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Notaries public in British Columbia are an important part of the overall legal system. Notaries assist the public to deal with issues such as contracts, business purchases, wills, estate planning and real estate transfers. Notaries public in BC are overseen by The Society of Notaries Public of BC. Becoming a notary public in BC is a competitive process, with The Society only selecting 20 to 25 of the more than 1600 applicants.
Get a criminal record check. You must have a criminal record check done before you apply to be a notary public. Any criminal conviction will prohibit you from becoming a notary public in BC. You can get a criminal record check by going to your nearest Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) detachment.
Complete a preliminary application. You must get a preliminary application and send it to The Society of Notaries Public of BC. You can download and print the application from The Society’s website or contact The Society to have an application sent to you. On the application you must provide personal information, your educational background information and your work information. You must have completed at least a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA to apply to be a notary public. Preference is given to those who have degrees relating to law, criminology or business. You must also have professional work experience. Again, The Society is looking for candidates who have work experience in business, banking, insurance or legal fields. You must include an application fee of $900 with your application.
The Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia 1220-625 Howe Street, Box 44 Vancouver, BC V6C 2T6 604-681-4516 notaries.bc.ca
Participate in the screening process. If your initial application is approved, you will go through a number of interviews with members of The Society. This process may take up to one year. If you are approved in principle, you can move on the next part of the process.
Complete a Master of Arts in Applied Legal Studies. You must complete this degree at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Burnaby, BC to become a notary public in BC. If you are approved in principle by The Society, your information will be passed on to SFU, who will decide if you are eligible for admission. The M.A. in Legal Studies is an 18-month program.
Simon Fraser University 8888 University Drive Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6 778-782-3111 sfu.ca
Complete your practical training. Once you have successfully completed your M.A. in Applied Legal Studies, you will undergo a further six weeks of practical training with The Society. This training involves document drafting, mediation and trust accounting.
Richard Long is an English teacher in Toronto, Canada and has been writing for over five years. He has had work published in "Geist" and "Speak2Me" magazines and is currently completing a certificate in technical communication from George Brown College.