What are the legal requirements for having a remote meeting?

Documents cannot be signed by digital or electronic signature.

The remote signing meeting involves a recorded two-way video conference with an Alberta lawyer who verifies your identify and witnesses you physically sign a hard copy of the document.  The original wet-ink signature documents must then be returned to the law office.

Ministerial Order no. SA:008/2020 allows the Land Titles Office to register documents that have been witnessed, sworn or affirmed by Alberta lawyers using two-way videoconferencing, notwithstanding the execution requirements of various Alberta legislation including the Land Titles Act, The Builder’s Lien Act, and Dower Act, the Personal Property Security Forms Regulation, and the Foreign Ownership of Land Regulations.

The Law Society of Alberta also has rules that must be complied with as part of the remote signing process.  

Summary of requirements:

  1. A lawyer who is an active member of the Alberta Law Society of Alberta is the witness or commissioner of notary administering the oath.
  2. The client can be located inside or outside of Alberta.  Some mortgage lenders require the Borrower to be located inside Canada.
  3. Prescribed forms must be used, and are set out in the Ministerial Order.
  4. Electronic signatures are not accepted. Only originally executed “wet ink” documents and affidavits are accepts by Alberta Land Titles.

In order to have a valid and secure Remote Lawyer Signing Meeting, the following process must be followed:

Before the meeting:

Provide us with written consent to proceed with video conference signing.  We will email you a Consent to Sign Remotely letter which you will sign by e-signature.  This letter must be signed prior to the start of the meeting.

Send us clear and legible copies of your current, government-issued photo identification (front and back) and other identification requested in the instructions.  You will be required to show the same identification at the start of the Remote Lawyer Signing Meeting. We will be taking screen shots of you and your identification during the meeting.

Make sure you have access to Zoom for the meeting and the necessary technology including access to a camera for video and a microphone and speaker for audio.

Ensure you have a stable internet connection that allows for uninterrupted communication throughout the entire video conference.

Before the meeting, we will email you with the original documents (hard copy or electronic) you need to sign.  You will need to print the documents on single sided letter sized paper.

During the meeting:

Please be sure you are in a quiet location.

At the beginning of the meeting, please present the same identification that you emailed to us. We will take “screen shots” and compare the photos on your identification with you on the call. We may also take screen shots of you separately or alongside your identification.

We will review the entire document package with you, page by page. Please ensure you initial all pages as required.

For confidentiality purposes, make sure we have a clear view of your location. If you need assistance from a third party, such as a witness or someone to help with technological issues, their attendance is appropriate.

When it is time to sign the documents, we will witness your signature by video. We may ask you to hold up the signed document to the camera so we can clearly see your signature.

Immediately after signing, please send us a PDF version or photograph of the signed documents (preferably during the recorded video conferencing session). If you are unable to scan the entire document, providing images of the signature pages will suffice.

After the meeting:

Please return the original “wet ink” documents to us, using a courier service.  Do not send the documents by regular mail.

If necessary, provide payment for your downpayment according to the instructions we provide.

Upon receiving the original signed documents, we will compare them to ensure there are no missing or substituted pages, and that the signature matches what we witnessed.

We will complete any relevant documents that require further signatures, ensuring they accurately reflect the method of execution (e.g., video).

We will maintain minutes of the meeting, including the date, start and end time, method of communication, and the identities of all participants.

As part of the final reporting, we will provide you with a scanned copy or photocopy of the final versions of the executed and sworn documents.

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Updated on August 22, 2023