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Notaries Act

The Rules Governing Notaries in Ontario

The rules are similar in the rest of Canada. (except Quebec, as always)

R.S.O. 1990, ChapterN.6

Amended by: 2001, c. 9, Sched. B, s. 10.


1.  (1)  Subject to section 2, the Attorney General may appoint such persons as he or she thinks fit as notaries public for Ontario.  2001, c. 9, Sched. B, s. 10 (1).


(2)  The Attorney General may, in writing, delegate the power conferred by subsection (1) to a person who is a public servant as defined in the Public Service Act.  2001, c. 9, Sched. B, s. 10 (1).


2.  (1)  Any person, other than a barrister and solicitor, being a Canadian citizen, who is desirous of being appointed or reappointed a notary public, is subject to examination or re-examination, as the case may be, in regard to his or her qualification for the office by a judge of the Superior Court of Justice in the area in which he or she resides, or by such other person as may be appointed in that behalf under the Public Service Act, and no such person shall be appointed or reappointed a notary public without a certificate from such judge, or such other person, that he or she has examined or re-examined the applicant and finds him or her qualified for the office, and that in his or her opinion a notary public is needed for the public convenience in the place where the applicant resides and intends to carry on business.  R.S.O. 1990, c. N.6, s. 2 (1); 2001, c. 9, Sched. B, s. 10 (2); 2001, c. 9, Sched. B, s. 10 (3).


(2)  Where a person, other than a barrister and solicitor, is appointed or reappointed a notary public, restrictions may be imposed in the appointment limiting the territory and cases in which such person may use and exercise his or her powers.  R.S.O. 1990, c. N.6, s. 2 (2); 2001, c. 9, Sched. B, s. 10 (4, 5).


3.  Subject to subsection 2 (2), a notary public has and may use and exercise the power of drawing, passing, keeping and issuing all deeds and contracts, charter-parties and other mercantile transactions in Ontario, and also of attesting all commercial instruments that may be brought before him or her for public protestation, and otherwise of acting as is usual in the office of notary public, and may demand, receive and have all the rights, profits and emoluments rightfully appertaining and belonging to the calling of notary public.  R.S.O. 1990, c. N.6, s. 3.

Power to take affidavits


Offences, notaries

6.  (1)  Every notary public who as such exercises any power, performs any function or acts in any way that is not authorized by this Act or that he or she is not otherwise by law entitled to exercise, perform or do is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $2,000.  R.S.O. 1990, c. N.6, s. 6 (1).


(2)  Every notary public who fails to comply with any restriction imposed in his or her appointment under subsection 2 (2) or who fails to comply with subsection 5 (3) is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $1,000.  R.S.O. 1990, c. N.6, s. 6 (2); 2001, c. 9, Sched. B, s. 10 (7).

Idem, other persons

(3)  Every person who carries on business as a notary public or who holds himself or herself out as such or who, not being otherwise authorized by law, performs any function of a notary public without a subsisting appointment under this Act or any predecessor of this Act is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $10,000.  R.S.O. 1990, c. N.6, s. 6 (3); 2001, c. 9, Sched. B, s. 10 (8).


7.  (1)  Where a notary public who is a member of The Law Society of Upper Canada ceases for any reason to be a member of the Society or his or her membership in the Society is in abeyance, his or her appointment as a notary public is suspended until such time as his or her membership in the Society is restored or is no longer in abeyance.  2001, c. 9, Sched. B, s. 10 (9).

Revocation of appointment on conviction for offence

(2)  The Attorney General may revoke the appointment of a notary public on his or her conviction for an offence against this Act or for any other conduct that in the Attorney General’s opinion renders the person unfit to hold the office of notary public.  2001, c. 9, Sched. B, s. 10 (9).


(3)  Subsection (2) applies whether the appointment was made by the Attorney General on or after the date on which section 10 of Schedule B to the Government Efficiency Act, 2001 comes into force or by the Lieutenant Governor before that date.  2001, c. 9, Sched. B, s. 10 (9).


8.  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations,

(a)   prescribing the fee to be paid upon appointment or reappointment as a notary public or any class thereof;

(b)   prescribing the fee that the judge or other person examining is entitled to receive from a person examined or re-examined under section 2;

(c)   respecting any matter necessary or advisable to carry out effectively the intent and purpose of this Act.  R.S.O. 1990, c. N.6, s. 8; 2001, c. 9, Sched. B, s. 10 (10).

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