Become a Notary
Are you considering a career as a legal professional in BC?
Notaries Public Profession in British Columbia
British Columbia is unique in that we have lawyer and non-lawyer legal service providers. All lawyers in BC are Notaries Public by virtue of their membership in the Law Society. Not all Notaries Public are lawyers. Non-lawyer Notaries Public are members of the Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia and have a long and storied history of providing service directly to the public in British Columbia. Notaries have served the people of British Columbia since the pioneer days of the 19th century. For more history: click here
The scope of services provided by Notaries varies from province to province. Notaries in British Columbia practice non-contentious law and can provide many of the same services as lawyers in the province. Services include but are not limited to: Wills and personal planning, residential and commercial real estate transactions, contracts and agreements, powers of attorney, notarizations, and signature attestations. Click here to check all the services provided by the Notaries. The Supreme Court of British Columbia holds Notaries and Lawyers to the same standard with respect to the services they can both provide.
In British Columbia, the statutory framework governing Notaries Public is primarily established by the Notaries Act. Since we are a self-regulated legal entity, legislation requires our Notaries to possess the same high level of education.
Are you considering a career as a Notary Public in BC?
To practice as a Notary Public in British Columbia, you must be a member of the Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia (the Society). To be admitted as a member, you are required to complete the Notary Education Program (NEP) offered and facilitated by the Society.
The Notary Education Program is comprised of:
- Mentoring with an approved mentor
- In-person and online classes;
- Skills Assessments; and
- Admission Exams
Prerequisites for enrolment. The Applicant:
- Must be a Canadian Citizen or a Permanent Resident of Canada.
- Must have the SFU Master of Arts in Applied Legal Studies (MA ALS) or a law degree from a Canadian law school. Further information on the SFU MA ALS application program can be found on their website here.
- Should you have a law degree from a Canadian law school, please refer to the section at the end.
- Applications to the Notary Education Program will open for SFU MA ALS students in the fall of the year you complete your degree. SFU students wishing to pursue a career as a Notary are required to apply through the SNPBC admissions process. Acceptance to the NEP is conditional on your admission exam results being satisfactory.
- Must have completed an approved post-secondary education accounting course.
- Must complete a writing exercise requirement; and
- Must authorize the SNPBC to conduct a credit history and criminal record check.
Application to the Notary Education Program
You must submit your application package and application fee to the Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia using the online application portal by the application deadline.
Supporting Documentation Required:
- A statement of personal assets and liabilities;
- Resume of employment history;
- Biography & Statement of Intent;
- Three letters of reference;
- A Notary reference or referral;
- Unofficial transcript from the SFU MA ALS program;
- Registration form & Application fee; and
- Any other documents as required by the Society.
The Society of Notaries Public complies with the Human Rights Act and encourages applications from all individuals interested in becoming a Notary Public in B.C.
For Canadian/International Lawyers interested in becoming a Member of the Society of Notaries Public.
Lawyers may be admitted to the Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia in accordance with the principles of labour mobility subject to satisfactory fulfillment of The Society of Notaries Public admission requirements.
Lawyers who are currently members of a Law Society of a Canadian Province may apply for admission to The Society without having to take the full Notary Education Program. All applicants are required to successfully complete the statutory licensure examinations.
Please note that members of the Law Society of BC are notaries public under the Legal Profession Act (BC) and are not required to become members of the SNPBC to practice as a notary.
Lawyers from a country other than Canada may apply pursuant to the principles of Foreign Qualification Recognition and may be eligible to enroll in the Notary Education Program or a modified version of the program as directed by The Society’s Membership & Admissions Committee, on a case-by-case basis.
Your application to the Society will consist of –
- The application form;
- Receipt of official transcripts from educational institutions to be delivered directly to the SNPBC;
- Character reference letters from three referees;
- A certificate of standing from all law societies of which you are or have been a member, issued not more than 30 days prior to the date of application;
- An authorization for any law society in which the applicant is or was a member to disclose information about complaints and discipline including remedial action with consent;
- The application fee of $1,125.00 plus GST.
Upon review and acceptance of a preliminary application, applicants will be advised of the education and training requirements. All applicants must successfully complete the statutory examinations.
Knowledge of a great deal of provincial legislation is required to successfully complete the NEP and Statutory Examinations. Notwithstanding other legal education, applicants may wish to enroll in the Simon Fraser University Master of Arts in Applied Legal Studies program even though there may be eligibility to be admitted on the basis of a Canadian law degree. If you choose to enroll in the full program instead of pursuing an application under this policy, applications should be made as a graduate from SFU.