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Notary Services Glossary beginning with O

Brosgall Legal's glossary covers useful Apostille and Notary Public terms.
Click one of the letters above to advance the page to terms beginning with that letter.

An oath is a solemn promise regarding one's future action or behavior.  It also refers to a solemn promise that one will tell the truth in a court of law, declaration, or affidavit.

Historically, ancient Egyptian leaders swore oaths of office with their right hand placed on an onion. Onions were treated as sacred objects in ancient Egypt, and swearing an oath in this way was thought of as a guarantee of good faith.


This is a numismatic (study of currency) term, but has wider usage. The 'obverse' is the front face of a coin, paper money, flag, seal, medal, or document. It is the opposite of 'reverse' or the back face of these items.

In the notarial world, these terms are sometimes used to label or indicate the obverse (front) and reverse (back) side of a drivers licence or other document when making notarized or certified copies.

The obverse of a coin is commonly called heads, because it often depicts the head of a prominent person, and the reverse tails.

The term 'front' is more commonly used than obverse, while the use of 'reverse' is widespread.

OIC Office

The authentication office at the BC Department of Justice, Legal Services Branch in Victoria.  Stands for 'Order in Council' Administration.

Online Document Notarization and Copying

To produce a certified copy, we usually need to see the the original physical document. However, if the only version is electronic (an e-document), Brosgall Legal can still assist people with our online document notarization service. Please read this article on how we are able to notarize and certify online documents. Brosgall Legal ~ Notary Services specializes in online e-document certification and notarization, so you can trust all your important and urgent jobs to us. 

Order of Precedence

An 'order of precedence' is a sequential hierarchy of nominal importance of items. Most often it is used in the context of people by many organizations and governments, for very formal and state occasions, especially where diplomats are present. It can also be used in the context of decorations, medals and awards. Historically, the order of precedence had a more widespread use, especially in court and aristocratic life.

In estate adminstration, 'order of precedence' is used to determine succession rights for intestate decedents as per the Estate Administration Act.

Please see 'Consanguinity'. 

Original Document

For purposes of performing a notarial act (over a paper document), an original document is one that contains the signer's wet-ink signature (see Original Signature) or that will be signed by the signer in the presence of the notary.

An original document is also the original hard copy of a document that is presented to a notary so that a certified copy can be made.  Please see 'Online Document Notarization and Copying' for more information on how we handle e-documents.

Original Signature

A signature subscribed (signed) directly onto a document in ink by the person who is named on the document. In contrast, a faxed document that already displays a signature does not display an original signature, since the signature on the faxed document is a facsimile.