A notary public is an individual appointed under the Notaries Act who may do such things as: certify documents, witness signings, and administer oaths.
A commissioner for taking affidavits (also called a commissioner of oaths) only has authority to administer oaths and take affidavits.
A notary public has much broader authority. A notary public can "notarize" copies of documents (verify as a true copy).
Barristers and solicitors in Ontario are automatically commissioners for taking affidavits. They also have the automatic right to be notary publics; however, in order to exercise the notary public function they must apply for and obtain a notary public seal.
A notarized copy is a photocopy of an original document that has been certified by a notary public to be a true and accurate copy of the original document. A notarized copy is sometimes referred to as a certified copy. When making and certifying copies of an original document, the Notary Public only needs to see the original of the document to be certified. You can make arrangements with us to have your documents sent to us.
A notary public should verify the identity of the deponent (usually by examining photographic identification), satisfy himself or herself that the deponent has read and understands the document being commissioned. The deponent will then affirm or swear that the contents of the document are true and correct. The deponent will then sign the document in front of the notary public. The notary public will then sign the document, seal the document, and certify on the document that an oath or solemn declaration has been duly commissioned.
A notary public does not certify that the statement being made is true. Rather, a notary public only certifies that an oath or solemn declaration has been administered (commissioned). No legal advice is given during a commissioning of an oath. In most cases, a notary public will not need to read the document being commissioned.
When attending the notary public's office the document being commissioned should be complete. The document should be read and understood by the deponent. The deponent should not sign the document being commissioned until after the commissioning.
A deponent must take an oath or solemn declaration in front of a person, such as a notary public, who is qualified to take oaths. An oath or solemn declaration cannot be made over the telephone.