A Notary Public (or notary or public notary) is a public officer authorized by law to serve the public in non-contentious matters usually concerned with estates, deeds, powers-of-attorney, and foreign and international business.
A Notary's main functions are to administer oaths and affirmations, take affidavits and statutory declarations, witness and authenticate the execution of certain classes of documents, take acknowledgments of deeds and other conveyances, protest notes and bills of exchange, provide notice of foreign drafts, prepare marine or ship's protests in cases of damage, provide exemplifications and notarial copies, and perform certain other official acts depending on the jurisdiction.
Any such act is known as a notarization.
Notaries public record matters of judicial importance as well as private transactions or events where an officially authenticated record or a document drawn up with professional skill or knowledge is required.
Significant weight attaches to documents certified by notaries public. Documents certified by Notaries Public are sealed with the Notary Public's seal and are recorded by the Notary Public in a register maintained by him/her. These are known as "notarial acts".
A Notary Public usually attests to legal documents with an official seal.
The professional work of a Notary Public is covered by an insurance plan which protects the public in most jurisdictions, but you should verify this in your own dealings with any Notary Public anywhere.
Traditionally, notaries public recorded matters of judicial importance as well as private transactions or events where an officially authenticated record or a document drawn up with professional skill or knowledge was required.
Specifically, the functions of any Notary Public include the attestation of documents and certification of their due execution, administering of oaths, witnessing affidavits and statutory declarations, certification of copy documents, noting and protesting of bills of exchange and the preparation of ships' protests.
Notarial acts and certificates are recognized in countries of the British Commonwealth and some other countries without the need for any further certification from the respective Foreign Ministry or foreign diplomatic missions.
The Quebec Notary Public is required to have earned a LL.L., LL.B., or B.C.L. law degree. The curriculum and options for the first three years of law school are the same for both future notaries and future lawyer/advocates. The latter leave university for bar school while notarial candidates continue at law school for an additional year of practical studies related to notarial areas of specialization, followed by one year of articling in a notarial law firm, and evaluation, after which the future Notary Public is officially sworn in and admitted to the profession.
QUEBEC NOTARIES ARE ACTUALLY TRAINED LICENCED LAWYERS.
- A Notary Public in Quebec is not the same as Notaries in the rest of Canada.
- A Quebec Notary Public is a trained Lawyer who does everything but plead in Court.
- A Quebec Notary Public is a trained Lawyer who specializes in Wills, Real Estates and Marriage Contracts.
For full details on how Quebec Notaries function and the range of their services, refer to Description of Quebec Notaries Services