The French Language Act in Quebec: Impact on notarial acts

The Act respecting French, the official and common language of Québec, came into force on June 1, 2022. This Act to assert French as the only official language of Québec has repercussions on the practice of notaries who draft their acts or deeds in English, and thus on their clients. 

Despite the Act stating that French is the only official language of Québec, acts or deeds can still be drafted in English. However, conditions or restrictions may apply when the act or deed is drafted in English, such as acts/deeds cannot be published in the land register in a language other than French or the unanimous consent from both parties to the act or deed is required. It is up to your notary to explain the impact of the Act as it pertains to your request so that you may make an informed decision.

A notary can draft a deed of sale for a residential property in English at the request of his or her clients

 If the seller and buyer both ask for the sale of a residential building with less than five units to be drafted in English, the notary may do so, but the deed cannot be published in the land register without a French translation. Clients who wish to have their deed of sale drafted in English should expect delays and additional costs. It is up to your notary to explain the options available to you.

Fee for the translation

When it’s directly related to your request to draft the act or deed in English, as is the case when the document needs to be published in the land register, a fee is payable. It is up to your notary to explain the financial impact of the Act when you ask him or her to draft a contract in English, so that you may make an informed choice on whether to draft the contract in English or in French.