A notary public can perform all of the duties of a commissioner for oaths by administering oaths, and taking and receiving affidavits, statutory declarations, and affirmations. In addition, a notary public can also certify true copies of documents, and can administer oaths and affirmations for use outside of the Northwest Territories.
The services of a notary public may be needed in many situations; for example, a document used for court cases and other legal proceedings must be sworn or affirmed in front of a commissioner for oaths or a notary public in order to be admitted as evidence.
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Authentication of notarized documents
In the case of documents bound for a foreign country, consulate, or embassy, it may be necessary to have the notary's seal and signature authenticated by the Administrator of the Notaries Public Program. The Government of the Northwest Territories maintains a database of authorized notaries public with sample signatures and seals for this purpose.
Check with the consulate or embassy of the country you are traveling to and find out what documents you need, and what kind of authentication they require.
When necessary, the administrator will issue a letter to be attached to the document confirming that the notary public is authorized to notarize the document. The document must then be presented to the foreign consulate or embassy, who can issue a certificate of legalization or equivalent documentation rendering the document usable in that country.
Appointment of notaries public
The Evidence Act allows the Minister of Justice of the Northwest Territories to appoint individuals as notaries public. To become a notary public, you must submit to the Registrar:
- a completed application form;
- a completed examination form (lawyers exempted); and
- payment in the amount of $100.00.
Every examination question must be answered correctly in order for your application to be accepted. Upon approval, you will be sent a certificate of appointment as a notary public. Upon receipt of your certificate of appointment, you must submit a specimen of your notarial seal.
The appointment process is incomplete until the specimen of your notarial seal has been registered.
If you are a lawyer, your appointment stands as long as you remain in good standing with the Law Society of the Northwest Territories and are entitled to practice law within the Northwest Territories.
All other appointments expire at midnight three years after the appointment date shown on your certificate. For example, an appointment made on August 1, 2020 will expire at midnight on July 31, 2023. To renew your appointment you must complete the application form and submit with the fee. Expiration notices will not be provided.
Original signed documents must be submitted to the registry, by mail or in person. Applicable fees are payable to the Government of the Northwest Territories by VISA, Mastercard, cheque, or money order. Payments can also be made in person using cash or a debit card. Rejected submissions will be returned with any accompanying payments.
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