Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a notary public?

In Ontario, a notary public is someone who has been appointed by the Government of Ontario as someone who can verify that signatures, marks and copies of documents are true or genuine. Notaries public also have all the powers of a commissioner for taking oaths or affidavits, which means they can legally administer an oath, affirmation or declaration, for example, to a person making an affidavit.

2. What are notary public services? What are commissioner for taking oaths services?

Notaries public can notarize documents, or commission oaths, statutory declarations or affidavits.

To have a document notarized means that a notary public has verified that signatures, marks and copies of documents are true or genuine. To have an oath, statutory declaration or affidavit commissioned means that a notary public has administered an oath, affirmation or declaration to a person.

3.  Are you really a notary public? Are you also a lawyer?

Yes, we really are notaries and lawyers. The notaries at Downtown Notary are notaries pursuant to the Ontario Notaries Act, and have received their certificates of notarial appointment from the Ministry of the Attorney General. Our signatures are verifiable by the Government of Ontario's Official Document Services, provided by the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services.  The notaries at Downtown Notary are lawyers and members in good standing of the Law Society of Upper Canada.  You may find out more information about our credentials by searching the Law Society of Upper Canada's online Lawyer and Paralegal Directory.

4.  What do I need to bring to my appointment?

You must bring either one piece of valid government-issued identification (e.g., driver's licence or passport) or two pieces of government-issued non-photo identification (e.g., social insurance card or birth certificate) to your appointment.

You must bring the documents you require notarized. If you require printing services, you must notify us before the appointment.  Please do not sign any documents until the appointment.

If you require certified true copies of a document, you must bring the original document and the copies to be certified.

5.  What happens if I'm late or need to cancel an appointment?

We understand that things happen and plans need to change. If you are running late or need to cancel your appointment, please contact us as soon as possible.

You will be charged a $6 fee if you are more than 15 minutes late.  We cannot guarantee that we will be able to keep your appointment if you are more than 20 minutes late.

You will be charged a $35 fee if you cancel with less than two hours notice and do not rebook your appointment, or if you do not show up to your appointment and do not provide notice of cancellation.

6. What methods of payment do you accept?

We accept cash, credit, e-transfer, PayPal or cheque. At this time we are unable to accept debit card.

7.  Does Downtown Notary guarantee its work?

Downtown Notary guarantees that if there is a problem with any of our signatures or stamps, we will redo the notarization or commissioning at no additional cost to the client.

However, clients are responsible for ensuring they have the correct form and any accompanying documentation and are familiar with the form's requirements for their intended purpose. It is also the client's responsibility to ensure the forms are fully and accurately completed.  Downtown Notary does not accept liability for clients' choice or completion of forms.

8.  Does Downtown Notary provide legal advice?

No. Downtown Notary limits its services to verifying that signatures, marks and copies of documents are true or genuine and does not provide any legal advice. If you require legal advice and need to find a lawyer, please use the Law Society of Upper Canada's Find a Lawyer or Paralegal service.

Can't find the answer you're looking for? You can find more answers to questions about our services on The Notable Blog or by contacting us.