Frequently Asked Questions About Notaries and Commissioners for Taking Affidavits

Text size: larger | smaller

Please note: the page will print without the top and left navigation bars and in black and white only.

Jump to information about...

Commissioner for Taking Affidavits: Appointments


  1. What is a commissioner for taking affidavits?
  2. Who can become a commissioner for taking affidavits?
  3. How do I apply for an appointment as a commissioner for taking affidavits?
  4. How can I renew my appointment as a commissioner?
  5. What is the renewal fee for a commissioner’s appointment?
  6. How can I make a change to the wording of my commissioner’s stamp?
  7. Can commissioners take their own affidavits or declarations?
  8. Where can I find a commissioner for taking affidavits or a notary public?

1.  What is a commissioner for taking affidavits?

A commissioner for taking affidavits is a person who can legally administer an oath, affirmation or declaration, for example, to a person making an affidavit.

2.  Who can become a commissioner for taking affidavits?

Any person who is at least 18 years old may apply to be appointed as a commissioner for taking affidavits.

Successful applicants typically work for a registered Ontario business or organization that is required to take affidavits as part of its regular business (e.g. law firms, manufacturers, contractors etc.).

The ministry does not grant appointments without limitations as to purpose, or grant freelance appointments for purposes unrelated to the work of an existing company or business entity.

Lawyers entitled to practise in Ontario are already commissioners by virtue of office, and do not have to apply.

3.  How do I apply for an appointment as a commissioner for taking affidavits?

To apply for an appointment as a commissioner for taking affidavits, please complete the commissioner for taking affidavits general application.

If you are an articling student or a law student working for an Ontario law firm, please complete the student-at-law/law student application.

4.  How can I renew my appointment as a commissioner?

Please refer to the commissioner for taking affidavits renewal guide.

5.  What is the renewal fee for a commissioner’s appointment?

Please refer to the commissioner for taking affidavits renewal guide.

6.  How can I make a change to the wording of my commissioner’s stamp?

Please refer to the commissioner for taking affidavits renewal guide.

7. Can commissioners take their own affidavits or declarations?

No.

Non-Lawyer Notary Public: Appointments


  1. What is a non-lawyer notary public?
  2. Who can become a non-lawyer notary public?
  3. I am a lawyer. How can I become a notary public?
  4. How do I apply for an appointment as a non-lawyer notary public?
  5. How can I be reappointed as a non-lawyer notary public?
  6. What is the reappointment fee for a non-lawyer notary public appointment?
  7. How can I make a change to the wording of my notary stamp?
  8. Where can I find a commissioner for taking affidavits or a notary public?

1.  What is a non-lawyer notary public?

A non-lawyer notary public has all the powers of a commissioner for taking affidavits, and can also verify that signatures, marks and copies of documents are true or genuine.

2.  Who can become a non-lawyer notary public?

Any Canadian citizen can apply to be appointed a non-lawyer notary public.

Non-lawyer notary applicants will only be appointed if their employment requires the notarizing of documents for one of the following:

  • Senior government officials
  • Ontario-registered or federally-registered corporations engaged in international or inter-provincial trade and/or commerce
  • Patent and trade-mark agents
  • Head offices of national or provincial trade unions engaged in out-of-province business.

Non-lawyer notary appointments will not be granted to allow applicants to:

  • Enter a new line of business or employment. The business or employment must already be established.
  • Expand services available to clients currently.

No courses or education will qualify a non-lawyer to become a notary public in Ontario.

3.  I am a lawyer. How can I become a notary public?

If you are a lawyer in good standing with the Law Society of Upper Canada you can apply for a notary public appointment through the Ministry of Government Services by completing their application form.

4.  How do I apply for an appointment as a non-lawyer notary public?

Please complete the non-lawyer notary public application.

5.  How can I be reappointed as a non-lawyer notary public?

Please refer to the non-lawyer notary public reappointment guide.

6.  What is the reappointment fee for a non-lawyer notary public appointment?

Please refer to the non-lawyer notary public reappointment guide.

7.  How can I make a change to the wording of my notary stamp?

Please refer to the non-lawyer notary public reappointment guide.

How to Find a Commissioner or Notary Public

  Where can I find a commissioner for taking affidavits or a notary public?

The Ministry of the Attorney General, Legal Appointments does not offer the services of a commissioner for taking affidavits or a notary public and is unable to provide referrals.

  • If you need documents to be notarized or commissioned for private and commercial transactions, check the Yellow Pages or consult with your local library on how to locate a notary or commissioner in your community.
  • Affidavits to be filed in court proceedings (e.g. Small Claims Court, Family Court or civil court) may be sworn before a court official authorized to take affidavits where the documents are to be filed. There is a prescribed fee for this service in the Superior Court of Justice and in appeal court civil proceedings.
  • Sworn statements for the transfer or family gift of a used motor vehicle can usually be taken at the nearest driver and vehicle licence issuing office.
  • Documents required to obtain a variety of provincial government services, including applications for lost government cheques, child support or student loans, can often be sworn before a commissioner at the nearest ServiceOntario counter. This service is free.
  • Documents required for municipal business (e.g. applications for municipal licences or zoning variances) can often be sworn before a clerk at a city hall or municipal office. Municipal offices may charge a fee for this service.