What is a notarization?
A notarization is a legal process you go through to certify something, or to make a formal statement under oath or declaration.
Common types of notarizations include:
- making statements under oath or affirmations, such as affidavits
- making a statutory declaration
- certifying true copies of documents
- making travel letters for minors
- signing land title documents
- verifying identification
I just need something witnessed…
Sometimes people ask you to “notarize” a document which doesn’t actually require a legal function, thinking that will make it more valid, or more official.
Notaries and lawyers don’t just witness documents – they perform legal functions.
Witnesses generally simply watch you sign a document. Notaries and lawyers don’t generally act as witnesses, or sign documents that don’t require a legal function.
Not every document can be notarized. If a document just requires you to sign it in front of a witness, then you shouldn’t need a notary or lawyer for that.
If you just need to have a document be witnessed, you can generally ask anyone to help you with that – but check with the people who are asking you for the document first, to determine if there are any restrictions on who can act as your witness.
I think it should only take 5 minutes…
We try to be as efficient as possible with your time, and ours. Depending on what kind of notarization you need, it could take 5 minutes, or it could take an hour.
When you call for your appointment, try to give our receptionists as much information about what kind of notarization you need a hand with, so they can give you a better estimate of time, and costs.