions WITNESSING / NOTARIZING A SIGNATURE / ACKNOWLEGMENT Who can witness a document? Generally the person you choose to witness a document should have no financial or other interest in an agreement. A neutral third party is the best choice. A neutral third party is someone not related to either party and who does not benefit from the document. Ideally a witness will observe the relevant party or parties signing the document and then the witness will sign the document as proof that they witnessed the parties signing. The witnesses must be of legal age in your jurisdiction and they must be mentally capable of managing their property and making their own decisions. What is the difference between witnessing a signature, and notarizing a signature, and an acknowledgment? Witnessing a signature just means an ordinary person has witnessed someone signing a document. Notarizing a signature means a Notary has witnessed the signature in their official capacity as a Notary public, and signed and sealed the document. An acknowledgment is where the signer must declare (acknowledge) signing the document for its intended purpose (it may have been signed previously). Why would I want my signature on a document notarized? If there was a dispute about the signature in an agreement, having a Notary Public's seal and signature on the document can be brought forward as evidence that the agreement has in fact been signed by the person represented. How does Notarizing a signature work? Notarizing a signature involves three simple steps:(1) We confirm your identification,(2) We watch you sign the document, and(3) We place our Notary Seal and signature beside your signature.This officially notarizes your signature on the document. How long does notarizing a signature take? An appointment for notarizing a signature usually takes 5 minutes; but can be longer depending on the number of signatures you need to have notarized. Do I need to be present for my signature to be witnessed? Can someone else just bring my ID? Anyone who wants to have their signature notarized must come in person, show their valid identification, and sign the document in front of the Notary. That is the law. What do I need to bring to have my signature witnessed on a document? Bring the unsigned document and valid identification. There are two options for valid identification. We accept both options so select the one that works best for you: OPTION 1: One piece of government-issued photo identification (examples: any passport, citizenship card, permanent resident card, driver's licence, OHIP, etc.). OPTION 2: Two pieces of government issued non-photo identification (examples: SIN card, birth certificate, etc.). How much does notarizing a signature cost? Please see our price schedule at: https://toronto-notary-public.com/services.htm#fees. If there are multiple signatures to notarize on one document, do you charge me for each signature? There is a fee for each Notary signature (and seal). So, if the document is set up so that the Notary only needs one signature and seal to cover multiple signatures, then there is only one fee. I have 1 document that requires two of your signatures and two seals, but they're both on the same page. Do you consider that as one fee or two? Our fees are based on the number of seals and signatures that you require from the Notary, not the number of pages. Can the signature be notarized for a document for something out of the province or out of the country? We can notarize a signature on any type of document, however it is up to the client to determine if your receiving institution will accept a legal Ontario Notary seal. Can you notarize my signature on documents in other languages, or do they have to be in English? We can notarize the signing of a document in ANY language. The Notary only needs to properly identify you and then watch you sign the document. In addition, you will be asked to print your name in English beside your signature, if it isn't already there. NOTARIZED / CERTIFIED TRUE COPY What is the difference between a notarized and a certified true copy? Generally these terms are used interchangeably. The Notary is "certifying" that the copy is a true copy of the original. What is a notarized/certified true copy? A notarized/certified copy is a photocopy of an original document that has been signed by someone who is officially authorized to confirm that it is a true and accurate copy of the original. Only Notary Publics are authorized to make notarized/certified true copies in Ontario. How long does it take to certify a true copy of an original? An appointment for certifying a true copy usually takes 5 minutes (for up to 5 copies); but can be longer depending on the number of certified true copies you need to have done. What do I need to bring to get a certified true copy? You will need to bring: (1) The original document (2) A photocopy of the original document for us to certify (3) Your ID. COMMISSIONING AN OATH / AFFIRMATION / SOLEMN DECLARATION What is the difference between a Commissioner and a Notary Public? A Commissioner is a person who can legally administer an oath, affirmation or solemn declaration; for example, to a person making an affidavit. Lawyers and licensed Paralegals are Commissioners by virtue of their office. A Notary Public is a Lawyer / Commissioner who has applied for and received additional legalization authority; including the notarization of signatures and the notarization of true copies of documents. What does it mean to commission an oath or affirmation or solemn declaration? Commissioning of an oath/affirmation/solemn declaration means that the oath/affirmation/solemn declaration you are making has been officially witnessed and administered by someone with the legal authority to do so. Our Notary Lawyer has the legal authority to commission oaths, affirmations, and solemn declarations. What is an Oath, Affirmation, and Solemn Declaration? An oath is when a person swears that the contents of a document are true and correct. When you come to get an Oath Commissioned at your appointment with Notary Public, you will be asked to reply "yes" to the question: "Do you swear that the contents of this document as subscribed by you are true, so help you God?". If you prefer to make an Affirmation or Solemn Declaration, you may instead reply "yes" to the following question: "Do you solemnly affirm and declare that the contents of this document as subscribed by you are true?" Do I have to hold a religious book or raise my hand to make an Oath, Affirmation, or Solemn Declaration? No. You are not required to hold a religious book or raise your hand when making an Oath, Affirmation, or Solemn Declaration. What is a deponent? A "deponent" is the legal term for the person who is making the Oath, Affirmation, or Solemn Declaration (the person who is declaring the statements are true).