Everything You Need to Know About Notarization at Carson Law

What is notarization?

A notary public is a person who has been recognized by the Attorney General of Ontario as an individual trusted to commission oaths, affidavits, and other declarations; and to verify that signatures, copies of documents, and other marks are genuine. When a person becomes a licensed lawyer in Ontario, they can receive a lifetime appointment as a notary public, so it is very common for law offices to offer notary services.

Notarization is when a notary public commissions a document or verifies that a signature, copy, or other mark is genuine.

What are some examples of notarized documents?

  • Travel consent letters: A person may need to have their signature witnessed by a notary public if they are providing a letter of consent for their child to travel without them. In this case, a notary public would be verifying, for any border official who reads the travel consent form, that they have checked the signer’s identity, and that they witnessed the parent/guardian sign the document freely and willingly.

  • Declarations: A person may need to have their signature witnessed by a notary public if they are making a declaration of certain facts. In this case, a notary public would be verifying, for the reader of the declaration, that they have checked the signer’s identity, and that they witnessed the person make the declaration and sign the document freely and willingly.

  • Copies of original documents: A person may need to have a copy of their passport certified by a notary public as a true copy of the original if they are sending their identification to a person or organization by mail or email (for example, if someone needs to include identification as part of an immigration application). In this case, a notary public would be verifying, for the viewer of the copy of the identification, that the document is an exact copy of the original piece of identification, so that the holder of the identification does not need to part with their original copy.

In each of these situations, a notary public will write a brief statement on your document specifying what they are notarizing, they will sign and date the document, and they will affix their seal.

 What can a notary public not do?

 A notary public cannot:

  • Certify that the information contained on a document (whether an original or a copy) is true. A notary public can simply verify that a document is a true copy of an original document, or that a signature on a document was made by the person who is supposed to have signed it.

  • Verify that a certain person was the signer of a given document if they have not themselves witnessed that person sign the document.

  • Provide legal advice if they are a lawyer, but they are only providing notary services.

How can I get a document notarized at Carson Law?

Carson Law is pleased to provide walk-in notary services. If you need a document notarized, simply attend our office with a piece of government-issued photo ID, which cannot be a health card. Our receptionist will have you fill out an ID form, will take a copy of your ID, and will coordinate notarization with one of our lawyers.

In most cases, one of our lawyers will be available to notarize your document right away. Sometimes, however, our lawyers are in overlapping appointments. If you need to find a time where your document can be notarized while you wait, please call ahead at (905) 336-8940 x1000.

Our fee is $20.00 per notarial signature, which can be paid with cash or with a personal cheque. We are not able to accept card payments. If you are paying with cash, please bring exact change.


If you need a certified true copy of an original document, do not make your own photocopy. Bring the original document to our office, and we will photocopy it for you. This way, we can ensure that the lawyer notarizing your document has seen the original document. This is essential if the lawyer is to certify that the copy is a true copy of the original document.

If you need to have your signature witnessed, or if you need to have a declaration commissioned, do not sign the document before coming into our office. Bring the unsigned document to our office, where the lawyer notarizing your document will witness you sign it. Again, this is essential if the lawyer is to certify that they have verified the identity and willingness of the signer.

Ensure that you bring valid, current photo ID with you. It must be government-issued, and it cannot be a health card.

Please allow for some time to have your document notarized. It is always best to have your document notarized several days before your personal deadlines, as we cannot guarantee that a lawyer will always be available for same-day notarization.


Where can I find a travel consent form? The federal government provides a sample travel consent form, which you can find here. We are happy to notarize this form for you.

Who can I speak to about notarization at your office? If you have questions about notarization, please reach out to our receptionist at (905) 336-8940 x1000.

Do I need an appointment to have a document notarized? No, you do not need an appointment to have a document notarized. We are pleased to offer notary services on a walk-in basis, but, because of our scheduled client appointments, we cannot guarantee that a lawyer will always be immediately available to help you. We suggest that you call in advance of coming in so that we can tell you if a lawyer will be available at your preferred time.

How do I know if I need a document notarized? Most documents that require notarization contain a note specifying that the document must be notarized. Alternatively, the document may have a space for a notary public to sign and affix their seal. However, these indicators do not always appear on documents. If you are unsure about whether you need a document notarized, please call our office in advance of coming in, and we will be pleased to help you.

How can wills and powers of attorney change over time?

Wills and powers of attorney (POAs) are extremely useful pre-planning documents, because they can provide security and peace of mind in times of ill health, and at the end of a person’s life. But these documents are necessarily written well before we anticipate that we will need to use them. This means that our wills and POAs can become outdated.

In this short article, we’ve flagged a few circumstances where you should consider updating your will and POAs, and we’ve described a few ways that each type of document can be changed.

As always, when you are working with wills and POAs, it is best to retain a lawyer.

You should consider updating your wills and POAs if:

  • You get married or divorced

  • Your spouse passes

  • You show or your spouse shows early signs of losing capacity

  • You have your first child

  • All of your children reach the age of majority

  • You become estranged from a person named in your will

  • You are a business owner and you are selling the business

  • You are moving to different province or country

  • Your financial situation changes drastically, or your financial wishes change drastically

  • You experience other drastic changes in your life

How can you update your will?

You can update your will in two main ways:
writing a new will, or adding a codicil to your existing will.

A codicil is a document that is read together with the original will. This means that all of your original intentions will still be read when you pass. By contrast, writing an entirely new will means that the original will can be entirely destroyed, without anyone reading it after you pass.

Anyone considering using a codicil should think about whether the contents of the codicil would contradict the contents of the original will, because this kind of inconsistency can lead to people challenging your will after you pass. So, if you are planning on making a relatively small change to your will, like changing your executor or adding a particular gift, a codicil may be the best option for you. On the other hand, if you are planning on making significant changes to your will — such as changing your beneficiaries or what they receive, or changing multiple sections of your will — an entirely new will may be the best option for you.

 How can you update your POAs?

There is no real process to “tweak” a POA. POAs for property and for personal care are quite short and specific documents. Therefore, if you need to make changes to your POA(s), you will almost certainly need to write entirely new POAs.

Scale Up and Power Up Your Passive Income!

Join us at the Holiday Inn Burlington on Saturday October 5th, 2019 where Dylan Suitor, in association with The REITE Club, will be hosting an event where you will learn how to scale your portfolio.

Burlington’s Real Estate experts will be in attendance and together they will take you through the steps from the pre-approval process all the way to closing, renovating, safely pre-screening, and finding the tenant.

This super-charged day will have new investors raring to go and veteran investors sharpening their skills!

Learn, hear, and engage from powerhouses in the business - Carson Law’s founder and leader, Ryan Carson, Clarie Drage, Ken Bekendam, and George Dube.

Don’t miss out on this amazing event where you will learn how to scale up and power up your passive income opportunities!

Trademark Opposition No Walk in Jurassic Park

Trademark Opposition No Walk in Jurassic Park

In Canada, the Toronto Raptors’ successful drive for their first NBA Championship is all anyone can talk about. But behind the euphoria of the Championship lurks a dark cloud. Monster Energy has commenced a proceeding, known as a Trademark Opposition, to prevent the most recent versions of the Toronto Raptors’ logos from being registered as trademarks.


While the recent strong performance of the Toronto Raptors in the NBA finals has brought joy and hope to Toronto sports fans and supporters of Canadian basketball, it has also brought with it a flood of media coverage. The daily spotlight being shone on the team should come as no surprise to anybody, nor should the fact that anything even remotely associated with Raptor’s star forward, Kawhi Leonard (“Leonard”), is met with an exceptional amount of scrutiny. So, one can imagine just how much attention a story might receive involving one of the NBA’s biggest stars and the sports industry’s largest apparel company. As was widely reported earlier this week by just about every single news media outlet in North America, Leonard has initiated legal action against sports apparel giant Nike Inc. (“Nike”) over control of his personal branding.

Copyright Comparison Series - Part 3: Case Law

This is the third and final part of our copyright comparison looking at rules and regulations in Canada and the United States. Part 3 looks at different landmark cases that have helped shape the landscape of how copyright law is interpreted in Canada. Make sure to check out parts 1 and 2 in the series.

Copyright Comparison Series - Part 2: Fair Dealing versus Fair Use

This is the second part of our copyright comparison looking at rules and regulations in Canada and the United States. Part 2 looks at the differences between the principles of Fair Dealing in Canada and Fair Use in the U.S. Make sure to check out Part 1 that provides an introduction and insight into derivative works in both countries.

Copyright Comparison Series - Part 1: Derivative Works in Canada and the U.S.

This is the first part of our copyright comparison series looking rules and regulation in Canada and the United States. This comparison of the Canadian concepts of fair dealing and “derivative works” with equivalent provisions of the U.S. Copyright Code will highlight the broad protection afforded to users of pre-existing works in Canada. Make sure to look out for parts 2 and 3.

Impact of Amendments to Canada’s Industrial Design Act

By definition, Industrial Designs are the visual features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament, or any combination of these features applied to a finished article. Basically, it is about how things look. For example, the specific shape or decoration of a table. Further, it must be an original design in order to be protected. But how does one prove originality? Fortunately, Canada’s Industrial Design Act exists to answer this question, among others, and provide direction regarding the requirements and process for registering a design. In November 5, 2018, amendments to this Act came into force. Here are a number of changes that those who are looking to register an Industrial Design in Canada should be aware of.

Canada's Adherence to the Madrid Protocol - What Does This Mean?

After over five years of preparation, Canada deposited an instrument of accession to the Madrid Protocol with WIPO on March 17, 2019.

Effective June 17, 2019 Canada will finally become a member of the Madrid System. What does this mean for Canadians and Foreign trademark holders looking to register in Canada?

Amendments to Canada's Trademarks Act are coming - Are you ready?

Effective June 17, 2019, Canada’s Trademarks Act (“Act”) will see some noticeable changes, and these amendments will significantly alter the landscape in Canada regarding filing applications, registrations, and renewals. Owners of Canadian Trademark Registrations, applicants in pending applications, and potential new applicants should carefully assess and review their options going forward.

Is Use no Longer Required for Trademark Protection in Canada?

Use has long been an integral component required to obtain, maintain and enforce registered trademarks in Canada.

Prior to June 17, 2019, applications for registration of a trademark filed in Canada required the identification of one or more basis of registration typically selected from proposed use in Canada, actual use in Canada, or registration and use in a foreign country of origin. If an application was based on proposed use, registration would not be granted until a declaration of use in Canada had been submitted. After June 17, 2019 an applicant no longer needs to identify a basis of registration.

Has Canada done an about face and eliminated use as a requirement for trademark protection in Canada?

Looking to Grow Your Real Estate Portfolio? Explore Opportunities in Multi-Family Real Estate

Carson Law is proud to support this exciting learning opportunity. It’s main focus will be to help individuals learn how multi-family real estate can boost capital and increase wealth. this event has been designed to offer material that can be used by beginners looking to expose themselves to Canadian Real Estate as well as existing investors looking to expand their portfolios into other areas.

Mental Health in the Workplace - Bell Let's Talk Day

Recently, our law firm went through the process of performing individual employee reviews. While these did include a work-related performance component, the majority of the time was spent focusing on our staff’s motivations, life goals, concerns, and paths to fulfillment. We want our people to know that their well-being is paramount to anything else we pursue as a firm.

The Bell Let’s Talk initiative was started in 2010 with the goal of establishing a public dialogue about mental health issues and breaking down the inaccurate stigma that mental illness is a weakness and not the medical condition needing treatment that it is (Sick Not Weak). To date, Bell’s donations to mental health programs have totaled over $93.4 million and climbing.

Carson Law extends congratulations to Erika Warren

The Carson Law team is excited and proud to announce that Erika Warren has successfully passed her bar exam and will officially be joining the firm as a full-fledged lawyer.

Earning Passive Investment Income Inside Your Company

In 2017, the federal Liberal government sent shock waves rippling through Canada’s small business and corporation owners with the announcement of their intention to make certain changes to how passively held income within a private company is taxed. After their initial proposal faced some harsh feedback and criticism, the government took a period of time to closely examine their desired changes and refine the plan’s focus and scope. These changes will come into affect in 2019, so here is a brief summary of what private corporation owners should be expecting as well as some possible strategies to mitigate the impact.

12 Days of Giving - Day 12

On the twelfth day of giving, my law firm gave to me,

helping a hospice.

For our twelfth and final day of giving, we are proud to be donating to the Ian Anderson House, an in-resident cancer hospice located in Oakville.

We have made it to the end of our twelve days of giving initiative, and we want to thank all of those who have followed along with us to learn about some worthwhile charities as well as why they are important to our staff. Up to this point, we have heard about many great causes working to help save lives or make things better for the future. The Ian Anderson House is a little different, because families who end up there are unfortunately faced with the impending loss of a loved one. The Ian Anderson House has been selected by our Operations & Business Development Manager, Chad Blundy, as in January 2014 Chad and his family suffered a significant event when his father lost his battle with colon cancer. His final days were spent at IAH, and words cannot express the gratitude that Chad’s family has for the facility’s medical staff and volunteers. The compassion, care, respect, and dignity that was provided certainly helped ease what was a difficult and gut-wrenching experience. The fact that IAH provides its services completely free-of-charge to six patients at a time, and grants families full access to the entire house at all hours of the day is a tremendously selfless operation.

12 Days of Giving - Day 11

On the eleventh day of giving, my law firm gave to me,

Counsel and support.

On our eleventh day of giving, we are happy to announce that Halton Alcohol, Drug, and Gambling Assessment Prevention & Treatment Services (ADAPT) have been selected to receive our next donation.

ADAPT is a non-profit and community-based agency in the Halton Region that assesses and provides treatment for addiction on an outpatient basis. This charity has been selected by one of our administrative assistants, Jan Christmas, as she has been witness to both the horrors that come with addiction and abuse, as well as the redemption that can be brought with proper and effective intervention. In Jan's own words, "I have chosen this charity as this organization has made a significant impact in the life of someone very dear to me who has been going through some very dark times. The counselors at ADAPT are providing the tools to help this person make significant change in their life … giving them hope for a brighter future. I believe they likely have a made a huge impact in the lives of many members of our community, both youth and adult. I’m sure they would be very grateful for any donation received.”