Commissioner for Taking Affidavits and Non-Lawyer Notary Public Appointments

A commissioner for taking affidavits may take affidavits and administer other legal oaths, affirmations or declarations. A 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. Commissioners for taking affidavits and notaries public can’t take their own affidavits or declarations or notarize their own documents.

The Ministry of the Attorney General processes applications for non-lawyers who want to be appointed as a commissioner for taking affidavits or notary public in Ontario. Ontario lawyers who wish to be appointed as notaries public must contact the Ministry of Government Services by calling (416) 325-8416, or by visiting their website.

Commissioner for Taking Affidavits

Eligibility

To qualify, you need to be at least 18 years old and eligible to work in Canada. Appointments are typically given for one business and their subsidiaries, affiliates or associated companies. You can apply for a three year appointment, which can be renewed.

Successful applicants typically work for a registered Ontario business or organization that requires commissioner services as part of its regular business (e.g. law firms, manufacturers, contractors etc.).

Some professions (e.g. lawyers, judges, court clerks, licensed paralegals) are automatically commissioners by virtue of office and do not need to apply for an appointment, or get approval on the wording of their stamp. Once a person leaves the position, they are no longer a commissioner by virtue of office.

You can review the Commissioners and Other Persons Who May Take Affidavits, Ontario Regulation 386/12 for more information. Certain people may be granted commissioner status by different legislation. You may wish to consult a lawyer if you have questions.

New Applications

For new applications (not including students-at-law, law practice program students or law students), type your responses into the application form in PDF or HTML.

For students-at-law, law practice program students or law students, type your responses into the application form in PDF or HTML.

Make sure you read the instructions on the first page before filling out the relevant sections. Print out the completed application and then sign and date each page by hand.

Certain individuals are exempt from the application fee. There is no fee if you work for a registered Children’s Aid Society organization, are an employee of the government, or are a member of a First Nations Band. For more information, please review the Fees Regulation.

Otherwise, please include a cheque or money order for $75, payable to the “Minister of Finance”.

You cannot email or fax your application.

Mail your application package to:

Ministry of the Attorney General
Legal Appointments Office
c/o Ministry of Government Services
Mail Room, Macdonald Block, 2nd Basement, Courier Window, Room M2B-88
77 Wellesley St West, BOX 720
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1N3

For courier deliveries, add this line above the street address: Mail Room, Macdonald Block, 2nd Basement, Courier Window, Room M2B-88

Renewals and Changes to your Appointment

To renew your appointment, you will need to apply between two and six months before it expires.

You will need to submit a new application form if:

  • your appointment expired more than six months ago
  • your most recent appointment was for a different business or organization
  • your business or organization’s name has changed due to a change in ownership

To renew or make changes to your appointment, you will need to:

  • write a letter on your business or organization’s letterhead including your postal address, telephone, email and fax numbers.
  • send an imprint of your current stamp
  • send any changes needed to the wording of your stamp

Certain individuals are exempt from the application fee. There is no fee if you work for a registered Children’s Aid Society organization, are an employee of the government, or are a member of a First Nations Band. For further information, please review the Fees Regulation.

Otherwise, the fees to renew are:

  • $50 if we receive your request before your appointment expires
  • $75 if we receive your request after your appointment has expired.

Other fees include:

  • $75 to submit a new application form
  • $75 to change the wording of your stamp, if it is less than one year before your appointment expires
  • $17 to change the wording of your stamp, if it is more than a year before your appointment expires, or you need to replace your certificate (e.g. if it has been damaged or lost).

You cannot email or fax your application.

Mail your application package to:

Ministry of the Attorney General
Legal Appointments Office
c/o Ministry of Government Services
Mail Room, Macdonald Block, 2nd Basement, Courier Window, Room M2B-88
77 Wellesley St West, BOX 720
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1N3

For courier deliveries, add this line above the street address: Mail Room, Macdonald Block, 2nd Basement, Courier Window, Room M2B-88

Cancellation of your Appointment

For cancellations, businesses or active commissioners can email appointments@ontario.ca with the appointee’s full legal name, expiry date of the active appointment, and the effective date of the cancellation.

There are no fees to cancel an appointment.

Non-Lawyer Notary Public

Eligibility

Non-lawyers can apply for a three-year term as a notary and may apply for a reappointment.

To qualify, you need to be at least 18 years old and eligible to work in Canada.

Notarizing documents in Ontario also needs to be a required part of your job. For example, this could include notarizing documents for:

  • senior government officials
  • Ontario corporations that take part in trade or commerce outside Ontario
  • patent and trademark agents
  • head offices of national or provincial unions that do business outside Ontario.

If an applicant’s needs are met by a commissioner appointment, a notary appointment will not be given.

Successful applicants typically work for a registered Ontario business or organization that requires notary services as part of its regular business (e.g. law firms, manufacturers, contractors etc.).

New Applications

For new applications, type your responses into the application form in PDF or HTML.

Make sure you read the instructions on the first page before filling out the relevant sections. Print out the completed application and then sign and date each page by hand.

Please include a cheque or money order for $110, payable to the “Minister of Finance”.

You can’t email or fax your application.

Mail your application package to:

Ministry of the Attorney General
Legal Appointments Office
c/o Ministry of Government Services
Mail Room, Macdonald Block, 2nd Basement, Courier Window, Room M2B-88
77 Wellesley St West, BOX 720
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1N3

For courier deliveries, add this line above the street address: Mail Room, Macdonald Block, 2nd Basement, Courier Window, Room M2B-88

Reappointments and Changes to your Appointment

You will need to apply for a reappointment between two and six months before your appointment expires. You will need to submit a new application form if:

  • your appointment expired more than six months ago
  • your most recent appointment was for a different business or organization
  • your business or organization’s name has changed due to a change in ownership

To apply for reappointment or make changes:

  • write a letter on your business or organization’s letterhead including your postal address, telephone, email and fax numbers.
  • send an imprint of your current stamp
  • send any changes needed to the wording of your stamp

The fees for reappointment are:

  • $75 if we receive your request before your appointment expires
  • $110 if we receive your request after your appointment has expired.

Other fees include:

  • $110 to submit a new application form
  • $110 to change the wording of your stamp, if it is less than one year before your appointment expires
  • $17 to change the wording of your stamp, if it is more than a year before your appointment expires, or you need to replace your certificate (e.g. if it has been damaged or lost).

You can’t email or fax your application.

Mail your application package to:

Ministry of the Attorney General
Legal Appointments Office
c/o Ministry of Government Services
Mail Room, Macdonald Block, 2nd Basement, Courier Window, Room M2B-88
77 Wellesley St West, BOX 720
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1N3

For courier deliveries, add this line above the street address: Mail Room, Macdonald Block, 2nd Basement, Courier Window, Room M2B-88

Cancellation of your Appointment

For cancellations, businesses or active commissioners can email appointments@ontario.ca with the appointee’s full legal name, expiry date of the active appointment, and the effective date of the cancellation.

There are no fees to cancel an appointment.

If your Appointment is Approved

Commissioner for Taking Affidavits

You will receive a notice of approval in the mail that includes the date your appointment is effective (when you can start acting as a commissioner for taking affidavits), and the wording you need to use on your stamp.

Check the wording of the stamp in the notice of approval to make sure it is correct. You need the ministry’s written approval to add or make any changes to the wording of your stamp. You can send these requests to the Legal Appointments Office at appointments@ontario.ca.

You will receive an official certificate of appointment and your receipt four to six weeks after you receive the notice of approval.

You can start acting as a commissioner for taking affidavits once your appointment is effective, and you have a stamp with approved wording. You can get a stamp at an office supply store.

Notary Public

Step 1: Receive the notice of approval in principle

You will receive a notice of approval in principle in the mail that includes the wording you are required to use on your stamp, and instructions on how to schedule a notary examination.

Check the wording of the stamp in the notice of approval to make sure it is correct. You need the ministry’s written approval to add or make any changes to the wording of your stamp. You can send these requests to the Legal Appointments Office at appointments@ontario.ca.

Do not purchase a stamp until you receive your certificate of appointment.

Step 2: Schedule a notary examination

The notice of approval in principle includes instructions on how to schedule a notary examination. Your examination could be held by a ministry official, or a judge.

If the examination is held by a judge of the Superior Court of Justice, you will need to mail the signed, original certificate of examination to:

Ministry of the Attorney General
Legal Appointments Office
c/o Ministry of Government Services
77 Wellesley St W, BOX 720
Toronto, Ontario, M7A 1N3

For courier deliveries, add this line above the street address: Mail Room, Macdonald Block, 2nd Basement, Courier Window, Room M2B-88

You can’t email or fax your application.

Step 3: Receive the certificate of appointment

Your certificate of appointment will be mailed to you.

Your appointment certificate will include the date your appointment is effective (when you can start acting as a notary public).

Step 4: Get a stamp

You can start acting as a notary public once your appointment is effective, and you have a stamp with approved wording.

You need to use the wording from the notice of approval in principle you received. Your stamp also needs to include the expiry date of your appointment. The expiry date will be exactly three years from the effective date in your certificate of appointment. You can get a stamp at an office supply store.

Links to Other Resources

How to become a notary public (Ontario lawyers)

Find a notary public or commissioner of oaths for taking affidavits

Authenticate a document for use outside Canada

Guide for newly appointed commissioners for taking affidavits

Contact Us

If you have questions about your appointment, email the Ministry of the Attorney General at appointments@ontario.ca. You will need to consult with a lawyer for questions about the specific duties of a commissioner or notary public.

If you have questions about your certificate of appointment, you can contact Ministry of Government and Consumer Services at 416-325-8416 or official.documents@ontario.ca.

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