Warning

REMOTE NOTARIAL DEED: Since April 1st, notaries are allowed to sign a notarized document remotely. This is not compulsory and notaries are free to use this additional tool or not. Consult the steps and application procedures.
CHAMBRE DES NOTAIRES OFFICES: The Chamber's offices are open, but due to the circumstances related to the coronavirus some services are offered remotely. Additional delays apply for requests for searches in Registers of Testamentary Dispositions and Mandates, as well as for requests for a Certificate of Quality and Authenticity.

 

 
Home > Your Rights > Prevention > Professional Obligations

Professional Obligations

Notaries are subject to many legal and regulatory obligations that govern the profession. They must:

  • verify the identity of the people who wish to receive a notarized deed or to receive, pay or transfer funds
  • safely and securely manage funds entrusted to them  

VERIFICATION OF YOUR IDENTITY

Why require this formality?
Even if your notary knows you well, he or she is obliged not only to verify your identity, but also to securely keep proof of your identity in your file.

Valid proofs of identity
To be valid, a proof of identity must come from a recognized organization that exercises control at the time of issue.

Identity is verified using two pieces of ID from reliable and independent sources, at least one of which must have a photo. These pieces of ID must be legible and not expired.

The most frequently used pieces of ID are driver's licences, health care cards and passports. Other identification documents may be valid, including certain foreign documents, but it is important to check with the notary ahead of time. Other documents may also be required, under certain circumstances.

Notaries are the frontrunners in matters of identification, and their expertise in this field has already proven its worth in several areas, such as in securing the electronic registration of rights in the Register of Personal and Movable Real Rights.

To find out more about this subject, you can go to the Regulation respecting the keeping of records and consulting offices by notaries (available in French only).

MANAGING YOUR MONEY

In transactions involving money, the notary will tell you that certain verifications must be carried out before transferring your money. What are these verifications?

Why is the notary keeping your money?
First of all, the notary has to establish the secure origin of the funds and ensure they are safely deposited in the in trust account. The money usually comes in the form of an electronic fund transfer, a bank draft or a certified cheque.

Before giving you the money, the notary has to:

  • make sure, in some cases, that the notarized deed is registered with the Registry Office of the registration division in question (formerly called the "land titles office"). It generally takes 24 hours to publish the deed.
  • ascertain that there are no undisclosed sums owing to a creditor, such as a mortgage, that have not already been disclosed.

The notary carries out these verifications for your protection and holds your money securely in the in trust account. Usually the notary will only hold the funds for a few days.

Your money is safe
The Chambre des notaires du Québec strictly monitors the in trust accounts of notaries by requiring annual audits. It also assesses these accounts through its professional inspection process. Furthermore, all in trust accounts must be held in a Canadian financial institution where funds are covered by deposit insurance.

In trust accounting
Every notary must keep a personalized file for each client identifying all deposits and withdrawals made to or from the notary's in trust account. Clients may also request a statement of deposits and withdrawals.

What happens to the interest generated by this account? It is paid to the Chambre des notaires du Québec Notarial Studies Fund. In recent years this fund has subsidized several research projects and other activities sponsored by organizations in the field of law and justice, to provide better protection to the public.

If any funds have to be held for longer, the notary may suggest that the recipient of this money open a "special" in trust account. In this case, interest will be paid to the client's account. Opening this type of account may entail costs and fees, however.

 
 

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