Understanding Document Authentication and Legalization in Toronto

When you are traveling abroad for business or personal purposes, you will have to submit proof of authentication for your official documents. The embassies and consulates check all the documents and certificates and ensure that they are valid. So, here is all you need to know about document authentication and legalization.

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Overview of Authentication and Legalization

Authentication refers to the process of verification of the authenticity of the seal and signature on the documents against all the information on the file for Notary Public or the Commissioner for taking affidavits.

However, authentication can be granted only if:

  • The name, stamp, and seal is similar to that present on the file with the Official Document Services (ODS).

  • All parts of the stamp, signature, and seal of the Notary Public or Commissioner are complete, original, and clearly visible on the document.

  • The Notary Public or Commissioner is registered with the Official Document Services (ODS).


Only when your document is authenticated, it can be presented to the Embassy office or consulate of the foreign country in which the document is to be used, i.e. the legalization of a document issued in Canada, which is to be used in India will be legalized by the Consulate General of India in Toronto. It is the process in which the embassy or consulate of the foreign country verifies the authenticity of a foreign public document or certificate.

While both steps look quite simple, it can actually be time-consuming as well as complex. When you are opting for authentication and legalization of documents in Toronto, make sure to follow the right procedure and be ready with the requirements.


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Steps to follow for Document Authentication and Legalization

In order to authenticate and legalize your documents in Toronto, follow these essential steps.

Step 1: Contact Embassy or Consulate

The first step in the process is to contact the appropriate embassy office or the consulate in order to gain an idea about their exact requirements. This will provide you guidance in completing the other steps effectively.

Step 2: Notarization

After understanding the requirements, you need to have all your documents notarized through a notary public. You can even get it commissioned with the help of the commissioner for the purpose of taking affidavits.

Step 3: Authentication

Once your documents are notarized, the next step is authentication. For this purpose, the notary will take your documents to the Official Document Services in order to get the documents authenticated. After the authentication process, you will be given a Certificate of Authentication for each of the documents.

Step 4: Legalization

The final step is legalization. In this step, all your authenticated documents are taken to the embassy office or consulate for legalization.

Once all the steps are complete, you are ready to travel abroad and conduct your business successfully.

Standard processing time

When you want to get your documents authenticated and legalized in person, the standard wait time is about 30 minutes. However, it can be more depending on your number of documents. But when you are opting for the process through the mail, it might take up to 15 business days.

What documents require authentication?

When you are traveling abroad for business or personal purposes, there are a number of documents that require authentications. Some of the important documents include:

  • Commercial import-export and other business documents

  • Documents of property ownership

  • Marriage, divorce, or adoption certificate

  • Certified birth registration certificate

  • School, university, or college admission papers along with transcripts

  • Customs approval certificates

  • Power of attorney

  • Trademark and patent documents

  • Contracts dealing with the partnership, incorporation, fiscal matters, and product distribution

  • Other important government official documents.

Now that you know everything about document authentication and legalization look for a Toronto notary near me and get started with the process. If you are in Toronto visit our Public Notary office which is located in the heart of  North York.