Apostille and Document Authentication and Legalization
So you need an apostille. But where do you get one in Canada?
The short answer: Nowhere. Instead you need to have your documents authenticated and legalized. Sounds like a hassle, right?
Don’t worry; Zancope Notary Public can handle the entire process for you. Whether you are planning a destination wedding or doing business abroad, we take care of all the details, so you can have peace of mind knowing that your paperwork is in order.
Give us a call and make an appointment to have your documents notarized,
authenticated and legalized. Or keep reading to learn more about apostilles and the process of document authentication and legalization in Canada.
What Is an Apostille?
An apostille is a certificate that validates a notary’s seal and signature on a document for use abroad. With an apostille, your document is legally valid in any country that has signed the Hague Apostille Convention. These countries include the United States, members of European Union and many others. Canada, however, is not a member of this convention.
Since Canada didn’t sign the apostille treaty, it’s impossible to get an apostille certificate here. Fortunately, we have a proven alternative system—known as the authentication and legalization process—for certifying legal documents for use in foreign countries.
Document Authentication and Legalization
The first step in the authentication and legalization process is having your document notarized by your lawyer or notary. Next, the notarized paperwork must be authenticated by a Canadian government authority, i.e., Global Affairs Canada or, if you’re abroad, a Canadian consular official. Once your document has been authenticated, it must be legalized by a representative of the country you want to use it in.
Examples of Authentication and Legalization
If you want to use a notarized business document, i.e., a certificate of incorporation or partnership agreement, in the US, you need an official at the US consulate to legalize the document after it has been authenticated by a Canadian authority.
Here’s another example: Let’s say you’re planning a destination wedding in Mexico. Both you and your partner need to authenticate and legalize your birth certificates, passports and any other applicable legal paperwork that proves your single status. This can include a statutory declaration of single status or divorce certificate, if you’ve been previously married.
What if you own a vacation home or rental property in a foreign country and want to hire a local real estate agent to sell the property on your behalf? You’ll need your notary to draft a power of attorney, and then it must be authenticated and legalized.
With all these steps, it’s easy to see why most countries in the Americas and Europe signed the international apostille treaty.
While it’s possible to have a document authenticated by mail, dealing with a foreign consulate for legalization isn’t always convenient. For instance, at the US consulate in Vancouver, parking can be scarce and long, and discouraging queues form every morning.
Authentication and Legalization with Fewer Hassles
At Zancope Notary Public, we offer full-service document notarization, authentication and legalization. We can notarize any document here at our offices in Langley, and we have connections with the necessary Canadian authorities to ensure your paperwork is authenticated quickly and correctly.
In addition, we have preferred status with most consulates in Vancouver. We can send your documents to the consulate for legalization on your behalf so you don’t have to wait in line.
Entrusting us with the legalization and authentication of your documents saves you time and frustration. We take care of all details. If you want to make an appointment and take advantage of our document authentication and legalization services, contact us today.
If you have any questions about this article, or if you want to make an appointment with Zancope Notary Public, please contact us at (604) 260-6783.