Brosgall Legal

Vancouver Apostille and Notary Services

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Call: 604-685-2326

Vancouver's Authentication and Legalization (Apostille) Office

Do you need to send official documentation overseas? Brosgall Legal | Notary Services specializes in international authentication and legalization (Apostille) services. This article explains the ins and outs of the international notarization, authentication and legalization process, and how Brosgall Legal can assist. After you've finished reading this article, you can print the information postcard attached at the very bottom for easy reference.

We're proudly local; not a national or Ontario business that attempts to match you up with a contracting notary here in Vancouver. Dealing directly with us is a huge advantage. If you have any questions, or want to book an appointment, please send us an email or call us at 604-685-ADAM [2326]. You may also visit our home page for further information. 

Vancouver is a global city, and the people who live here have connections around the world. Perhaps you're doing business in Korea, getting married in Mexico, teaching English in Japan, incorporating a company in Great Britian, travelling to Australia, or working in Brazil... the list goes on and on. And there are just as many reasons why you might need to send official documentation overseas. You might need to notarize a document. Maybe you need your signature to be legally witnessed. You might need to send certified copies of corporate certificates, licenses, identification, transcripts, passports, qualifications, diplomas, etc... Or quite often, our clients need a Power of Attorney sent overseas for real estate transactions. However, before any document can be sent overseas, its authenticity will need to be verified. To do this, a document must be notarized, authenticated, and then legalized. 

The 'Chain' of Authentication

The purpose of international document authentication and legalization is to solve a practical problem: how can civil and judicial officials reliably verify the authenticity of a document that was issued abroad? The solution is the creation of an official chain of authentication, so that all the signatures in that chain become verified by higher and higher authorities. We'll go into more detail below, but in effect, this is how the chain of authentication works:

  1. Your documentation is notarized by a notary (notarization);
  2. The notary's signature and standing is confirmed by a B.C. or Canadian authority (authentication); and
  3. The entire authentication 'chain' process is verified by the foreign consulate (legalization). This step is also known as 'superlegalization'.

So, what you really end up with is the verification of the confirmation of the notarization of your documentation - so to speak!

In Canada, this procedure is called Authentication and Legalization. Unfortunately, bureaucracy and 'red tape' combine to make this process very cumbersome. Most people are not familiar with the process, and different countries have different requirements. When you add online mis-information, plus language and cultural barriers... it can be quite an ordeal. And for important documentation being sent overseas, you need to get it right the first time. At Brosgall Legal - Notary Services, we know the ins and outs of authentication and legalization, and we can help. This is an example of a document that has been authenticated and legalized.

Essentially, if you need a document notarized or copied in Canada for use abroad, it must be notarized, authenticated and legalized. This process confirms the authenticity of the original document, the registration of the notary or lawyer in their respective governing body, and verifies their signature and seal as being 100% authentic. Once a notarized document has been authenticated, it is then legalized by the local foreign consulate, and it becomes legal and valid in the foreign jurisdiction. 

The Authentication and Legization Process

Apostille certification (which will be explained further below) is essentially an international notarial seal that many other countries use to legalize documents. In Canada, however, apostille certificates are not permitted, so notaries use the authentication and legalization 'chain' method. There are three steps to the authentication and legalization process:

1. Notarization

This is a simple procedure whereby you visit our notary office with your ID and the document you need to be notarized or certified as a true copy. For notarizations, we check your ID, and observe as you sign the document. We then attach the signed document to our notarial certificate and apply our signature, stamp, and notarial seal to confirm your identity, and the validity of your signature. For certified true copies (notarized copies), we take a photocopy of your document and compare it with the original to ensure it is a true copy. We then attach the copy to our notarial certificate and apply our signature, stamp, and notarial seal to certify that the attached copy is a true copy of the original.

So basically, a notarization or notarized/certified copy is the procedure that a notary takes to confirm that your signature or copied document is authentic. When necessary, a certified translation of your documentation is added to the notarial certificate. We work closely with a translation company in our building, and they have access to over 200 certified translators fluent in over 100 languages.

2. Authentication

The notarized document is then delivered to one of three authorities (described below) so that the notary or lawyer's signature and status can be authenticated - to make sure they are authentic. An authentication clerk physically compares the signature and seal of that notary or lawyer with the samples registered on file to confirm authenticity. The clerk also confirms that the lawyer or notary is a member in good standing with their respective governing body. Once these tasks are completed, an authentication stamp is applied, or an authentication certificate is permanently attached to the notarized document with an eyelet. Authentication can be accomplished in one of three ways:

  1. Authentication and Service of Documents Section (JLAC) of the Department of International Trade and Foreign Affairs. As this an Ottawa office, we only use this method when the intended country of use requires federal DFAIT authentication.  
  2. Law Society of B.C. - Authentication Section (Vancouver)
  3. B.C. Ministry of Justice - Order in Council Administration Office (Victoria)

To ensure that our authentication service goes smoothly, Mr. Brosgall's signature and official notarial seal have been pre-registered at all three authentication offices. For added convenience and speed, his authenticated signature and seal have also been pre-registered with several local consulates, including the American Consulate in Vancouver.

Once the notarized document is authenticated, it is returned to either our office, you, or the foreign consulate for legalization.

3. Legalization (also known as Superlegalization)

Finally, the notarized and authenticated document is delivered or presented to the foreign consulate in Vancouver (or elsewhere) for legalization. Legalization is the process whereby the foreign consulate in Vancouver verifies the markings applied during the above referenced authentication step - to make sure they are authentic. Legalization basically certifies that the correct procedure was followed in Canada. Once the consulate is satisfied that the authentication was valid, and that the correct procedures were followed, they affix their legalization seal to the notarized and authenticated document. At this point, with the notarization, authentication, and legalization complete, the document becomes valid and legally effective for use in the foreign country. 

You can determine the unique authentication and legalization requirements of a particular country by contacting their consulate. See the list below for the current contact details of every consular office located in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

As mentioned above, many countries (but not Canada) use a procedure called Apostille certification, so we'll cover this procedure next. 

Apostille Certification

The traditional method for authenticating documents is the authentication chain method (authentication and legalization) described above, which Canada still uses today. However, by the early 1960's, this method was seen by most countries as slow, cumbersome and costly. So, on October 5, 1961, The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents was enacted to facilitate circulation of documents around the world. This convention is commonly known as the Apostille Convention. In the countries that are signatories to the Apostille Convention, the authentication process is reduced to a single formality: the issuance of an apostille certificate. Since 1961, many countries (although not Canada) have become signatories to the Apostille Convention. There are now 104 contracting states, but as Canada is not one of them, apostille certificates are not permitted in Canada.

The objective of the Apostille Convention was to eliminate the requirements of diplomatic or consular legalization, and thus replace the cumbersome chain authentication method described above, which requires verification by multiple authorities. Apostille certification is a much simpler way of legalizing documents for use abroad, and is basically the equivalent of an international notarial seal. An apostille certificate is a standardized square form (measuring approximately 9cm x 9cm) having ten numbered items of information with blank spaces to be filled in by a notary. This is an example of an Apostille Certificate. Once the notarization is completed by the notary, the apostille certificate is attached to the document by the appropriate government agency. An apositille certificate confirms that the signature, seal or stamp on the main document is genuine. Every Hague Convention signatory country must accept apostille certificates from other signatory countries. 

The term 'apostille' comes from the word postille (French for, marginal note or notation), which originally came from post illa verba (Latin for, after these words)It is pronounced 'uh-pos-til'. During the negotiations for the 1961 Hague Convention, the term 'Apostille' was preferred because of its novelty. According to a reporter at the time: "Following a discussion on terminology [in the French language], the word Apostille may have been preferred because of its appealing novelty (it was adopted by 7 votes to 3, the other suggestion having been attestation)." [From the Permanent Bureau.]

Brosgall Legal ~ Notary Services would be pleased to assist you with your international notarization, authentication and legalization requirements. You may also visit our home page for further information. 

Vancouver Notary Public, Commissioner of Oaths, and Lawyer

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 handle Notarizations, Authentications and Legalizations. If you have any questions, please feel free to send us an email, or call 604-685-ADAM [2326] to book an appointment or mobile visit. Same day service and walk-ins are welcome. Please see our Vancouver Notary home page for our other services, and we look forward to seeing you.

Vancouver Consular Offices

  • Australia  1075 West Georgia Street,  Vancouver, British Columbia, V6E 3G2, Canada Tel (604) 694-6160 Fax (604) 684-1856
  • Austria  595 Howe Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6C 2T5, Canada Tel (604) 687-3338 Fax (888) 665-4615
  • Barbados  19984 - 76th Avenue, Vancouver, British Columbia, V2Y 1S1, Canada Tel (604) 533-4622 Fax (604) 533-4622
  • Belgium  166, West 10th Avenue, Vancouver, British Columbia, V5Y 1R8, Canada Tel (604) 879-7782 
  • Belize  P1 - 1250 Blackwood Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V4B 3T9, Canada Tel (604) 531-2212 Fax (604) 648-9095
  • Brazil  666 Burrard Street,Vancouver, British Columbia, V6C 2X8, Canada Tel (604) 696-5311 Fax (604) 696-5366
  • Burkina Faso  1185 West Georgia Street,Vancouver, British Columbia, V6E 4E6, Canada Tel (604) 688-0788 Fax (604) 688-0778
  • Chile  1250 - 1185 West Georgia Street,Vancouver, British Columbia, V6E 4E6, Canada Tel (604) 681-9162/307-2245 (24h) Fax (604) 687-0624 Web Email
  • China  3380 Granville Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6H 3K3, Canada Tel (604) 734-7492, (778) 238-0003 (24h), or (604) 731-6863 Fax (604) 737-0154 or (604) 736-4343
  • China  288-1338 West Broadway, Vancouver, V6H 2E6, Canada Tel (604) 734-0704 Fax (604) 734-0311
  • China  2215 Eddington Drive,Vancouver, V6L 2E6, Canada Fax (604) 738-1801
  • Colombia  1090 West Georgia Street, Suite 1340,Vancouver, British Columbia, V6E 3V7, Canada
  • Costa Rica  1611 Evelyn Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V7J 3S9, Canada Tel (604) 983-2152 Fax (604) 983-2152
  • Cote d'Ivoire  48-4100 Salish Drive, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6N 3M2, Canada Tel (778) 241 7922 Fax (604) 266-6529 
  • Cyprus  435 Donald Street,Vancouver, British Columbia, V3K 3Z9, Canada Tel (604) 936-2268 Fax (604) 936-2168
  • Czech Republic  112-118 Homer Street,Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B 6L5, Canada
  • Denmark  101 - 245 Fell Avenue, Vancouver, British Columbia, V7P 2K1, Canada Tel (604) 982-8892 Fax (604) 985-2855
  • El Salvador 938 Howe Street, Suite 411,Vancouver, British Columbia, V6Z 1N9, Canada Tel (604) 732-8142 Fax (604) 696-0038
  • Estonia  570-1285 West Pender Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6E 4B1, Canada Tel (604) 683-3000 x 105 Fax (604) 662-3457
  • Finland  1188 West Georgia Street,Vancouver, British Columbia, V6E 4A2, Canada Tel (604) 688-4483 Fax (604) 687-8237
  • France  1130, West Pender Street, Suite 1100, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6E 4A4, Canada Tel (604) 681-4345 Fax (604) 681-4287 Web Email
  • Germany  World Trade Centre, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6C 3E1, Canada Tel (604) 684-8377/218-1390 (18h to 24h) Fax (604) 684-8334 Web Email
  • Greece  500 - 688 West Hastings Street,Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B 1P1, Canada Tel (604) 681-1381 (604)721-6077 or 925-2039(24H) Fax (604) 681-6656
  • Greece  2574 Cornwall Avenue, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Guinea  404-999 Canada Place, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6C 3E2, Canada Tel (604) 641-1393 x 510 
  • Hungary  1770 West 7th Avenue, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6J 4Y6, Canada Tel (604) 730-7321 Fax (604) 730-7339 Web Email
  • Iceland  940 Younette Drive, Vancouver, British Columbia, V7T 1S9, Canada Tel (604) 922-0854
  • India  325 Howe Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6C 1Z7, Canada Tel (604) 662-8811 Fax (604) 682-2471/682-3556 Web Email
  • Indonesia  1630 Alberni Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6G 1A6, Canada Tel (604) 682-8855 Fax (604) 662-8396
  • Indonesia  1300 - 1500 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, V6G 2Z6, Canada Tel 778-373-4916 Fax 604-685-1520
  • Ireland  210-837 Beatty Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B 2M6, Canada Tel (604) 683-9233 Fax (604) 683-8402
  • Italy  510 West Hasting Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B 1L8, Canada Tel (604) 684-7288, or (604) 688-0809 Fax (604)685-4263 Web Email
  • Japan  1177 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6E 2K9, Canada Tel (604) 684-5868 Fax (604) 684-6939
  • Jordan  950-789 West Pender Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6H 1H2, Canada Tel (604) 685-9200 Fax (866) 285-8886
  • Korea, Republic  1090 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6E 3V7, Canada Tel (604) 681-9581/2 Fax (604) 681-4864
  • Korea, Republic  780-999 Canada Place, Vancouver, V6C 3E1, Canada Tel (604) 683-1820 Fax (604) 687-6249
  • Lesotho  555 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B 1Z5, Canada Tel (604) 681-9887 Fax (604) 681-8087
  • Lithuania  1088 Salsbury Drive, Vancouver, British Columbia, V5L 4A7, Canada Tel (604) 999-1904 Fax (604) 874-4180
  • Luxembourg  Suite 1100-925 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6C 3L2, Canada Tel (604) 408-5616 Fax (604) 408-5637
  • Malaysia  1805-111 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6E 4M3, Canada Tel (604) 685-9550 Fax (604) 685-9520
  • Malta  1880 - 1066 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6E 3X1, Canada Tel (604) 688-7861 Fax (604) 688-0426
  • Mauritius  1453 Laurier Avenue, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6H 1Z2, Canada Tel (604) 520-1013 Fax (604) 520-1413
  • Mexico  1177 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6E 2K3, Canada Tel (604) 684-3547, 684-1859 Fax (604) 684-2485 Web Email
  • Mexico  200 Granville Street, Vancouver, V6C 1S4, Canada Tel (604) 682-3648 Fax (604) 682-1355
  • Mexico  United Kingdom Building 409 Granville Street, Suite 658, Vancouver, V6C 1T2, Canada Tel (604) 669-2845 Fax (604) 669-3498
  • Monaco  PH-2225 Twin Creek Place, Vancouver, British Columbia, V7S 3K4, Canada Tel (604) 925-0210/cell 862-6878 Fax (604)-925-0210
  • Mongolia  c/o Heenan Blaikie LLP, 1055 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6E 2E9, Canada Tel (604) 891-1194 Fax (866) 591-8103
  • Montenegro  1177 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6E 2K3, Canada Tel (604) 608-1766 Fax (604) 608-1744
  • Netherlands  595 Burrard Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V7X 1C4, Canada Tel (604) 684-6448 Fax (604) 684-3549
  • New Zealand  888 Dunsmuir Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6C 3K4, Canada Tel (604) 684-7388 Fax (604) 684-7333
  • Norway  1480 - 1188 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6E 4A2, Canada Tel (604) 682-7977 Fax (604) 682-8376
  • Pakistan  Suite 1400 - 510 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B 1L8, Canada Tel (604) 569-1415 Fax (604) 569-2180 Web Email
  • Peru  505 Burrard Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V7X 1M3, Canada Tel (604) 662-8880 Fax (604) 662-3564 Web Email
  • Philippines  700 West Pender Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6C 1G8, Canada Tel (604) 685-7645 / (604) 613-0942 (24h) Fax (604) 685-9945
  • Philippines  675 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, V6B 1N2, Canada Tel (604) 682-5770 Fax (604) 692-0887
  • Poland  1177 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6E 2K3, Canada Tel (604) 688-3530/688-4730 or 988-4062 (24h) Fax (604) 688-3537
  • Portugal  925 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6C 3L2, Canada Tel (604) 688-6514, 806-0990 Fax (604) 685-7042
  • Romania  555 Burrard Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V7X 1M8, Canada Tel (604) 633-0986 or (604) 369-3286 (24h) Fax (604) 633-0757
  • Russia  212-475 Howe Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6C 2X6, Canada Tel (604) 559-7877 Fax (604) 620-5009
  • Senegal  555 Burrard Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V7X 1M8, Canada Tel (604) 684-5356 Fax (604) 443-5001
  • Serbia  7411 Vantage Way, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6J 4J5, Canada Tel (604) 940-3535 Fax (604) 946-5418 Email
  • Singapore  1095 West Pender Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6E 2M6, Canada Tel (604) 622-5281 Fax (604) 685-2471
  • Slovak Republic  8691 Allison Street, Richmond, British Columbia, V6Y 3H9, Canada Tel (604) 277-5774 Fax (604) 277-5774 Web Email
  • Slovenia  595 Burrard Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V7X 1J5, Canada Tel (604) 905-8599 Fax (604) 938-9409
  • Solomon Islands  Suite 500 - 666 Burrard Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6C 3P6, Canada Tel (604) 638-6548 Fax (604) 637-9616 Web Email
  • South Africa  1075 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6E 3C9, Canada Tel (604) 688-1301 Fax (604) 688-8193
  • Spain  1035 Marinaside Crescent, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6Z 3A3, Canada Tel (604)687-8153 
  • Sri Lanka  55 Water Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B 1A1, Canada Tel (604) 646-3556
  • Sweden  1188 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6E 4A2, Canada Tel (604) 683-5838
  • Switzerland  World Trade Center, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6C 3E1, Canada Tel (604) 684-2231 Fax (604) 684-2806 (24h)
  • Syria  1040 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6E 4H1, Canada Tel (604) 608-4220 Fax (604) 682-3161 Web Email
  • Thailand  1040 Burrard Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6E 3Z3, Canada Tel (604) 687-1143 Fax (604) 687-4434 
  • Thailand  1009-1166 Alberni Street, Vancouver, V6E 3Z3, Canada Tel (604) 687-6400 Fax (604) 683-6775
  • Tunisia  885 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6C 3H1, Canada Tel (604) 687-5700 Fax (604) 687-6314
  • Uganda  1361 Robson Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6E 1C6, Canada Tel (604) 687-6631 Fax (604) 687-5724
  • Ukraine  938 Howe Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6Z 1N9, Canada Tel (604) 331-2505 Fax (604) 331-2515
  • United Kingdom  1111 Melville Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6E 3V6, Canada Tel (604) 683-4421 Fax (604) 681-0693
  • United States of America  1095 West Pender Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6E 4E9, Canada Tel (604) 685-4311 Fax (604) 685-5285, 685-7304
  • Uruguay  595 Burrard Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V7X 1C4, Canada Tel (604) 664-5828 Fax (604) 664-5838 Web Email
  • Venezuela  1101-1030 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6E 2Y3, Canada Tel (604) 998-8080 Fax (604) 630-2111 Internet Email
  • Vietnam  605 Robson Street, Suite 800, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B 5J3, Canada



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