KNOW THE DIFFERENCE: Notary Public vs. Commissioner of Oaths

Posted by on Feb 5, 2016 in Blog

notary public in office verify documentsMany citizens, not just lawyers, are certified with some amount of legal power or recognition. Two of these positions are Notary Public and Commissioner of Oaths— and you may encounter a need for one or both at different stages of life. The following guide will walk you through the instances where you would need each position and their different qualifications.

WHAT IS A COMMISSIONER OF OATHS?

In Alberta, a Commissioner of Oaths is certified to endorse affirmations and declarations– they can also take and receive affidavits or administer oaths. These legal documents and agreements are only valid for use in Alberta.

Commissioners of Oaths are often employed at law and real estate offices. Municipal councilors, members of the Legislative Assembly, lawyers, students-at-law, judges, full-time commissioned officers of the Canadian Forces, school board trustees, justices of the peace and police officers are all Commissioners of Oaths.

WHAT IS A NOTARY PUBLIC?

In Alberta, a Notary Public has all the powers of a Commissioner of Oaths– but he or she can also endorse documents to be used outside of the Province. Notary Publics that are lawyers or judges can witness, certify and attest business documents, contracts and property deeds.

All practicing lawyers are notaries public. Also: students-at-law, judges, members of the House of Commons, members of the Legislative Assembly and members of the Senate appointed while citizens of Alberta.

DOES IT COST TO HAVE SOMETHING ENDORSED?

Both Notaries Public and Commissioners of Oaths are entitled to charge a fee for their services. There is no set fee for these services, so ensure you consult with your prospective servant of government before agreeing to anything.

It can be a hassle to jump through legal hoops, so consult with your lawyer when choosing a Notary Public or Commissioner of Oaths. Due to the seriousness of their services, all due diligence should be followed through. Contact Heritage Law today for your personalized legal advice!

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