Notary Locations in Canada
A notary public is a person who can witness oaths, solemn affirmations, the signing of affidavits or statutory declarations. A notary public may also certify documents to be true copies of the original.
In some jurisdictions, a notary public can also draft contracts, promissory notes, wills, mortgages and other legal documents. Almost always, the powers of a notary public in each province or state are derived from provincial or state legislation.
For example, in Ontario, a notary public derives his or her authority from the Notaries Act which states: "[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".
In some jurisdictions such as a number of provinces, the requirements for becoming a notary public are much more stringent than the above and effectively result in only lawyers being able to provide notary public services.
Like commissioners of oaths, a notary public may also witness oaths, solemn affirmations and declarations but it is not necessary that a notarial seal be affixed to the document.
Affirmation of an Oath
Where an oath is being witnessed by a notary public or a commissioner of oaths, the deponent is required to confirm the following: "Do you swear that the contents of this affidavit as subscribed by you are true? So help you God".
If this type of oath is not preferred, deponents may instead affirm by responding 'yes' to: "Do you solemnly affirm and declare that the contents of this affidavit as subscribed by you are true?" Where a solemn declaration is required instead, the deponent must declare in the positive to: "Do you make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing it to be true and knowing that it is of the same force and effect as if made under oath?".
In every case, the deponent must be physically present before the notary public or commissioner of oaths.