Understanding Commissioning Vs. Notarizing Documents
People will often confuse having a document notarized and having a document commissioned. Understanding the difference between a notary public and a commissioner for oaths can be confusing. This misunderstanding can lead to spending money you do not have to, delays in completing documents, and the rejection of a document being submitted. Kahane Law Office is able to help understand what you require in Alberta. We can then notarize or commission your documents.
What is a Commissioner For Oaths?
Section 15(1) of the Notaries and Commissioners Act in Alberta allows for people to be appointed (by the Alberta government) to be a commissioner for oaths. A commissioner for oaths is able to take and receive affidavits, affirmations and declarations in and for Alberta. The have a stamp that is used along with their signature but no seal. These appointments expire and must be renewed. More information regarding commissioner for oath services is available here.
There are also people who are commissioner for oaths who are so by virtue of their office or status. These people include:
- Political representatives
- Police officers
- Notary publics
What Is A Notary Public?
Section 4(1) of the Notaries and Commissioners Act in Alberta allows for a Notary Public to:
- administer oaths or take affidavits, affirmations or declarations and attest the oaths, affidavits, affirmations or declarations
- certify and attest a true copy of a document, and
- witness or certify and attest the execution of a document.
A notary has a stamp and a seal when they sign off on documents and are specifically allowed to be used in Alberta, within Canada and internationally. More information about notary public services is available here.
So What Is The Difference Between A Notary Public And A Commissioner for Oaths
The main difference between a notary public and a commissioner for oaths is where a document is to be used as well as what a person needs. For a simple taking of an oath, both positions allowed if for use and made in Alberta. Once outside the province, a notary is required. For example, the Alberta land titles office will not accept an affidavit of execution that is sworn in Ontario if the document is commissioned. It will allow it if it is notarized.
Further, a further difference between a notary public and a commissioner for oaths is that only a notary can make a certified true copy of a document, attest an oath or certify the execution of a document.
What Other “Notarization”s Cause Confusion?
Notwithstanding the difference between a notary public and a commissioner for oaths, neither are able to give Independent Legal Advice (also known as ILA). Legal advice can only be given by a lawyer in Alberta. Personal Guarantees are also confused in that they require more than just signing off on a document. They require that the person acknowledging a personal guarantee understands the nature of the personal guarantee. This is why it is very important to bring all documents related to the debt or potential debt being guaranteed to your appointment.
Getting The Help You Need
Still confused with the difference between a notary public and a commissioner for oaths, do not worry. Kahane Law Office has many Notary Publics and even more commissioner for oaths. This allows you to either set up a convenient appointment or just drop by during regular business hours to have either done. We can even help you understand which is required in Alberta. To make an appointment call us today at 403-225-8810 in Calgary, Alberta, or email us directly here.