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.


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Role of the Notary

The notary: the legal advisor for Québec families!

A notary is a specialist in legal agreements who fosters good will and helps prevent conflict. Notaries offer important services to people at key moments of their lives. Their advice is directed to the couples and families of today: single parents, blended families and traditional families. You will have important decisions to make over your lifetime. Think of your union or its breakdown, purchasing a house, the arrival of a child or the acquisition of a business and, finally, your successors upon your death. The plethora of laws and their growing complexity make it difficult to fully understand or assess the legal implications of your decisions. With their legal training, notaries can help you make informed choices. Notaries are available throughout the province. There are approximately 3,800 notaries in Québec, with 48% practising in rural areas.

Notarial consultation: a preventive measure
The work notaries do differs from that of other legal specialists in that it is preventive. Notaries use their knowledge of the law to prevent litigation. Notaries may also act in cases that are not contested. For some procedures, they can represent a person in court. Before making an important decision or signing a document, it is wise to consult a notary. It can prevent misunderstandings and help you avoid problematic and often costly consequences.

The notarized deed: a recognized, unalterable and easily located document
Notaries are not only legal advisors but also public officers recognized by the government. Notarized deeds are authentic; in other words, the veracity of their content, date and signature stands in court with no need for further authentication. In addition, when the original of the notarized deed is kept in the notary's office, the deed cannot be lost or altered. Notarized deeds are held in perpetuity so that the notary or his or her successors can issue copies. To obtain a copy of a deed made before a notary who is no longer practising, use the Find a notary tool to find the name of the successor authorized to deliver the copy you need.

As public officers, notaries have a duty to act in the interests of all parties to the documents they receive by avoiding taking sides. They ensure that all parties have understood the terms and agree on each clause in the document. The parties are thus assured of giving informed consent.

The government requires certain documents to be notarized because of their importance. For example, only notaries can receive real estate mortgages, declarations of divided co-ownership, deeds of donation and marriage contracts.

Furthermore, some notaries are accredited to serve as identity verification agents (IVA) for government organizations that require the identity of their clients to be certified.

Practise permit: the assurance of doing business with a member in good standing
Before issuing a practise permit, the Order ensures that the candidate has the minimum training and the integrity required to practise notarial law. The notarial professional requires a bachelor of law degree (3 years of university studies) followed by a master’s degree in notarial law, described as follows:

  •  54 weeks of training comprised of courses in notarial law (30 weeks), pedagogical activities in notarial law (8 weeks) and a 16-week professional internship

Finally, the holder of these two diplomas must successfully complete a professional training program offered by the Chambre des notaires du Québec, consisting of the following two components:

  • 15 professional training days on professional law and other, non-legal fields related to the exercise of the notary profession
  • two distinctive evaluations: one written exam on the training subjects, and one practical case study in professional law.

Before retaining services from anyone, check whether the person has a practise permit, by searching the roll of the Order using the Find a notary tool.

Fields of practice: traditional and less traditional
Many people think that notaries only draft wills and settle successions or that they only handle the buying and selling of property, but today's notaries practise in areas that go beyond the traditional fields of notarial activities.

As legal advisors, notaries are authorized to provide advice in all areas of law within their expertise, including:

  • family law
  • real estate law
  • law of succession
  • business law
  • tax law  
  • co-ownership  
  • agricultural law
  • financial planning  
  • commercial mediation
  • family mediation
  • environment issues
  • arbitration 
  • air law  
  • maritime law  
  • immigration and adoption procedures
  • etc.
Role of the Notary