Notaries Public and the Society of Notaries Public provide a service to the public for situations in which documents for use in other countries are required. There may be times when you will need to use documents such as an affidavit, power of attorney, or a certified copy of a document in another country for specific purposes. This process is known as Authentication.

The process of authentication is when a Notary attests documents for use in a foreign country or jurisdiction. The Notary will review the documents, speak with you about the nature of use and the specific requirements of the country in which the document is to be used. Please be aware that every country and consulate has different requirements and different procedures. It is the client’s responsibility to inquire with the consulate prior to speaking with the Notary. This will assist the Notary in providing the level of service required.

Upon receiving and reviewing the documents, the Notary will sign and seal the documents. There may be additional steps or a requirement to include something known as a Form 10. Again, requirements differ and depend on a range of factors. Once the Notary has signed and sealed the documents, they are sent to the Society office as the signature and office of the Notary must be authenticated before the document will be accepted. Society staff ensure that the notary’s signature and office are genuine. They are then authenticated by the Secretary of the Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia. Some documents require further processing and must be sent to the Ministry of the Attorney General for final verification.

Here are some important considerations when authenticating your documents:

  • Contact the Consulate of the country in which the documents are to be used to confirm their requirements. Do this prior to seeing a Notary.
  • The Society Office does not have a Notary that provides services directly to the public,
  • Present all documents to be notarized to the Notary and ask the Notary whether a Form 10 is required prior to submitting the documents to the Society of Notaries Public of BC. We do not accept documents that are not notarized.
  • Once the Notary has completed the process of notarizing the document, you may bring them or have the documents delivered directly to the Society office. No appointments are necessary when dropping off. The Society of Notaries is open from Monday to Friday, 8:30AM to 4:30PM and processes Authentications daily.
  • For all applicable fees, please refer to the Fee Schedule,
  • Timeline: If the authentication process can be completed at our office, which is entirely country dependent, and the documents do not need to be sent to Victoria, the processing time is up to 2 business days. If the documents need to go to the Ministry of the Attorney General in Victoria it can take up to 2 weeks for processing. If you need your documents sooner, you can purchase a prepaid envelope from Canada Post or a courier, which we can include in your package to the Ministry. Rush fees may apply for sending documents to the Ministry of the Attorney General.
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