How Do I Certify a Document for use in another country?

April 2nd, 2024
Certified copy for Apostille

Certified Copies for Apostille

Sometimes, when you want to use a Canadian document in another country, you might need to obtain either an Apostille certificate or go through a process called Authentication and Legalization (A&L). These processes verify the legitimacy of the signature of a Canadian public official on the document. All Notaries Public in Canada are recognized as Canadian public officials, and their seals and signatures can be verified by either federal or provincial government authorities. Original notarized documents (such as affidavits or contracts) can be directly submitted to Canadian government authorities to obtain an Apostille Certificate or A&L.

But what do you do if you have an original document, such as a will, power of attorney, university transcripts, or identification such as a passport, that has not been notarized? There is a simple process called obtaining a certified true copy, that allows you to submit copies of these documents for an Apostille Certificate or A&L.

Here is a breakdown of this process:

Step 1: Determine if your documents need to be certified

Before proceeding, check whether your documents need an Apostille Certificate or Authentication and Legalization. It is important to note that not all jurisdictions require Canadian documents to go through these processes before they can be used there. It can also vary by the type of document in that particular jurisdiction.

To begin, verify the specific requirements by contacting the authority requesting your document or contacting the embassy, high commission, or consulate of the country where your document will be utilized. This includes reaching out to foreign embassies, consulates or high commissions in Canada.

Step 2: Get a Certified True Copy

A certified true copy is a duplicate of the original document, certified as an accurate representation. To get this certification, take the original document to a Canadian notary public company such as Red Seal Notary. The notary will make a copy of the document, and then certify it to be a true copy by placing their signature and seal directly on the copy. This notarization confirms that the document is a Certified True copy of the original.

In many cases, submitting a Certified True Copy is sufficient for obtaining an Apostille Certificate or Authenticating and Legalizing a document. However, checking with the intended recipient in advance is advisable to ensure they will accept a Certified True Copy instead of the original document.

Step 3: Submit your notarized document for an Apostille Certificate or Authentication and Legalization

In Canada, provincial government authorities (in Alberta, British Columbia, Quebec, Saskatchewan and Ontario) or Global Affairs Canada (for all other provinces and territories) can provide either an Apostille Certificate or Authentication Services.

Canada is part of the Apostille Convention, making the certification process smoother for other countries that are also a part of this convention. It is important that you check whether the country you are submitting your document to has also signed this convention. A Canadian authority will verify the signature and seal of the Notary Public on your certified true copy, and issue an Apostille certificate. This separate document will be securely attached to your document. The document is now ready to be submitted in countries that are part of the Apostille Convention.

Authentication and Legalization

If you need to certify a document for a country that is not a part of the Apostille Convention, then you will have to go through the two step process of Authentication and Legalization, where the signature and seal of the Canadian Notary Public is verified by a Canadian government authority (Global Affairs Canada or a provincial authority), and then the document is submitted to the embassy, high commission, or consulate in Canada of the non-Apostille country to be legalized.

How Can Red Seal Notary Help?

Red Seal Notary’s team of knowledgeable Notaries can provide a certified true copy of most original documents. Just bring the original document in to one of our walk-in locations in the Toronto area, or contact our helpful call center to make an appointment with notaries across Canada.

As well, Red Seal Notary provides full-service assistance with all of your Certified Copies for Apostille or A&L requirements, as we recognize that the process can be both time-consuming and complex. If your document is in another language and needs to be translated, we can arrange to have the document translated as well.

Simplify the Apostille or Authentication process – trust Red Seal Notary for prompt and professional document services. Please visit our website at www.RedSealNotary.com or contact our helpful call center at 1-888-922-7325 to learn more about our Notarization, Apostille or Authentication and Legalization services.

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