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Service Ontario (RIN) Registrant Identification Number

Please note that if you require a Registrant Identification Number (also known as RIN) for your vehicle and Service Ontario has requested that you provide  a letter requesting this, we can help. This applies to both personal and corporate vehicle.

These letters have to be notarized. We can draft and notarize the letter. Or you can draft the letter yourself and have us notarize it. You can read more about these requirements on Service Ontario’s website. For our fees please refer to our Fees page.

We can also draft similar documents requested by Service Ontario, such as when making a change in your corporate address.

We ask that you find out all this information prior to attending our office. That is, please find 0ut exactly what Service Ontario needs from you and what their instructions are. We will not be able to determine this on your behalf. As always, we will take our instructions from you, as each person’s situation may be different. We do not provide legal advice.

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Fully Vaccinated!

We are happy to announce that all of our Notaries are fully vaccinated! We take your and our staff’s safety very seriously. We have implemented many measures throughout the pandemic to mitigate everyone’s risk. And it seems that we have been successful because despite meeting with thousands of individuals, so far, none of our offices, notaries, or staff have contracted the virus. Nonetheless, we remain vigilant and continue to implement measures listed on our website.

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New Website

Welcome to our new website. We hope you like it. We have done our best to communicate information as clearly as we can. Over the years we have heard almost every kind of question about notarization. We have done our best to answer many of these questions on this website, in particular on this blog. Therefore, we encourage you to take advantage of this as a resource to help you learn more about how we do things.

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Yes, We’re Open

Despite recent covid-19 restrictions, all of our offices are and will remain open because we are an essential business. Our hours and days of operation are up-to-date and listed on our website.

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I’ve been asked to get an “Apostille”. Now what?

We routinely notarize documents that are intended for use outside of Canada. Sometimes the third party that is requesting the documents will ask for an additional stamp called an Apostille. However, in Canada it is not possible to obtain an Apostille stamp. Instead we have a process called Legalization and Authentication, which is recognized by most countries and third-parties.

The Legalization and Authentication Process is complex and requires coordination with the office of Official Documents Canada (ODS) as well as with the consulate or embassy of the country relevant to the transaction (i.e. usually the country to which the documents are sent). The purpose of this process is to verify that the Notary Public is a legitimate body of authority registered with the government of Canada. Rest assured that all of our Notaries are registered with ODS.

In summary, there are three steps required to have a document legalized and authenticated:

Step 1: Have the document notarized by a notary that is registered with Official Documents Services (again, all of our notaries are registered). This is a step we can help you complete, by notarizing your document.

Step 2: Take the notarized document to ODS (located at 222 Jarvis Street, Toronto) so they can issue a certificate confirming that the document was notarized by a registered notary.

Step 3: Take the document and ODS certificate to an embassy or consulate.

Note that in some circumstances you can skip step 2 because some consulates will take the notarized document to ODS on your behalf.
If you need to have your documents Legalized and Authenticated please rest assured that our Notarizations will be validated by ODS. Please note also that as Notaries we cannot authenticate our own notarization so we cannot provide you with a service for all three steps of the process, just the first (i.e. Notarization).

Note further that in order for a document to be authenticated it must have been notarized in person because a seal must be applied. Documents commissioned online cannot be authenticated by ODS.

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Reception

Please note that all of our offices are in buildings that share a common reception desk. The receptionist’s job is to let us know that you have arrived at our office. That is all. The receptionist does not technically work for Walk-In Notary. Therefore, the receptionist cannot answer questions about notarization, our pricing, when the notary will be ready to meet with you, etc. Therefore, we ask that you please refrain from asking the receptionist questions of this sort.

Furthermore, we understand that some of you may have an urgent matter and that you may be in a rush to be seen by a notary and have your document notarized. We ask that you wait in our lobby patiently. Most of our clients do not have to wait at all, or very long. However, because we are a walk-in it’s possible that, by chance, several people could walk-in at the same time or just before you and that means that you may have to wait a few minutes.

“Walk-in” means fast. And we are very fast indeed. But it does not mean immediately. Not always.

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**update** – application for authorization and statutory declaration for the purposes of entry into canada for extended stay – covid 19

In our previous blog post we mentioned that we noticed a problem with this form. It appears that a lot of other people and organizations also noticed the problem. The government has also admitted to making a mistake in formatting this form. They have since corrected the form, which can be downloaded here:

https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-covid19/visitors/immediate-family.html?fbclid=IwAR2G3ZT8Xb06A_w_eheS4W258ITiItxyVOGUJE53wd1i0wvvkCcY1NrysnE#extended

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Application for authorization and statutory declaration for the purposes of entry into canada for extended stay – covid 19

We have been seeing this form come up lately. Please note that, in our opinion, the form contains a formatting error. It is not clear where the client needs to sign. Worse, section 5 implies that the notary is supposed to state that the contents of the document are true. It should be the declarant (i.e. client) that states this, not the notary. The notary’s role is to ask the declarant to declare that statement in the notary’s presence. We have had to modify this form to comply with this rationale. We draft a note at the signature sight on the form explaining our modifications. We urge our clients to call and bring this issue to the attention of the recipient.

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Notarizing wills

We are often asked to Notarize wills.

The problem is that there are many ways to notarize a document. Sometimes clients ask us to “just stamp it”. Please note that our seals and stamps are not arbitrary. They must always be accompanied by some sort of statements. We cannot “just stamp” a document.

Let’s explore all the ways that a Will can be notarized:

1) WITNESSING THE SIGNATURE OF THE TESTATOR

We can notarize an original will by stating that we witnessed the Testator sign the will. For this to happen, the Testator has to attend our office with government-issued photo ID and sign in front of us along with one other witness.

The other witness will then sign an affidavit of execution in front of the notary. The notary will commission that affidavit and stamp the will with an exhibit stamp, making the will an exhibit to the affidavit.

2) AFFIDAVITS OF EXECUTION ONLY (our preferred method)

If a will has already been witnessed by two individuals then those witnesses can attend our office to sign affidavits of execution. An affidavit of execution is a document where someone swears that they saw someone else sign a document (in this case, a will). The notary will commission the affidavits and stamp the will with an exhibit stamp, making the will an exhibit to the affidavits.

This is usually the only option available in cases where the testator is not available, usually because the testator has died.

3) CERTIFIED COPY OF THE WILL

In this case we would make a photocopy of an original will and state on the photocopy that the copy is a true copy of the original which we have seen. Anyone can bring the original will for us to certify because we do not need to witness anyone’s signature.

Which is the right method? Should you choose 1, 2, or 3? Or all?

This depends entirely on what you are trying to accomplish and/or what a third-party has requested from you. For example, banks often require a certified copy of a will for their records. They might instruct you to “Notarize the will”. If that is the case, seek clarification. Ask: “Do you want me to have a notary witness the signature of the testator or do you want me to have the notary make a copy of the original will and certify that the copy is a true copy of the original?”

Please note, that in the example above, the Notary will not know what the bank wants from you. You have to find out. At Walk-In Notary, we do not contact third parties (i.e. the recipient) on your behalf. And without communicating with the recipient there is no way to know exactly what they require.

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What should I notarize?

Clients frequently ask us questions such as “Should I have this notarized?”
or “Do you know what I need notarized?”

Unfortunately it isn’t something that we can answer. Rather, we take our instructions about what to notarize from our clients, not the other way around. That is, we notarize documents that our clients tell us to notarize.

Whether or not the document needs to be notarized is not up to us. It’s up the client or whoever the client is submitting his/her documents to (i.e. the recipient). Therefore, it is best to ask the recipient whether the document needs to be notarized.

We often have to explain this to our clients. Sometimes the response we receive is “But you should know. You’re the notary. You deal with these documents all the time.”

This statement stems from a confusion. We are certainly experts at notarization. This means that we know the standards and rules we need to apply in order to correctly notarize a document. However, that does not mean that we can know what it is that needs to be notarized in your particular case.

There are several reasons for this:

1) We can’t know the requirements of every organization and third-party recipient to whom our clients send documents to. We see thousands of different kinds of documents every year and they are destined to thousands of different destinations and recipients, many of whom have different requirements. And some of these requirements change over time.

2) Even if we knew the requirements of every recipient, we might not know that in your particular case the recipient requires additional documentation. Keep in mind that there is no global standard for submitting documentation to a third party. It is NOT the responsibility of the notary to find out what applies in each particular case. This falls completely outside the scope of the service we provide.

3) Even if we knew the requirements of every possible recipient and we knew the special requirements in your particular case, we still would not be able to advise you. This is because at At Walk-In Notary we do not provide legal advice. This includes any advice that resembles legal advice, such as what it is that you should have notarized. This is the reason that our fees are a flat rate and much lower than that of a lawyer’s office. Legal advice costs money by the hour. It is not a service that we provide.

Therefore, if you do not know what you need notarized please find out by contacting the recipient. If you do know what you need notarized, instruct us to do so and we will notarize your document in minutes.