Certificates: Standing, Authentication or Notarial

Certificates of Standing

A certificate of standing is a personal document which can only be requested by the lawyer it is for. These are usually required for lawyers who are seeking to acquire membership in another jurisdiction.

How to request a certificate of standing

Your request must include:

  1. Your signed request (scanned copy if sending via email)
  2. Instructions regarding the forwarding or return of the certificate, including address and telephone number. If the certificate is to be forwarded to another law society, you should include the contact information for that law society.
  3. Payment of of the required fee. Payment may be made by VISA, MasterCard, cash, money order, bank draft or cheque. Cheques should be made payable to the “Law Society of BC”.  Documents will not be released until payment has been received. If paying by credit card, please include the expiry date.

Requests can be mailed, faxed or emailed to:

Law Society of British Columbia
Member Services Department
845 Cambie Street
Vancouver, BC  V6B 4Z9
Telephone:  604.669.2533
Fax: 604.687.0135
memberinfo@lsbc.org

You will be contacted and advised when your certificate is ready for you to pick up or it can be sent by mail through Canada Post.

Processing time

Processing time is generally two business days upon receipt of the request.

Certificates of Authentication

Sometimes foreign governments and organizations will only accept a document notarized by a BC lawyer if the lawyer's signature has been "authenticated".

How to request authentication of a lawyer's signature

Your request must include:

  1. Document with the lawyer's original signature. The document can be a copy of an original document but the lawyer's signature must be original. The Law Society cannot authenticate photocopies of a lawyer's signature. The lawyer's original signature should include the following:    
    • be dated (including index cards going to the US Consulate)
    • the lawyer's address, telephone and fax number
    • the wording "A Notary in and for the Province of British Columbia"
    • the Notary's seal
  2. Your contact information.
  3. Instructions regarding whether you wish to have the completed paperwork returned to you or forwarded to another address by mail or if you will pick up the documents at our office. Include relevant addresses and telephone numbers. If you wish to have the documents returned by courier, you should include either a Priority Post or Expresspost envelope which can be purchased from any Canada Post outlet.
  4. If the documents are to be forwarded to a foreign embassy or consulate, you should include a cover letter to that embassy or consulate.
  5. Payment of the required fee for each set* of documents to be authenticated. Payment may be made by VISA, MasterCard, cash, money order, bank draft or cheque. Cheques should be made payable to the “Law Society of BC”.  Documents will not be released from this office until payment has been received. If paying by credit card, please include the expiry date.

* A “set” of documents consists of documents that can be fastened together to go to the same destination. We will fasten the documents together with an eyelet, so they cannot be taken apart. Each document that is notarized by a different lawyer must form a separate set of documents.

Requests can be mailed to:

Law Society of British Columbia
Member Services Department
845 Cambie Street
Vancouver, BC  V6B 4Z9
Telephone: 604.669.2533
Fax: 604.687.0135
memberinfo@lsbc.org

For more information about authenticating a lawyer’s signature, contact Member Services at memberinfo@lsbc.org or 604.605.5311.

Additional requirements for consulates and embassies

Some consulates and/or embassies require additional authentication services which may be obtained in BC through the Order in Council Administration Office, or federally through Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. The contact information for these government offices is as follows:

British Columbia Government Service
Ministry of Justice
Order in Council Administration Office – Attention: Authentication Clerk
1001 Douglas Street (PO Box 9280 Stn Prov Govt)
Victoria, BC  V8W 2C5
Telephone: 250.387.4376
www.ag.gov.bc.ca/authentication/index.htm

Federal government service
Authentication and Services of Documents Section (JLAC)
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario  K1A 0G2
Telephone: 1.800.267.8376
www.international.gc.ca (search for “authentication”)

Processing time

After receipt of the documents, the Law Society will authenticate the signature on the documents generally within two business days. You will be contacted and advised that your document and certificate of authentication is ready for pick up or it will be mailed to you if preferred.

authentication of a notary public's signature

The Law Society cannot authenticate the signature of a Notary Public unless that person is also a lawyer. For assistance, please contact:

The Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia
Box 44, 1220 – 625 Howe Street
Vancouver, BC   V6C 2T6
Telephone: 604.681.4516
Fax: 604.681.7258
Toll Free:  1.800.663.0343
www.notaries.bc.ca