- March 8, 2024

New Canadian Apostille Rules

Background

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:

https://www.ontario.ca/page/authenticate-document-use-outside-canada

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