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Vancouver Notary Answers Apostille, Authentication, and Legalization FAQ's

Canadian documents being sent overseas must first be 'authenticated' and 'legalized' to make them legal and valid in the foreign country. You may have been told to get an 'Apostille'. In Canada, this process is called 'authentication and legalization.' Our clients typically need this service for their birth certificates, powers of attorney, real estate transfers, academic records, diplomas, probate, corporate documentation, letters of understanding, and destination weddings. Clients are often confused by this obscure legal practice, so we hope that the following FAQ's will help.


These short explanations explain the process - and how Brosgall Legal can assist. Brosgall Legal is proudly local; not a national or out-of-province business that attempts to match you up with a contracting notary in Vancouver. So you always deal directly with us. Brosgall Legal handles absolutely everything on your behalf. The authentication and legalization process we do for you is the only way that your documentation can be validated for use overseas. If you have any questions about the Authentication and Legalization process, or want to book an appointment, please send us an email or call us at 604-685-ADAM [2326]. You can also visit our home page for further information. 

Q: What is a Notarization?
A: A document becomes notarized when a lawyer or notary public witnesses you signing it, and applies their seal and stamp. Another meaning is when a lawyer or notary makes a certified copy of an original document. 
Q: What is an Authentication?
A: An authentication is when your document gets stamped and signed at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAIT) in Ottawa, or at the appropriate British Columbia body.
Q: What is a Legalization?
A: Legalization is getting your documentation stamped and signed by a consular officer at the appropriate foreign consulate or embassy in Canada.
Q: What is an Apostille?
A: An Apostille is a different type of legalization created by the Hague Apostille Convention of 1961. Canada is not a signatory of this Convention, so the Apostille process does not apply in Canada. The Authentication and Legalization process is the equivalent procedure in Canada.
Q: What is a Superlegalization?
A: This is a word some consulates and embassies use instead of legalization. These missions tend to call the authentication step a legalization, and the legalization step a superlegalization. It just adds to the confusion.
Q: What is the difference between an Apostille and a Legalization?

A: A Canadian Legalization is equivalent to an Apostille. As Canada does not issue Apostille certificates, whenever you are told to get an Apostille for your Canadian document, you need to get an Authentication and Legalizion. The party requesting the Apostille may not be familiar with the terms Authentication and Legalization, but Brosgall Legal guarantees that this international process will result in your documentation being legal and valid in the foreign country.

Brosgall Legal is fast, reliable, and local; and we guarantee your document will be legal and valid overseas. Our firm has successfully legalized thousands of documents for use in close to 100 different countries. We can help you process your important documentation safely and quickly - guaranteed.


Brosgall Legal's owner and principal, Adam Brosgall, is an experienced Vancouver Notary Public, Commissioner of Oaths, and Lawyer. He is fully qualified, licenced, and insured to do international notarizations, authentications, and legalizations. If you have any questions, please feel free to send us an email, or call 604-685-ADAM [2326]. Please see our Vancouver Notary home page for our other services, and we look forward to assisting.