If you have a document that is required to be witnessed by a Notary Public and then to be used in a foreign jurisdiction, please note that the signature and office of the Notary Public, subject to the requirements of that foreign jurisdiction, in most cases will have to be authenticated by the Secretary of The Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia.
Various countries further require the Lieutenant Governor of BC’s authentication of the Secretary’s signature. Lastly, many countries also require these kind of documents be “Legalized” by the Consulate of the Country to which it is being sent. “Legalization” is confirmation by the Consulate official that the signature of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia is true. Consulates may charge a fee for this service.
The Hague Convention of 1961 abolished the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents and specified the procedures through which a document issued in one of the signatory countries can be certified for legal purposes in all the other signatory states. Such a certification is called an apostille. It is an international certification comparable to a notarization and is often added to documents that have been in some manner signed by a Notary, lawyer or other public official. Please note that Canada is not a signatory to the Hague Convention. Therefore, if you intend to use a document in a foreign jurisdiction, it must first be authenticated and/or legalized.
Additionally, certain countries require that a Notary’s signature on a document be authenticated by the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada in Ottawa:
Authentication and Service of Documents Section (JLAC)
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
125 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Please note that if a document is written in a foreign language, you must have the document translated into English or French.
If you have any questions regarding a document that must be authenticated and/or legalized, please do not hesitate to contact us.