Divorce Certificate Authentication & Legalization
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Divorce Certificate Authentication in Canada
For your Canadian divorce certificate to be valid in countries abroad, it must first be authenticated by Global Affairs Canada and then legalized by the Embassy of the country where you will be submitting your certificate.
The process of authentication and legalization – sometimes called an apostille, and also attestation – confirms the authenticity of a document.
This guide provides information on the Canadian authentication process, with a step-by-step overview of how you can prepare your divorce certificate for use abroad.
Divorce Certificate Authentication Canada: The Process
Authenticating a divorce certificate is a three step process:
- Document Preparation
- Authentication by Global Affairs Canada
- Legalization by the Embassy of the country where you will be using your document
Let’s go into each of these in more detail:
1- How to prepare a Canadian Divorce Certificate for Authentication
You should check with the final recipient of the divorce certificate what is exactly required, including if they require a translation and the accepted divorce certificate format.
You can then order your divorce papers by contacting the courthouse where the divorce was filed. If you don’t know where the divorce was filed, you will need to contact The Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings. The Registry keeps nation-wide divorce records from July 2, 1968 onwards. Once you have the information, you can then order the divorce certificate from the court.
You will need to send the court a request in writing, along with the fee and a prepaid return envelope. The fee varies by province.
There is a waiting period between the time a divorce order is granted and the issuance of a divorce certificate.
There is no need to notarize an original Canadian divorce certificate that is signed by a clerk of the court.
If this sounds too complicated, we can help you obtain a new copy of your divorce certificate by carrying out this process on your behalf.
2- How to submit a divorce certificate Canada for authentication
The next step is authentication at Global Affairs Canada Ottawa. Global Affairs Canada will not authenticate a divorce certificate that:
- Is glued or laminated
- Is covered by any substance that makes it difficult to stamp
If your document has been laminated for safe keeping, you can order a new one from the court.
Once you have your document ready, you can submit it to Global Affairs Canada. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person authentication services are currently unavailable.
You can send your documents by mail instead, and include:
- The authentication request form
- The document you need authenticated
- A self-addressed stamped envelope or a prepaid courier shipping label
- Send your documents to the Global Affairs Canada address:
Global Affairs Canada
Authentication Services Section (JLAC)
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON K1A 0G2
In case of any questions, you can also call the Global Affairs Canada authentication services phone number: 1-833-928-1551
3- How to request a Canadian divorce certificate legalization
The final step is to obtain a legalization stamp from the Embassy or Consulate of the country where you will be using your document. So, for example, if you need to use your document in Italy, you must get in touch with the Italian embassy to legalize your document, before you can use it successfully in Italy.
A number of embassies ask for supporting documents to process your request. These may include a cover letter, an application form, a copy of your ID or passport, and, in some cases, also a translation.
While completing Step 2 (Authentication) you have the option to ask Global Affairs Canada to forward your documents to an Embassy or consulate in Ottawa on your behalf, for them to complete the legalization step. To do this:
- Select “Forward to an embassy/consulate” in the “Shipping Details” section of the mail-in form
- Provide the embassy or consulate’s full mailing address
- Include a separate, sealed envelope with documents for the embassy
If you choose this option, get in touch with the Embassy or Consulate before you mail your documents to Global Affairs Canada. Failure to follow Global Affairs Canada’s or the Embassy’s instructions may result in your documents being returned to you without having been legalized.
To expedite the process, you can submit a request with us at Document Authentication Canada. We can then complete the entire authentication and legalization process for you, saving you time and money.
Our simple 4-step process helps you authenticate and legalize your Canadian documents in a fast & easy manner.
Start by calling us at 1-855-700-5840 or requesting a quote online. We’ll get back to you in 1 hour.
Not sure if your documents meet the requirements for authentication and legalisation? 👇
Reach out to our experts and receive a Free Document Evaluation.
Once you receive a quote and select a time frame that works best for you. We'll provide you with a final price and help you prepare your documents. When your ready ship your documents to our office in Ottawa: 1103-467 Laurier West, Avenue Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1R 5C7.
We recommend that you use a secure, prepaid and tracked courier service for sending your documents.
Have any questions? Feel free to call us at 1-855-700-5840
After receiving your documents we will take care of the rest. We will make sure your documents get authenticated and legalized within your requested time frame.
Want to stay updated throughout the whole process?
Check out Document Authentication Canada's Document Tracking System.
…and that’s it! After completing the document authentication and legalization process, we will send your documents using the shipping method of your choice.
Remember: With Document Authentication Canada you only pay at the end, once your documents have been completely authenticated and legalized.
Common Questions about Divorce Certificate Authentication and Legalization
Your divorce certificate will not be recognized abroad without stamps proving its authenticity. The process of authentication and legalization (attestation) or apostille tells authorities in foreign countries that the document has been obtained legally and that it can be used for official processes.
The Canadian apostille process involves both the country that issued the document, and the country where the document will be used. Without this process, it would be difficult for a country to prove that a document issued in a foreign country is genuine.
In Canada, the process to follow is called authentication and legalization. Without these stamps, your document will not be valid abroad.
An apostille is a stamp that authenticates the seals and signatures of the officials who appear on a public document. It tells authorities in foreign countries that the document has been obtained legally and that it can be used for official processes.
An apostille divorce decree/certificate is a certificate that has been prepared for recognition abroad.
In Canada, you cannot apostille your divorce certificate. Instead, you can authenticate it and get it legalized by the Embassy of the country where you will be using it. This is an accepted equivalent to an apostille.
Global Affairs Canada’s current processing time is 40 business days, but this excludes mailing time, and the time it takes for the Embassy or consulate to complete the legalization step. The whole process can easily take from 8 to 10 weeks, more if you do not submit the correct documents.
If you don’t have all this time available, you can choose to outsource the process to experts who can navigate all the steps accurately and efficiently. At Document Authentication Canada, we can get a divorce certificate authenticated, legalized and ready for use abroad in just 3 to 5 days. Get in touch with us for a free quote!
You do not need to translate your Canadian divorce certificate for it to be authenticated by Global Affairs Canada as they accept documents in English and French.
However, you should check with the entity abroad where you will be using your documents, to see what their requirements are. To complete the legalization step of the process, you should also consult that country’s Embassy or Consulate for language requirements at their end.
This is possible in some cases. You should ask the person or entity to whom you’re submitting the certificate to see if they can accept a legalized copy. You should also check with the Embassy who will do the legalization to see if a copy is acceptable – some embassies only accept originals.
You can order a divorce certificate by submitting a request at the courthouse where the divorce was filed. If you don’t have this information, contact the Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings and they will provide you with the address of the court.
You will be asked to provide this information:
- Your full name on the day before the marriage took place
- Your former spouse’s full name on the day before the marriage took place
- Your date of birth and that of your former spouse
- The date you married
Quick Canada Divorce Certificate Authentication
This guide has provided all you should know about ordering a divorce certificate in Canada and then getting it authenticated and legalized, ready for use abroad.
Preparing the divorce certificate and then submitting it to Global Affairs Canada and the Embassy or consulate concerned can be a complicated and lengthy process. There are multiple entities involved, as well as specific procedures to follow.
At Document Authentication Canada, we help facilitate the legalization of divorce certificates and other documents in Canada. We navigate through the bureaucracy on your behalf so that you avoid unnecessary delays. Get in touch with our expert team on 1-855-700-5840 to request a quote and a free document evaluation.
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