Important Note for all services: Do not sign anything until you are in the presence of the Commissioner of Oaths or Notary Public. They cannot do their part unless they witness you signing in front of them.
An Affidavit is a document that contains statements and those statements are verified by you swearing or affirming an oath in front of a person authorized by law. The person administering the oath or affirmation is a Commissioner for Taking Affidavits or a Notary Public. Some types of affidavits include:
- An Affidavit containing your evidence in an ongoing court proceeding
- An Affidavit of Service confirming that certain documents have been properly delivered
- An Affidavit setting out circumstances surrounding lost or stolen documents
- Affidavits for use in your real estate transaction
A Statutory Declaration is similar to an affidavit, but the verification is by solemn declaration and not by oath. It is typically used where there is no legislative authority for an affidavit. The person administering the declaration is a Commissioner for Taking Affidavits or a Notary Public. Some examples where statutory declarations are used:
- To establish common law relationships for employment benefits
- Applications for government programs and benefits
- Real Estate transactions
Certified/Notarized True Copies of Original Documents
A certified (or notarized) true copy of an original document is a copy of an original document which has been compared to the original by a Notary Public. The purpose of a certified or notarized true copy is to tell the recipient of it that it can be relied on because it has been compared to the original document by a Notary Public. Examples of documents that may need to be certified as true copies are college diplomas, university degrees, pieces of identification.
Travel Consent Letters
The Government of Canada strongly recommend that children travelling abroad carry a consent letter proving they have permission to travel from their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) , if that person(s) is not accompanying the children on the trip. For example, children travelling alone, with groups or with only one custodial parent should travel with a consent letter. The purpose of a consent letter is to facilitate the travel of Canadian children while preventing their wrongful removal to foreign countries.
A consent letter may also be required by foreign authorities, in addition to other country-specific entry requirements. It is also strongly recommended that you that you have the consent letter certified, stamped or sealed by an official who has the authority to administer an oath or solemn declaration, e.g., a commissioner for oaths, notary public or lawyer, so that the validity of the letter will not be questioned.
Getting Married Abroad
If you are planning on getting married outside Canada, many foreign authorities may require a Declaration as to your marital status, along with other country specific requirements. This Declaration should be signed in front of a Commissioner for Taking Affidavits. Notarized copies of your birth certificate, divorce certificate or other identification may also be required. It is highly recommended that you check the specific requirements of the jurisdiction in which you plan to get married well in advance of your trip.
Sometimes, when your family or friends apply for a visa to visit Canada, they are asked to provide a letter of invitation from someone in Canada. The letter of invitation should set out information about the person being invited including dates and details of their proposed trip, accommodations and living expenses. The letter should also include information about yourself including your immigration status in Canada, your occupation and resources to accommodate your visitors. This letter may be in the form of a statutory declaration, signed in front of a Commissioner for Taking Affidavits. Some Visa Offices may require that your letter or supporting documents to be notarized by a Notary Public. Please note that a letter of invitation does not guarantee that a visa will be issued. Visa officers assess the applicant to determine whether they meet the requirements of the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
Insurance Proof of Loss forms
Insurance companies often require you to have a proof of loss form witnessed by a notary public because they want you to swear that the contents of the form are true and accurate.