Hours of operation
Sat: By Appointment only
240 – 2950 Douglas St.
Victoria BC V8T 4N4
1 (250) 383-4100
© 2023 Carter Notary
Your document may be in a different language. If your document is in a different language, don’t worry we can help you! Although, we do not offer formal translation services, for many documents all we need to do is use a translation app to help us understand the document you are signing.
Let us know if you have a document in another language when booking your appointment. We will ask you to send us a preview of your document for review.
Apostille & Authentication
Apostille refers to the legalization process in more than 120 countries around the world. Canada does not do apostille at this time, however, we do have an authentication process to satisfy these apostille requirements for using your documents in other countries. In our office we generally refer to this as “authentication.”
Courier / scanning documents
We can provide email scans of executed documents to clients and law offices. If required, we can also courier documents on your behalf to their intended destination. Emailing and faxing documents are included in our service. Courier, postage and handling fees apply to other services.
Authorized with US consulate
Our office specializes in in documents from the United States. We are registered with the US Consulate in Vancouver, BC. For documents requiring authentication, we provide clients with detailed instructions on how to send using the Consulate’s mail in process. For more information on US Documents, please click HERE .
Documents can be complex
There are a wide variety of documents that require Notary services, but not all documents are the same. Some documents require more time than others and may have additional requirements. Please note that all real estate documents regardless of province or country are considered complex. For more complex documents, we ask that you send the documents in advance (if possible) for us to look over prior to your appointment.
How much do you charge for a notarization?
Our base fee for simple notarizations starts at $60 for the first document and $17.50 for each additional document. Not all signatures or packages of signatures are simple or basic. Many require specialized knowledge and problem solving to complete accurately. For more complex notarizations, please call our office for an estimate of fees.
How long is an appointment?
Typically, most notarizations can be completed in 10-15 minutes. More complex notarizations may take up to 30 minutes or more depending on the size and number of documents. Multiple or more complex documents require an appointment. Please call our office 250.383.4100
What do I bring to my appointment?
Bring all documents requiring notarization (not just signing pages), and bring 2 pieces of identification – with at least one being a government issued photo ID.
What if I do not have two pieces of ID?
If you do not have 2 pieces of ID, you will have to bring someone personally known by you to verify your identity. Please advise us when booking your appointment.
Does everyone signing need to come to the appointment?
Yes. If everyone needing to sign cannot make the appointment, we can accommodate different signing times. Contact our office to discuss your specific situation.
What happens when everyone cannot make the appointment?
If some individuals are unable to make the same appointment, we can hold documents at our office to allow for all parties to sign at different appointments/times if needed. Additional charges may apply for additional signing appointments.
Can you help me fill out my document?
The role of a Notary is not to help you fill out forms, but we may be able to identify missing information. It is important that you contact the person or company who has sent you the forms and ask them on how to correctly complete them. We ask that you please complete all your forms prior to your appointment, but do not sign or date documents that must be done with the Notary.
Can I just drop in anytime?
We offer daily drop-in times for simple notarizations. For more complex notarizations or multiples of documents, an appointment would be needed. If our drop-in times do not work, we offer additional times by appointment. Will, Powers of Attorney, Executor services, and Real Estate are available by appointment only.
Do you offer remote Notarization services?
We do not offer remote Notarization services.
Can you notarize documents in another language?
Yes, we can notarize documents in another language. Typically, we will ask you to email your documents to us prior to seeing the Notary. We use a translation software to translate the documents into English which helps us be able to identify important details. We do not offer official or certified translation services. These documents are complex and take more time. Call us to discuss your scenario.
What do you charge for copies of Death certificates?
We offer complimentary certified copies of death certificates. It is our way of giving back to our community for people experiencing grief and the loss of a loved one.
Can my law firm in Alberta (or another province) send documents to you for signing?
Yes. Law firms from other jurisdictions can send documents directly to us for signing on your behalf.
Can a Notary sign a Homemade Will or a Will Kit?
No. We prepare our own Wills and Powers of Attorneys on behalf of our own clients after meeting with them to get detailed information about them, their family, and the setup of their estate. BC has unique laws that make it easy for some people to dispute a Will.
We do not sign homemade Wills or Will Kits, or documents from LawDepot, etc. for 3 main reasons:
In select situations by pre-approval, we may act as an agent for another Notary or lawyer who represents you and has provided advice (i.e., you have a long-term relationship with another Notary or lawyer in a different city and want to use them, but you live here in Victoria). Contact us to review your specific situation or book a 10-minute consultation with the Notary.
Will you sign my Will?
No. We do not sign homemade Wills or Will Kits, or documents from LawDepot, etc. for 3 main reasons:
*Note homemade Wills may also be known as DIY Wills, Holograph Wills, Will Kits, Online Wills, Electronic Wills, Digital Wills, Handwritten Wills, or Wills created through an online service provider.
Do BC Notaries sign Separation agreements?
Notaries do not practice in family law and cannot sign separation agreements or cohabitation agreements. You will need to book an appointment with a family law lawyer to have these types of agreements signed.
For family law inquiries in Victoria BC, we refer to the two following family law lawyers who offer unbundled legal services. Contact
For information about cohabitation agreements, please see here for our YouTube interview with family law lawyer, Laurel Dietz.
What is an Affidavit?
An affidavit is an affirmation or sworn statement about facts as a person knows and understands them to be true. An affidavit is essentially the written version of swearing under oath to tell the truth. The document must be signed both by the person making the statement, or affiant, and a person who is legally authorized to administer an oath, such as a Notary Public. An affidavit will always be used in a court or legal setting.
What is a Statutory Declaration?
A statutory declaration is a solemn declaration for a statement of true facts as they relate to a law, regulation, or legal requirement where the truth is mandatory. A statutory declaration is like an affidavit, except a declaration will never be used in a court setting.
What is a Commissioner of Oaths?
A Commissioner for Oaths is an individual who can administer oaths for affidavits and declarations. A Commissioner of Oaths is typically required on affidavits or statutory declarations for common documents used in real estate, court applications, pension documents, ICBC, and so many more.
Is your Notary a Commissioner of Oaths?
Yes, Beverly Carter is both a Notary Public and a Commissioner of Oaths for BC and all Canadian documents requiring a Commissioner of Oaths.
What is an Apostille?
An Apostille is an approval process requiring different levels of government to give their stamp of approval. “Apostille” is the name used in European, Commonwealth, and other countries. In Canada, we have a process that meets the same standards as Apostille, but we call it legalizing or authentication. Our notarizing of your documents is always the first step no matter what levels of approval (legalizing, authentication, Apostille) are needed. For example, the following are additional levels of approval:
Not all documents require the same level of authentication or approval. Some documents can go directly from us to the country, and some cannot. Some US documents require going to the US Consulate, and some do not. Your document may require only one or two of the above government approvals.
The process can be confusing for many people. What is important to ask of the business, agency or person that is sending you the documents
***For more information on USA documents, click here.
*** For more information on types of international documents we notarize, click here.
How do you handle time sensitive documents?
Most of the documents that we handle have some time sensitivity. It is important to let us know your document timelines as quickly as possible. We offer daily drop-in times with appointments for same day signing services… We also offer courier services through Maximum Express Courier Services on your behalf for a variety of documents. Additional courier and handling fees apply.
**Please note that we are aware that many documents arrive into our clients hands at the last minute and require a fast turnaround time. Contact us to book an appointment and advise us if this is your scenario. We actively work with our clients to achieve tight timelines.
Is the Notary Public office open Saturdays?
We offer some Saturday services. These are by appointment only. Please call our office at (250) 383-4100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Regular business hours do not work for me, are there other options?
If regular business hours do not work for you, the Notary may be able to see you after 7:45am (before your work). End of days are popular and require an appointment. We offer some Saturday services. These are by appointment only. Please call our office at (250) 383-4100 or email email@example.com for more information.
Do you offer mobile services?
Yes, we do offer a variety of mobile services, including business, hospital, and home visits. We have diligent Covid-19 safety practices. Call our office for more information.
It’s just a signature?
There are a wide variety of documents that require Notary services, but not all documents are the same. Some documents require more time than others and may have additional requirements. Other documents have complexity and liabilities. We are highly trained specialists with expertise to deal with tens of thousands of different kinds of documents from all over the world. Please call our office or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Who should have a Health Agreement?
Generally, we recommend people who have any of the following reasons to have a Health Agreement:
What are the benefits of the Health Representation Agreement?
Who should I appoint as my Health Representative?
When should I have a Health Representation Agreement?
As a rule of thumb, we recommend any one at an advanced age, or anyone with underlying medical conditions to put a Health Representation Agreement in place.
Should I give my doctor a copy of my agreement?
It is recommended to give your doctor a copy of your fully signed Health Representation Agreement. It is helpful for your doctor to know who can act on your behalf should something suddenly happen to you. We also recommend that your representative also get a copy. Make sure you never give away the original document unless you want your representative to hold it. We provide copies and scans of all documents upon full and final signing.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a powerful document that allows an individual to appoint an Attorney to act on their behalf for financial decisions should they become mentally or physically incapacitated, whether it be permanently or temporarily. A Power of Attorney can also be used to for practical purposes at other times.
What is an Attorney?
An attorney is an individual or individual(s) appointed to act on one’s behalf should they become mentally or physically incapable. It gives them power to act on behalf of their financial affairs. In a Power of Attorney document, it does not mean a lawyer.
Is an Attorney a lawyer?
No, in this instance a Power of Attorney is not a lawyer. An Attorney is the appointed person in the document who can act on your behalf.
Is my Power of Attorney an Enduring Power of Attorney?
Unlike general and specific Powers of Attorney, Enduring Powers of Attorney allows for your attorneys to act on your behalf even if you become mentally incapable. In most cases, Notaries prepare a general enduring Power of Attorney which include special clauses so your Attorney(s) can act for you when you are both capable and incapable.
Do I need a Power of Attorney?
The general rule of thumb is anyone who has assets, especially bank accounts and real estate, or is over the age of 50, should have a Power of Attorney in place. Definitely people who should have these are those with advanced age, health conditions, and travel frequently. A Power of Attorney is put in place for when you cannot take care of your own business needs. See scenarios.
Can I use my Power of Attorney for medical decisions?
A general enduring Power of Attorney allows you to appoint an individual(s) to take care of your financial and legal matters on your behalf in the event you need them to step in or you become incapacitated. It does not allow for them to make any medical decisions on your behalf.
To act on one’s behalf for medical decisions, you must have a Section 9 Health Representation Agreement in place. These representation agreements include making decisions for minor and major health care, as well as personal care.
**Please note, the above information is for B.C. documents only. Other jurisdictions have Powers of Attorney of the person or appoint medical proxy’s which may be confusing. In B.C. specifically our Powers of Attorney are for financial and legal matters only and do not allow for medical or health decisions to be made.
What types of Powers of Attorney are there?
There are three different types of Powers of Attorney in British Columbia: 1) Enduring 2) General and 3) Specific.
Who should I appoint in my Power of Attorney?
Most people appoint an immediate family member (spouse, child, parent, sibling). It is recommended you have at least 2 Attorneys appointed with a primary and a backup or alternate. Ideally these people live close or at least in the same province, but that is not essential – they can live elsewhere. What is most important is these are trusted people to you who are financially stable and have good ethics.
If you don’t have a lot of options then notaries, accountants, lawyers and trust companies can be be appointed on a pre-approved basis. They will have a fee agreement to charge for services (only when acting) — they offer professional experience and ethical services.
**Beverly Carter accepts appointments as a power of attorney. Contact the office to set a consultation.
What if I do not have someone who I trust to appoint?
If you do not have anyone you can trust; you may appoint a trusted professional such a Notary, lawyer, accountant or trust company to act on your behalf. Professionals are required to operate at a higher standard of care and are experienced in managing other people’s financial matters.
We offer Notary appointed Attorney and Executor services. For more information regarding these services, call our office or send us email to email@example.com.
Executor vs Attorney
An Executor is the person you name in your Will who takes care of your affairs and your Estate after you die. Their first job begins with dealing with your body and protecting assets and debts. A Power of Attorney names a person to handle financial and legal matters for you while you are alive. It is an important document should you lose capacity mentally or physically. The reality is none of us know if we will lose capacity or not. It is better to have one and not need it… than to need it and do not have it.
I do not own anything, why do I need one?
Everybody has something, even a bank account or a car. A Power of Attorney may only be needed once, but it will be a very important once. For example, in British Columbia many elderly people end up in assisted living or extended care and a Power of Attorney is helpful to sign legal and financial paperwork to assign a portion of pensions or income for their healthcare. Other areas where a Power of Attorney may be used is to deal with ending a rental contract, income taxes, utility bills, cellphone plans, credit card payments or cancellations…and the list goes on to all the practical daily personal expenditures that we do not normally think about in this way.
What kind of Powers will my Attorney have?
Typically we recommend general powers meaning they can step in and manage your personal legal and financial affairs. Duties of the Attorney are well spelled out under the Power of Attorney Act and the very first duties are to act honestly and in good faith. Aside from that we can build in specific provisions to allow for the maintenance and care of minor children or a spouse, or restrictions where an attorney cannot transfer assets into their own name. A part of our process is to assess the context of your situation and make recommendations on clauses to use to protect you and fulfill your objectives.
Does my attorney have to live close to me?
No. It is important that your Attorney would be able to act for you, so the further away they live, the harder that may be. It might be that they have to travel here to do certain things, like register a Power of Attorney at a banking institution, however, much can be accomplished at a distance through electronic communications and courier. What is most important is that your Attorney(s) are trusted people and willing to take on the role.
I have a Power of Attorney from another province, state, country - will that work in BC?
Probably yes, but it is not a guarantee. It is best to have a Power of Attorney for the province for where you reside. Powers of Attorney from different jurisdictions may have different formats or language that may not have a direct interpretation in British Columbia. In some cases, it might be a consideration to keep an existing Power of Attorney and make a second one for British Columbia. For example, if a person has recently moved to BC from Ireland, but they still have financial and legal ties in Ireland (i.e. they still own a bank account, pension and real estate) the existing Power of Attorney done in that country appointing a person in that country will still provide an important benefit and ease of use. Make sure you advise your Notary of existing Powers of Attorney.
Can I name my kids?
To act as a Power of Attorney in British Columbia you must be at least 19 years or older. As long as your children are 19, they may be appointed as an Attorney. Considerations around experience and financial stability should be assessed to determine suitability for appointment as an Attorney and whether or not certain restrictions are built into the Power of Attorney document.
The government has a free Power of Attorney, why should I pay to get one done?
Many people say they have a simple life but having a free Power of Attorney is probably not in your best interests. To our knowledge, banks will routinely not accept these because they have no idea if the person had capacity at the time, they did the document and if they were being unduly influenced by another family member or other person. Notaries are required to assess capacity, plus we determine risk factors in your specific context and make recommendations on how best to protect yourself from fraud or abuse from people near to you.
Can a Notary sign my homemade Power of Attorney?
No, we do NOT sign homemade Powers of Attorneys. Homemade documents typically have errors, and we do not know if the person creating the document will be financially abused, or if they had capacity at the time the document was filled out. To our knowledge, banks routinely do not accept these homemade Powers of Attorneys for the reasons mentioned above. It is important to have a legal professional, such as a Notary or lawyer, prepare your documents as professionals assess mental capacity, undue influence, and identify risk factors to your specific context. Legal professionals also make recommendations on how to best protect yourself from fraud and abuse from attorneys.
What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?
You may have heard the term “enduring” as it relates to a Power of Attorney (POA). Enduring simply means that the document is drafted in a way that allows the Attorney to have power or authority even after a person has lost capacity either permanently or temporarily. For example, the person granting the Power may no longer think or act in a normal capacity for themselves for such reasons that might stem from dementia, Alzheimer’s, physical injury, or disease. Essentially the document endures (remains valid) through the ups and downs or permanent loss of capacity.
If you are not sure if you need a Power of Attorney, or how to plan one that meets your needs, please contact us to discuss your unique situation.
What types of property do we deal with at Carter Notary?
We can help you with a variety of real estate transactions and legal documents for:
Do BC Notaries do Real Estate?
Yes, Notaries in British Columbia can do real estate. In fact, notaries do approximately 70% of all residential real estate transactions in BC. We are highly trained and experienced in this area of law.
Contact our office and we will be happy to discuss your real estate transaction.
Do you offer remote or virtual Real Estate services?
Some of our clients do not live locally. Real estate signing can be organized using a lawyer or notary in a different town, city, or province. If you are unable to physically meet with us in our office (i.e., you are living in Toronto and buying a property in Victoria, BC) then arrangements can be made for you to sign where you are currently located with signed document both sent to us as a fax or digital copy and originals couriered. Please contact our office or inform us ASAP upon entering into a real estate contract. We need to allocate extra time to allow for documents being signed elsewhere.
Can I sign my document electronically?
Many people ask us if we can sign their conveyance real estate document electronically. The answer is ‘not yet’. We are not like realtors where DocuSign is used daily. For the final legal work most documents still need to be done in person with both you and the Notary physically present. Alternately, some documents can be physically signed and then an electronic (PDF) can be sent to us.
What are the key dates in a Real Estate transaction?
There are 5 key dates that are most important. They are:
Acceptance: The date when you have given or received an offer for purchase or sell a property and both parties have signed the agreement (contract). At this point there are still typically conditions to be done (i.e., confirmation of financing and insurance coverage, property inspection, title review, strata-documents review, etc.) to allow the buyer to be sure they can and want to buy the property. The contract is not yet final, and the offer may not go through.
Subject removal: The date when the conditions are complete and signed off in the contract. This key date matters because it makes the contract final and it is what the Notary acts on to complete or close the real estate deal with the transfer from buyer to seller, including accounting for the exchange of money. If getting a mortgage, a purchaser must provide the contract to the mortgage broker or bank mortgage representative.
Completion/closing day: This is the date the transfer of property occurs and the money changes hands. It is not necessarily the date you get to access the property.
Possession day: The date and time you get to move in!
Adjustment date: The date from which the purchaser is responsible for all finances of the property. In a statement of adjustment, items like annual property tax, monthly strata fees, water billings, etc., are adjusted relevant to the specific property.
Can a BC Notary represent me for a sale or purchase of Real Estate in another province?
We are not able to prepare documents for another province – we can only prepare documents for properties within British Columbia. You will need to contact a lawyer in the province where the real estate transaction is occurring. However, the documents prepared out of province can be signed with us under an agency agreement. We regularly sign real estate documents that are prepared by lawyers or title companies in other provinces (and countries).
Let us know you need this service – we are pleased to receive documents directly from your lawyer or title / escrow company. If you have documents that have already been prepared, you may email these to us or drop them off in advance. This is not always necessary – contact us so we can advise which option works best for you.
Real estate documents signing are always done on an appointment basis. There is often complexity to the documents that we work with. We want to make sure we have enough time to sign the documents and meet the requirements of the specific property and jurisdiction.
Why do you need my full legal name?
It is important that all identification is up to date, current, and correct. We understand you may use a nickname or middle name as your preferred name, but for all legal documents the full name as shown on a birth certificate is required.
Why do I need to give so much information?
There are many parts to a real estate transaction and all the information requested fulfills one or more of these parts. Though we ask for a lot of information, the information given allows us to ensure all documents are written with accuracy while meeting our commitment for due diligence (i.e., ownership accuracy, mortgage accuracy, lender requirements, mandatory legislative and tax requirements).
Can you help me with a fast turnaround on a Real Estate deal?
Yes, but you must contact our office to confirm that we have availability to take this work on.
How do I add a family member as an owner?
Contact us to discuss your scenario. (See “Should I add my son or daughter as an owner of my home?”) to determine if this is the best option. The Notary will be pleased to discuss options and your particular scenario to confirm important details. Adding a family member can have numerous factors and often the paperwork is equivalent to purchasing a property.
Key questions we will ask you:
Should I add my son or daughter as an owner of my home?
There is an urban myth that it is a good idea to avoid the “government getting it all” or “I want to avoid probate fees”. To ‘add’ someone as a legal owner is not necessarily a simple answer. Generally speaking, adding a family member can contribute to further complexities and risk of an individual’s asset ownership or estate.
Information of the reason and nature of the transaction help us to determine whether this is a straightforward request. For example, adding a family member has the potential to:
What are Strata / Condo fees?
Strata / Condo fees are the monthly expenses that all condo owners pay. These payments go into a pooled account of the strata corporation, and these fees are used to cover the cost of maintenance, building expenses, and insurance throughout the year. Some of the funds will be used for a contingency fund or special projects (like a savings account for future property updates).
Do I have to have homeowner’s insurance?
Yes, homeowner’s insurance is mandatory if you are getting a mortgage. It is not a legal requirement if a property is fully paid for. However, it is strongly recommended to have in place. For Strata insurance, see more here.
Do I have to have insurance for my Strata?
Yes. Strata property insurance is included in your monthly strata fees. When obtaining a mortgage, it is mandatory to get improvements insurance specific to your unit. For example, if the unit was upgraded to have gold-plated faucets and gold-flecked hardwood flooring which is represented in the value of the property (i.e., the price you’re paying for the property) then if a damage occurs or replacement is required you will be taken to the gold standard. Depending on the strata corporation’s property insurance, you may or may not have coverage depending on the reason for the damage. At most, they will take you to only the standard determined in their own insurance policy. Additional water deductible coverage is recommended. Read here for more detailed information about Strata insurance.
When do I need to have my insurance in place for a property purchase?
Insurance needs to be secured and paid for before your completion date. We need to obtain written confirmation of your insurance from your broker that your insurance is in place for the correct date, $ amount, and lender. Please note, the date this must be in place is 12:01am on the completion date, and NOT the possession date. A possession date is often the day after the completion date.
We recommend that as soon as you have a final contract that you reach out to your insurance broker to get an insurance policy put in place. In our experience a lot of people leave this too late, and it becomes a stressful task. There is a lot of information to provide to the insurance agent and if it is a busy time of the month for real estate (typically the end of the month) the insurance agent will be juggling a lot more work. Be at the front of the line, not the end!
When do I need to cancel my insurance for the sale of my property?
We recommend that you cancel property insurance for 1-3 days after the completion date. The reason we recommend this practice is that in the event there is a delay in the closing date or a change to the completion date due to unforeseen circumstances. Then, insurance still exists and has not been cancelled. If insurance has been cancelled too early, then a whole new policy would have to be created which may not be possible due to timelines. It is better to be safe than sorry!