January 29, 2011
It is interesting talking to clients and acquaintances about their perceptions of what a Notary Public does and the requirements to become a member of this profession.
As I said in my previous post, Notaries in some jurisdictions just “notarize” documents and many people are surprise to find the scope of legal services we provide under the Notaries Act in British Columbia. The Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia takes its responsibility to the public very seriously and consequently hold its members to a high standard, both in the areas of education and professional performance. The Society’s Constitution and Bylaws are approved by the Attorney General of the Province and we function under a strict code of Ethics and Professional Conduct and Rules.
The process of becoming a Notary is outlined on the Society website and can be found here. It begins with an application and screening process by the Society. Successful applicants who are “Approved-in-Principle” must complete the Master of Arts in Applied Legal Studies (MAALS) degree at SFU which includes the Statutory examinations required by the Notaries Act. The final step is taking the oath of office before a judge in the BC Supreme Court.