You may, at any stage of life, come across application instructions or documents that need consulting a Commissioner of Oaths or Notary Public in Manitoba. But it is essential that you make sure you consult the appropriate individual before submitting or application or documents.

Both, Notary Public and Commissioner of Oaths are positions, different from lawyers, certified with some legal power. Here is a guide to know the difference between the two positions and the instances where you would need each of them.

Commissioner of Oaths Winnipeg
In Manitoba, a Commissioner of Oaths is certified to witness signatures on declarations, affirmations and affidavits.  A commissioner of Oaths can only endorse documents valid for use in Manitoba. Such an appointment requires renewal every two years and it is therefore necessary that Commissioner of Oaths include their expiry date under the signature on documents.

Commissioners of Oaths are employed at real estate and law offices. Examples of people with this title include political representatives, lawyers, judges, banking employees, police officers, Municipal councillors, etc.

Notary Public in Manitoba
Like a Commissioner of Oaths, a Notary Public also witnesses the signatures on declarations, affirmations and affidavits. A Notary Public can endorse documents which are valid worldwide. Apart from signature endorsements, a Notary Public also certifies a true copy of the original document.

They use a stamp with a seal to sign the documentation. Such an appointment has no expiry date. Most lawyers are Notary Public and they usually charge for the service. Judges, students-at-law, members of the Legislative Assembly and other individuals can also be Notaries.

Commissioner of Oaths Vs Notary Public – What’s The Difference?
People in Manitoba often confuse getting a document notarized and getting it commissioned. Understanding the difference between a Commissioner of Oaths and Notary Public is quite difficult.

But a misunderstanding can lead to spending unnecessary money, delayed submission of documents and even rejection of the submitted documents. Neither a Commission of Oaths nor a Notary Public allows the person to provide legal advice.

The major difference between a Commissioner of Oaths and Notary Public is where the document is used and what the person needs. For a simple oath taking, both the positions can endorse the document if for use and made in Manitoba.

If used outside the province, a notary is required. For example, the Ontario land titles office will not accept an affidavit of execution sworn in Manitoba if the document is commissioned. It will be allowed if notarized.

Another difference between Commissioner of Oaths and Notary Public is that only a notary can make a certified true copy of a document, certify the execution or attest an oath.

Who Can Be A Notary In Manitoba?
A Manitoba notary public is appointed by the Minister of Finance. In order to become a notary public, the person must be a citizen of Canada and at least 18 years old. He should possess a clear criminal history. An application form must be filled with necessary information like name, address, contact details, age, citizenship and employment details. One can download the form from the Province of Manitoba website and print it.

The completed form should be submitted to the address mentioned in the application. It can be submitted in person or by mail. There is a filing fee of $225 which can be paid through money order, credit card or check. Then, the commission is received through mail. Once the person gets the notary public commission, it is valid for two years. It can be renewed within six months of the expiration date to keep it active.

All applicants aspiring to become a notary public in Manitoba should possess a degree in a field such as law, finance or business. Candidates applying for notary are also expected to be computer literate and should possess an above-average communication skill. Applicants should also pass an English Language Proficiency Index. The process can take up to two and a half years to complete.

Can A Lawyer Be A Notary Public?
In Manitoba, a lawyer with a good standing with the Manitoba bar can be a notary public. Interested candidates can fill an application at the province of Manitoba’s Companies Office website. The department processes the application and issues a certificate of appointment after which the applicant can become a Notary Public.

Most practicing lawyers in Manitoba are notaries. Moreover, members of the House of Commons, students-at-law, members of the Legislative Assembly, judges, members of the Senate and other citizens of Canada can be notary public. When applying to become a notary public, special preference is given to applicants with a legal background.

We hope this guide to understanding the difference between Commissioner of Oaths and Notary Public helps you approach the right individual before submitting any documents, declarations, contracts and properly deeds.