There may be delays in processing applications and responding to inquiries. Please contact appointments@ontario.ca if you have any questions.

Overview

In Ontario, commissioners and notaries help protect people from fraud by helping to verify the integrity of documents used in commercial and legal transactions.

A commissioner for taking affidavits can take affidavits and administer oaths, affirmations or declarations.

Certain professions (for example, lawyers, paralegals and municipal clerks) are automatically commissioners and don’t need to apply. You can find a complete list of these professions here.

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.

If you are a lawyer or paralegal, there is a separate process to apply. Learn how to become a notary public if you are an Ontario lawyer or paralegal.

Apply to be a commissioner for taking affidavits

Who can apply

To qualify, you must:

  • be eligible to work in Canada
  • work at a registered Ontario business or organization that requires commissioner services as part of its regular business

How to apply

  1. Fill out the application form

    Fill out and print either the:

  2. Get a letter of authorization

    A letter of authorization is a letter from your employer nominating you as a commissioner, stating your job title, describing the work you do and the type/estimated number of documents you’d be commissioning. Self-employed individuals may write their own letter of authorization.

    For more details regarding letters of authorization and their requirements, please consult page 1 of the application form.

  3. Pay the fee

    The fee is $75.

    You can pay by cheque or money order, payable to the “Minister of Finance.” Please include separate cheques or money orders for each applicant.

    If you work for the federal, provincial or municipal government or a children’s aid society, you may be exempt from paying the fee. Read the Fees Regulation for more information.

  4. Submit your application

    Email your application to appointments@ontario.ca if you are an employee of:

    • the federal, provincial or municipal government
    • a First Nations government
    • a Children’s Aid Society

    Print, sign, scan and save your application form as a password-protected PDF or Word file and send it as an email attachment. Please send the password in a separate email.

    For all other applicants, mail your application form, letter of authorization and application fee to:

    Ministry of the Attorney General
    Legal Appointments Office
    c/o Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
    77 Wellesley St. West, box 720
    Toronto, Ontario
    M7A 1N3

    No hand deliveries please.

    If you are successful, the ministry will notify you in writing and send a receipt for your cheque, along with additional information about your appointment.

    If you are unsuccessful, the ministry will notify you in writing and return your cheque.

Apply to be a notary public (non-lawyer and non-paralegal)

Who can apply

To apply for a three-year term as a notary you must:

  • be eligible to work in Canada
  • demonstrate that notarizing documents in Ontario is a required part of your job (for example, as an Ontario corporation taking part in trade or commerce outside Ontario)

Notary appointments are not granted to people who only require the powers of a commissioner.

How to apply

  1. Fill out and print the application form.

  2. Get a letter of authorization

    A letter of authorization is a letter from your employer nominating you as a notary public, stating your job title, describing the work you do and the type/estimated number of documents you’d be notarizing. Self-employed individuals may write their own letter of authorization.

    For more details regarding letters of authorization and their requirements, please consult page 1 of the application form.

  3. Pay the fee

    The fee is $110.

    You can pay by cheque or money order, payable to the “Minister of Finance.” Please include separate cheques or money orders for each applicant.

    If you work for the federal, provincial or municipal government or a children’s aid society, you may be exempt from paying the fee. Read the Fees Regulation for more information.

  4. Submit your application

    Email your application to appointments@ontario.ca if you are an employee of:

    • the federal, provincial or municipal government
    • a First Nations government

    Print sign, scan and save your application form as a password-protected PDF or Word file and send it as an email attachment. Please send the password in a separate email.

    For all other applicants, mail your application form, letter of authorization and application fee to:

    Ministry of the Attorney General
    Legal Appointments Office
    c/o Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
    77 Wellesley St. West, box 720
    Toronto, Ontario
    M7A 1N3

    No hand deliveries please.

    If you are successful, the ministry will notify you in writing and send a receipt for your cheque, along with further information about the next steps in the process.

    If you are unsuccessful, the ministry will notify you in writing and return your cheque.

Renew or change an appointment

If your appointment as a commissioner or notary public expires in less than six months and you still work for the same organization:

  1. Write a request

    On your business or organization’s letterhead, write a letter to request a renewal/reappointment or change to your appointment.

    Make sure to include your:

    • mailing address
    • telephone number
    • email address
    • fax number, if you have one
  2. Make an imprint of your stamp

    Make an imprint of your current stamp on the letter. Note any changes needed to the wording on it.

  3. Pay the fee

    View the fees to renew or change an appointment in the table below.

    You can pay by cheque or money order, payable to the "Minister of Finance."

    Fees for commissioner renewals or changes

    Renewal typeCost

    Renew a commissioner appointment that has not yet expired

    $50

    Renew an expired commissioner appointment

    $75

    Change the wording of your commissioner stamp (if your appointment expires in over a year)

    $17

    Change the wording of your commissioner stamp and receive a renewal (if your appointment expires in less than a year)

    $75

    Replace a certificate (for example, if it has been damaged or lost)

    $17

    The fee is waived for certain individuals. For more information, please review the Fees Regulation.

    Fees for notary public reappointments or changes

    Reappointment typeCost

    Reappoint a notary appointment that has not yet expired

    $75

    Reappoint an expired notary appointment

    $110 

    Change the wording of your notary stamp (if your appointment expires in over a year)

    $17

    Change the wording of your notary stamp andreceive a reappointment (if your appointment expires in less than a year)

    $110

    Replace a certificate (for example, if it has been damaged or lost)

    $17

    The fee is waived for certain individuals. For more information, please review the Fees Regulation.

    When to submit a new application

    Whether you are a commissioner or notary public, you need to submit a new application to renew or make changes to your appointment if your:

    • appointment expired over six months ago
    • most recent appointment was for a different business or organization
    • business or organization’s name changed due to a change in ownership
  4. Submit your application

    Email your application to appointments@ontario.ca if you are an employee of:

    • the federal, provincial or municipal government seeking reappointment as a notary public or a commissioner for taking affidavits
    • a First Nations government seeking reappointment as a notary public or a commissioner for taking affidavits
    • a Children’s Aid Society seeking re-appointment as a commissioner for taking affidavits.

    Sign, scan and save your renewal request as a password-protected PDF or Word file and send it as an email attachment. Please send the password in a separate email.

    For all other applicants, mail your letter, stamp imprint and application fee to:

    Ministry of the Attorney General
    Legal Appointments Office
    c/o Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
    77 Wellesley St. West, box 720
    Toronto, Ontario
    M7A 1N3

    No hand deliveries please.

    If you are successful, the ministry will notify you in writing and send a receipt for your cheque, along with further information about your next steps in the process.

    If you are unsuccessful, the ministry will notify you in writing and return your cheque.

Cancel an appointment

To cancel your appointment as a commissioner for taking affidavits or notary public, send an email to appointments@ontario.ca that includes:

  • your full legal name
  • expiry date of the appointment
  • the effective date of the cancellation.

There is no fee to cancel your appointment.

Contact us

If you have questions about your appointment or the application process, 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.