What is a Notary Public, anyway?

October 14, 2014 Published by

Functions of notaries public vary across Canada. In Manitoba, a notary public is a person authorized to witness documents and to certify copies of original documents. Unlike commissioners for oaths, notaries can witness documents that are sent worldwide. Most lawyers are notaries and charge a small fee for the service.

In cases where a signature is being witnessed by a notary, photo ID is required as proof of identity. The witness must sign in front of the notary.

Copies of original documents are made where it is impractical to send the original or where an institution, such as a government agency or a university, requires that a copy be notarized. A notary cannot certify a copy of a copy; the original document must be produced.

A notary cannot verify the truth or contents of documents. It is up to the individual to ensure that the document is correct.

Some organizations require that after being notarized, documents have an Authentication certificate attached. This is a separate certificate which states that the signature and seal of the notary is valid. Authentication certificates are issued by the Companies Office which oversees commissioners for oaths and notaries public in Winnipeg and throughout Manitoba.

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