Notary Initialling: Clarifying Our Policy on Witnessing and Document Signatures at Walk-In Notary

At Walk-In Notary, our responsibility as Notaries Public is specialized and strictly defined under the law. We serve an important function in witnessing the signing of documents and creating certified copies of original documents. It’s crucial to recognize that our services do not extend to providing legal advice, assisting with document preparation, or reviewing the content of your documents for legal adequacy.

When it comes to signing documents, our role is to ensure that the signature on the document is made by the individual named in it. This process does not involve initialling by the notary, as initialling carries a specific legal implication — it signifies that the person initialling has read, understood, and agreed to the content on the respective page. As notaries, we are not party to the contents of the documents; our sole purpose is to verify the identity of the signers and their conscious act of signing. The only exception to this is that we do initial changes to a document, particularly if we are the ones that make the change.

Some clients have requested that we, as notaries, place our initials on documents to indicate that we have witnessed their own initialling of the pages. However, we do not fulfil this request for several reasons:

Initials are inherently ambiguous and cannot definitively be linked to a specific individual without additional evidence.

Initialling by a notary may be misinterpreted as an endorsement or agreement with the content, which is outside our role.

If it is necessary for a third party to have the initials on each page witnessed, we can accommodate this by notarizing the page with a clear statement specifying that we have witnessed the client’s initials. This formal declaration removes any ambiguity and provides a reliable record of the action taken.

Please be aware that notarizing initials on each page is a separate process from simply witnessing a signature, and may therefore be subject to additional procedures and fees.

We value the trust placed in us by our clients and strive to maintain the integrity of our notarial practice by adhering to these guidelines.


New Canadian Apostille Rules


Effective January 11, 2024, Canada joined the Hague Apostille Convention.

As such, if travelling to a Hague signatory country, authenticated documents will be issued apostilles which may not require further legalization at consulates or embassies. Relevant consulate, embassy, and end destination recipients may have unique document requirements.

Joining the Convention has resulted in two major changes in the document authentication services in Ontario:

  1. New public documents are eligible for direct authentication which will no longer require notarization prior to authentication. These documents include Ontario public post-secondary diplomas, degrees, and transcripts issued as of January 2019, and Ontario court-issued documents issued within the last 22 years.
  2. Authenticated documents destined for Hague signatory countries may no longer require legalization at consulates or embassies. Please continue to verify document requirements with your consulate, embassy, and/or end destination recipient.

Documents eligible for authentication

New categories of Ontario-issued documents are now eligible for authentication without notarization. Please see the list of eligible documents below.

  • Vital statistics documents, including polymer birth certificates.
  • Business registry documents issued as of 1991, by the Business and Personal Property Branch or the Ontario Business Registry.
  • Court-issued documents from the Superior Court of Justice or the Ontario Court of Justice issued as of July 10, 2023. Please note:
    • It may take up to 10-business days to process court-issued documents for in-person authentication requests. If your request is urgent, you may wish to notarize your documents prior to authentication.
    • For Certificates of Divorce issued prior to July 10, 2023, you may either notarize the document or have it reissued either online or at the court where the original was filed. A newly reissued Certificate of Divorce will be eligible for authentication without notarization.
    • All other court-issued documents issued prior to July 10, 2023, will continue to require notarization.
  • Ontario-issued public postsecondary degrees, diplomas and transcripts issued since January 1, 2019.

Notarized documents issued by an Ontario notary public continue to be eligible for authentication.

Why you may still want to notarize these documents:

  • Your document falls within one of these categories but was issued prior to the cut-off date. These documents still need to be notarized.
  • You do not want to send your original document. If you go for direct authentication, the authentication certificate is attached to the original.
  • You need to authenticate more than one copy of your document. If you need more than one copy, it is generally easier and cheaper to get certified copies from a notary public rather than ordering extra copies from an Ontario institution.
  • You do not want to modify your original document. If you go for direct authentication, the authentication certificate is attached to the original.
  • Fees: The fee for authenticating a notarized document is $16 and the fee for directly authenticating eligible documents is $32. Thus, some of the cost of notarization is offset at authentication.

Scenario: You’ve been asked to have your university degree that was issued after January 1, 2019 authenticated:

Option 1: Your one and only University degree would have a hole punched through a corner and an authentication certificate attached to it.

Option 2: You go to a notary, the notary makes a photocopy and certifies it as a true copy, and then you get the certified copy authenticated. Your original degree is untouched and stays with you.

For more information about the authentication process, please visit:


Online Commissioning: What do you need to know?

At Walk-In Notary, we try to make your experience as easy and quick as possible. That’s why we have a number of walk-in locations conveniently located across the province. No appointment is ever required for our walk-in service. Simply visit one of our locations, notify the receptionist that you would like to visit with the Notary Public and we will take care of the rest. Our in-person service can help you obtain your notarized document in minutes, therefore, it is the quickest and easiest way to get your document notarized.

But we understand that sometimes you can’t attend one of our offices. We try to make our service accessible to anyone, regardless of their location. Our online service makes this easy. We know that not everyone has experience with video conferences or digital documents, so we walk you through the process with step by step instructions.


What do you need to know about our online services?

  • What is required to access the service? To access the service, you will need to have internet access, a computer (or smartphone) with a camera and microphone, an email address, and the ability to pay with either an e-transfer or credit card.
  • How do I start the process? Simply email us at We will give you instructions on how to proceed.
  • What are the ID requirements? As we are dealing remotely, we take extra precautions to ensure that we meet the highest standards of professional responsibility and security. For this reason, we will ask that you provide us with two (2) pieces of valid government issued identification (at least one piece must be a photo ID). Don’t worry, we never share your information or documents with anyone without your written consent.
  • How is the document commissioned? Simply send us a Word or PDF document that requires signing. That document will be uploaded, and formatted for commissioning, through an online signing platform. You will be securely sent the digital (password protected) version of your document. You will sign the document during a video meeting with the Notary Public. After payment is received, we will commission the document and it will be sent to you electronically. There is no physical hard copy of the document, though you can print it for your use. For this reason, we cannot affix a physical Notary Seal to the document.
  • Are drafting services available through the online service? Yes, we can draft most of the same documents that we draft at one of our walk-in locations. We routinely draft Letters of Invitation, basic Affidavits and Statutory Declarations, OSAP supporting letters, Single Status declarations, Declarations of Marital Status (or Common Law Status) and more. As with the in person service, we cannot provide legal advice, nor draft Wills or Powers of Attorney.
  • How can I pay? We are happy to receive payment through e-transfer or online credit card payment. Please note that we do not accept cheques or cash for the online service. A receipt will be sent you by email upon completion of the document’s commissioning process.

Have any questions about the online service? Click here for more information:

You can also email us at We look forward to assisting you.


Understanding Our Document Retention Policy at Walk-In Notary

We want to provide insight into why and how we manage the documents you entrust to us. Our commitment to confidentiality, security, and compliance is unwavering. In fact, we do not disclose or share any of your personal information, with third parties, without your written consent or as required by law. Here’s an expanded look into our practices.

Point 1: Compliance with Privacy Laws

At Walk-In Notary, adherence to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and other privacy laws is paramount. We retain personal documents strictly for the duration necessary to fulfill the intended purposes, ensuring both your privacy and our legal compliance.

Point 2: Specific Retention Periods

We recognize the unique importance of each document. Accordingly, our retention periods are carefully determined based on the document’s nature and purpose, balancing efficient management and responsible stewardship of your documents. We retain documents for only as long as is required according to Industry best practices.

Point 3: Minimizing Data Breach Risks

Your security is our top concern. To minimize the risk of data breaches, we define precise retention periods and ensure secure disposal of documents thereafter, protecting your sensitive information from unauthorized access.

Point 4: Purpose of Document Retention

  1. Internal Auditing: An essential part of our retention policy is to facilitate internal auditing. This enables us to review our notaries’ work, ensuring that all documents are notarized correctly and standards are consistently met.
  2. Prevention of Fraud: By retaining scanned copies of notarized documents, we provide a safeguard against fraud. If there’s ever a dispute or suspicion that a document has been altered after notarization, our records can serve as a valuable reference point, effectively timestamping the original document.
  3. Compliance with Law Society of Ontario (LSO) Requirements: The LSO governance lawyers and requires that all lawyers, including those acting solely in their capacity as Notaries Public, retain a copy of client identification and any other documents that may be relevant to the notarization process. As Notaries, we are required to satisfy ourselves as to the identity of the signing party. Reviewing Identity documents allows us to satisfy this requirement. By retaining the scanned copies of the IDs, we are providing evidence of the identity validation process which we undergo with each notarization.

Point 5: No Guaranteed Retention Timeframe

It’s important to note that while we strive to maintain records for as long as they are needed for the purposes outlined, we do not guarantee a minimum or maximum retention period for any document. Our policy is designed to be flexible and responsive to various factors, including legal requirements and operational needs.

Point 6: Regular Policy Review and Updates

We’re committed to keeping our policies up-to-date with the latest legal and industry standards. Regular reviews and updates to our document retention practices help us maintain this commitment.

Point 7: Transparent Communication with Clients

We believe in open communication with our clients about our retention policies, including the reasons for retaining documents and our methods for secure disposal once their retention period is over. It is for this reason that all of our clients complete and sign an acknowledgement form explaining, among other things, that we are keeping a record of the client’s documents.

Point 8: Secure Disposal of Documents

Ensuring the secure disposal of documents after their retention period ends is a critical aspect of our policy. We use industry-standard methods like shredding and data wiping to irreversibly destroy documents, safeguarding your privacy.


Our document retention policy at Walk-In Notary is a cornerstone of our commitment to you. Balancing the need for document security while in our care with the necessity of protecting your privacy, we handle your documents with the utmost responsibility and care. Should you have any questions about our policy or how it applies to your specific documents, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Your trust and security are, as always, our top priorities!



Revolutionizing Document Authentication: Canada Embraces the Apostille Convention for Global Business Ease

On May 16, 2023, a significant development was announced by Global Affairs Canada concerning document legalization procedures. Canada has officially become a party to the Apostille Convention, a treaty aimed at simplifying the authentication of documents used abroad. This convention is set to be implemented in Canada starting January 11, 2024.

The incorporation of Canada into the Apostille Convention marks a significant change, particularly for business activities within the country. With this new system, the need for Canadian public documents to be legalized by the consular officers of the destination country’s embassy or consulate in Canada will be eliminated. Instead, selected federal government authorities will be able to issue an apostille, a type of authentication certificate, making these documents valid in the 124 countries that are also part of the Apostille Convention.

The Apostille Convention aims to streamline the use of public documents across its member countries. It replaces the more complex legalization process with a single apostille issuance. The apostille, issued in the country of the document’s origin, verifies the authenticity of that document when presented in another member country, though it does not verify the content of the document itself. It certifies aspects such as the authenticity of the signature, the capacity of the signatory, and the seal or stamp on the document.

“Public documents” under the Apostille Convention include a range of documents, though the term is not explicitly defined within the convention itself. Typically, these include governmental, administrative, and court documents, as well as notarial acts and official certificates. If a document required legalization before the convention’s implementation or is to be used in a non-member state, it likely falls under the “public document” category.

In Canada, obtaining an apostille will require visiting designated government offices, as per Article 6 of the Apostille Convention. The Canadian government has currently appointed certain authorities for issuing apostilles, including the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, and ministries in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario. This list may be updated over time.

This transition to the Apostille Convention system is poised to offer a more efficient and cost-effective method for businesses in Canada to certify documents for use in the convention’s member countries. Until its implementation, existing authentication processes remain in place. Businesses are advised to stay informed on the upcoming changes and how they might impact their operations.

At Walk-In Notary, we are ready to provide comprehensive notarization services for documents that are intended for use abroad. Note that all of our Notaries are lawyers that are registered with the Law Society of Ontario and other government branches that provide us with the authority to notarize documents to make them eligible for apostille. please feel free to contact our team with any questions you may have about this.


Policy on Verification of Notarizations for Receiving Parties Overview

This policy outlines Walk-In Notary’s limitations concerning the verification of notarizations for receiving parties. It aims to clarify our role as notaries public and to set forth our obligations under the Law Society of Ontario’s rules of ethical and professional conduct.

This policy applies to all inquiries from receiving parties regarding the verification or validation of documents notarized by Walk-In Notary.

Our role as a Notary Public is strictly limited to witnessing signatures. We do not provide legal advice or form a solicitor-client relationship with our clients. This limitation is explicitly stated in our designation stamps, marketing materials, and client acknowledgements.

No Verification of Content: We do not examine or verify the contents of documents we notarize. Notarization serves as evidence of the signing of a document, not the validation of its contents.

Adherence to Confidentiality Requirements: We adhere to the rules of ethical and professional conduct of the Law Society of Ontario, which includes maintaining strict client confidentiality. Therefore we cannot share client-specific information with third parties. We cannot even confirm that a client has attended our office. Rather, we use our notary seals as proof of notarization, obviating the need for separate verbal or written verification from us.

Identity Verification: We always verify a client’s identity prior to notarization, making a notarized document sufficient proof that ID was verified.

Given the volume of notarizations we conduct, our notaries do not usually have a personal recollection of individual meetings or documents.

Under normal circumstances, receiving parties do not need separate verification from Walk-In Notary. The original notarized document, bearing our embossed seal, serves as adequate proof of notarization and identity verification.

For additional questions or clarifications regarding this policy, please contact

We hope this policy clarifies our limitations and procedures concerning verification requests for notarized documents. Thank you for your understanding.


Access Notary Public Services Online or In-Person: Serving Ontario and Beyond

Access Notary Public Services Online or In-Person: Serving Ontario and Beyond

Are you in need of notary public services but wondering about the best way to access them? Whether you’re right here in Ontario or anywhere around the globe, our services are designed to meet your needs. In this post, we’ll delve into the options you have for notarization through our online and in-person platforms.

Worldwide Reach of Our Online Notary Services

Our online notary service has gained immense popularity, thanks to its convenience and accessibility. If you have an internet connection, an email address, and the capability to make video calls via a computer or phone, you’re all set to use our online services. We’ve assisted clients from diverse locations including but not limited to all the provinces in Canada, the United States, and countries as far as Japan, Nigeria, the United Kingdom, Turkey, and India.

Note: Our notaries are registered in Ontario, Canada. For documents intended for overseas use, it’s advisable to consult the recipient about the acceptability of a Notary Public based in Ontario.

For more details on our seamless online notary service, feel free to visit our webpage or send your queries to

When In-Person Notary Services Are Required

While our online services offer an expansive range of notary services, there are certain document types that necessitate an in-person visit. Documents like Certified True Copies, Statutory Declarations regarding Name Changes, and Family Transfers of a Motor Vehicle, along with RIN Declarations, must be processed in-person. Additionally, complex legal documents like Wills, Powers of Attorney, and Contracts also require an in-person meeting for notarization.

If you’re unsure whether online notarization will suffice for your document, we recommend contacting the document’s recipient to confirm their specific requirements.

Don’t worry if your document falls into the in-person category. We offer Ontario’s most extensive network of Walk-In locations ready to assist you with your notarization needs. For a full list of our locations and operating hours, click here.


Whether it’s online or in-person, we aim to provide you with the most efficient and convenient notary public services. We understand the urgency and importance of notarizing documents, and we’re equipped to cater to your needs—wherever you may be.

Looking for notary services that you can trust? Contact us today or visit our website for more information. We look forward to assisting you with your notary requirements.


Parking at our London Office

There are a few options for FREE PARKING when you visit us at our London office.

Next to 341 Talbot
On the north side of 341 Talbot is an area down a little laneway that has several free visitor parking spots for clients attending at the building.
Here are some visual cues to help you find this laneway.
If you are travelling north on Talbot Street, you will see on the left side of the street, the sign “London Coin and Collectibles” on the laneway side of the building to the north of 341 Talbot.
If you are travelling south on Talbot Street, the laneway is on your right hand side, immediately after the building with the orange storefront.
Please be aware that it can be a little tricky getting into and, particularly, out of this laneway parking area, especially if other vehicles are already parked in this area.
Do not park in the parking lot on the south side of 341 Talbot, closest to York Street. This is a private parking lot. You could get a $60 parking ticket from the City of London.
Covent Garden Market Underground Parking
Around the corner from us on King Street is the Covent Garden Market. It has underground parking. The parking entrance is off King Street. During market hours on weekdays, the market offers one hour of free parking if you get your parking stub stamped at one of the kiosks inside the market building, before you leave the parking area. There are elevators from the parking floors to the ground floor. The market is about a 5 minute walk from us.
City of London CORE Parking Program
There is also metered parking on Talbot Street in front of our building. If you have the Honk mobile app, you can get two hours of free parking by using the code “CORE”.
If you do not have the app, you can still take advantage of the CORE parking program by taking the following steps:
When you arrive at your parking spot, you will phone City of London Parking at 519-661-4537.
Press “0” to bypass the messages.
Hold the line until someone answers your call (don’t fret, there’s nice music to listen to while you’re on hold).
When someone answers, you are going to tell them that you would like to take advantage of the “CORE parking program”.
You will be asked to provide your licence plate number and the 4 digit ZONE ID which is posted on the side of the parking meter.
After theses details are recorded, you will have two hours of free parking at that spot. You can take advantage of this program once per day. The program will continue into at least the early part of 2024.
Arriving at 341 Talbot
Now that you are nicely parked in a free parking spot, you are going to enter the office building at 341 Talbot Street. This is a two-storey white office building with a black roof and black gates.
Our business sign is not on the front of the building. You will see the sign “Talbot Court Corporate Studios”.

Please check in with the receptionist and let her know you are here for Walk-In Notary. She will phone to let us know you are here.

See you soon!

Understanding Powers of Attorney in Ontario

When it comes to legal matters, understanding various concepts and requirements can be daunting. One of those key legal tools is a Power of Attorney (POA). In Ontario, POAs play a vital role in ensuring that individuals can designate someone to make decisions on their behalf should the need arise.

At Walk-In Notary, we’re often approached with questions regarding Powers of Attorney. We want to make sure you have all the information you need, so here’s a brief guide to understanding POAs in Ontario and how you can create one.

What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives someone else the right to act on your behalf. In Ontario, there are typically two types:

  1. Continuing Power of Attorney for Property: Covers your financial affairs and allows the person (or persons) you name to act for you even if you become mentally incapable.
  2. Power of Attorney for Personal Care: Allows the person you name to make decisions about your healthcare, housing, and other aspects of personal life if you become mentally incapable.

Creating a Power of Attorney

At Walk-In Notary, we can notarize your Power of Attorney, making sure that the document is legally witnessed. However, it’s important to note that we do not draft Powers of Attorney. Here’s where you can have these drafted:

  1. On Your Own: If you feel confident, you can draft a Power of Attorney by yourself. There are templates available online that you can follow.
  2. Through a Lawyer: A legal professional can tailor a Power of Attorney to your specific needs, ensuring that all legal nuances are covered.
  3. Ministry of the Attorney General Website of Ontario: The government provides free standard forms for Continuing Power of Attorney for Property and Power of Attorney for Personal Care. You can access these forms on their official website.

Final Thoughts

Powers of Attorney are powerful legal tools that require careful consideration and understanding. While you have several options for drafting these documents, remember that it’s often a good idea to have them notarized and in some cases it is necessary depending on the intended use. For example, if you intend to use your POA outside of Canada. To be certain of the recipient’s requirements, please inquire with the recipient, as we cannot speak on behalf of the nearly infinite number of intended recipients.

If you have your Power of Attorney ready, visit us at Walk-In Notary for notarization. Our team is committed to providing convenient and professional services to suit your needs.

Remember, we’re here to assist with notarization but not to draft these documents. If you need guidance on creating a Power of Attorney, consider consulting with a legal professional or exploring the resources provided by the Ontario government.

If you have any questions or want to ask us about us more about it, feel free to contact us at Walk-In Notary. Or, as always, simply walk in to one of our locations and out notaries will be happy to assist you.


The Importance of Taxes in Cash Transactions

Some of clients have asked us “Why do you charge me tax when I pay with cash?” This question leads to a very important conversation about how businesses should behave.

Businesses are required to tell the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) about all the money they earn, including cash. If a business doesn’t do this, it’s breaking the law and committing fraud. You may wonder, why does this matter to you as a customer?

The reason is straightforward. If a business can lie to the CRA, they might also lie to their customers. It’s better to avoid businesses that don’t follow the rules.

At Walk-In Notary, we always do things the right way. We report all the money we earn to the CRA, which helps our customers trust us.

We believe in honesty and clarity in business. We think it’s important for all businesses to do the same, as it helps to build trust with customers. A marketplace where everyone is honest and follows the rules is beneficial for all.

Thank you for joining us in promoting honest business. Let’s work together to ensure every business is a fair business!