What Does a Notary or Commissioner of Oaths Do?

Notary, Commissioner of Oaths

Quite simply put, Notary Publics and Commissioner of Oaths are people who have been authorized by law to serve as an official witness to the signing of various legal documents. In Nova Scotia, the statute that grants these powers is the Notaries and Commissioners Act, c.213 RSNS 1989.

Notarizing a document means that a Notary or Commissioner has taken the proper steps to verify your identity by viewing a piece of Government-issued ID and then has witnessed your signing of the particular document. Afterwards they seal and sign the document to certify their witnessing of the signature. 

Over the years, with the evolution of fraud, identity theft and basic contract disputes and litigation, more and more documents have come to require Notarization. When you get a document notarized in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the purpose of the seal and signature is to swear to the authenticity of your signature on the document.

What is the Difference Between a Commissioners of Oath and a Notary Public?

The difference between a Commissioner of Oaths and a Notary Public is the extent of their power. The powers of a Commissioner of Oaths are limited in comparison to a Notary Public. For example, while a Notary can certify true copies, a Commissioner is unable to do the same. Always ask a Commissioner beforehand about what they can do in relation to your document.

Types of Commonly Notarized Documents

Notarizing documents is a service we offer in our Tantallon, Nova Scotia office. Below is a list of a some commonly Notarized documents:

  • Contracts and Business Agreements

  • Affidavits and Statutory Declarations

  • Certifying Copies of Various Documents

  • Certifying Various Government Forms and Applications

  • Invitation Letters for Visitors’ Visa

  • Certifying Consent to Travel for Children of Separated/ Divorced Families

If you have any questions about notary’s and commissioner of oaths you can call us at (902) 826-3070 or email us at info@highlanderlaw.ca to set up a meeting with one of our lawyers at our Tantallon law firm. You can also schedule a no commitment Issue Review Consult for $100+HST where you have the opportunity to explain your situation to a lawyer and get basic advice before deciding whether or not you'd like to retain us.  

By: Amanda Toulany, J.D.

The information and materials on this blog are provided for general informational purposes only and are not intended to be legal advice. Nothing contained on this blog is legal advice or constitutes a legal opinion. While it is our goal to provide information which is current, legislative changes and court decisions, among other matters, may result in some information no longer being current or accurate. You should consult a lawyer before relying on any information. The views expressed herein by individual contributing lawyers posting entries to the blog are solely those of the authors and should not necessarily be attributed to or considered representative of the firm of Highlander Law Group Lawyers.