Certificates of Authentication

Some 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

1. Your document must include: 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 document should also:

  • be dated (and include an index card if going to the US Consulate).
  • include the lawyer's address, and telephone number.
  • have the wording "A Notary in and for the Province of British Columbia".
  • the Notary's seal.

2. Prepare a cover which includes: 

  • Your contact information, including the return address and your telephone number/email address so that we can contact you when the document is ready.
  • Return details. The Law Society will not arrange a courier on your behalf. However, if you request the document to be picked up, you can arrange the courier once you have been notified that the document is ready. If you wish to have the documents returned by expedited mail, you should include either a Priority Post or XpressPost envelope which can be purchased from any Canada Post outlet. Otherwise, we will return by regular mail.

3. Payment of document sets:

  • By mail payment can be made by cheque, bank draft, or cash. Only documents that are dropped off in person may be paid by Visa or Mastercard. Sending your credit card details by mail will delay processing time.

What is a document set?

  • A “set” of documents consists of any number of pages seen by the lawyer that can be fastened together to go to the same destination. We will fasten the documents together with an eyelet, so they can never be taken apart. Each document that is notarized by a different lawyer, must form a separate set of documents (we authenticate one lawyer per set).
  • Each set must be determined prior to sending to the Law Society of BC. Please make sure that each set it clearly marked with a paper clip or staple. Each set is $26.25, as detailed on the right of this page.

Requests can be mailed to the Member Services department.

For more information about authenticating a lawyer’s signature, contact Member Services.

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

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”)

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
700 – 625 Howe Street
Box 44
Vancouver, BC V6C 2T6
Telephone: 604.681.4516
Fax: 604.681.7258
Toll-free: 1.800.663.0343

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 be on your company's letterhead, or on plain paper if you are not currently employed. The page must include:

  1. Your full name and your signature.
  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.  We will forward your certificate by regular mail.
  3. Payment of $78.75 per certificate (detailed on the right). If you are emailing the scanned copy of your request, include your credit card details on the request (number, expiry date and three-digit CVC number on the back of the card). Otherwise, mail in your request with a cheque. Payment is required prior to processing.
  4. This page can be scanned and emailed to memberinfo@lsbc.org or mailed to member services (right).

Proof of Indemnity Certificate

A Proof of Indemnity Certificate acts as proof that a lawyer has professional liability indemnification.

The Law Society website allows lawyers to create and access a Proof of Indemnity Certificate on their own. Accessing this technology allows a lawyer to access a Proof of Indemnity Certificate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will produce a certificate faster than requesting it from the Member Services department.

  1. Log in to the Member Portal
  2. Click “Skip Notifications” if this appears on the next page
  3. Scroll down to the “Proof of Indemnity Certificate” heading
  4. Click “Download Proof of Indemnity Certificate”

Member Services contact information

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

Processing time

We do not offer expedited service, and all documents are processed in the order in which they are received. Processing time is typically five business days for Certificates of Authentication and Notarial Certificates and 10 business days for Certificates of Standing. However, there are factors that can delay the process. You will be contacted when your document is ready for you to pick up, or it can be sent to you by mail.


Certificate of Standing  $75  ($78.75, inc. 5% GST)
Certificate of Authentication  $25  ($26.25, inc. 5% GST)
Notarial Certificate  $25  ($26.25, inc. 5% GST)

Fees can be paid by cheque, bank draft or cash. Payment should be submitted with the document. Cheques should be made payable to the “Law Society of BC.”  Documents will not be released from this office until payment has been received.

Note: The federal goods and services tax applies to Law Society fees and assessments.