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COMMISSIONER OF OATHS

Who is Commissioner of Oaths in Ontario?

A Commissioner of Oaths is a person who is authorized by the Province of Ontario to take an oath when you sign an affidavit or statutory declaration. The practice of commissioning is governed by the Commissioners for Taking Affidavits Act (the “Act”).

A commissioner will ask you to swear or affirm that the information within a document is true. While a commissioner is not responsible for the content of the document, a commissioner will ensure the signature of the person swearing or affirming is genuine before administering the oath or declaration. Commissioners of oaths are also empowered to witness any declaration.

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Who can commission a document in Ontario?

A notary public has all the powers of a commissioner for taking affidavits and, can verify that signatures, marks and copies of documents are true or genuine. Notaries are regulated under the Notaries Act . Every lawyer and paralegal in Ontario is also automatically a commissioner by virtue of title. 

Difference between an oath and solemn declaration

An oath is when a person swears that a statement is true and correct.

 

A solemn declaration is when a person solemnly declares that a statement is true and correct. 

An oath and a solemn declaration have essentially the same legal effect.

A person may be prosecuted criminally for knowingly making a false oath or solemn declaration.

Types of Oaths administered by a Commissioner of Oaths or Notary Public:

Depending on a type of document, the deponent (person signing the document) is required to affirm "yes" to one of the following types of oaths:

 

“Do you swear that the contents of this affidavit as subscribed by you are true? So help you God”.

“Do you solemnly affirm and declare that the contents of this affidavit as subscribed by you are true?”.

“Do you make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing it to be true and knowing that it is of the same force and effect as if made under oath?”.

It is not necessary that the deponent hold a religious book, or raise his/her hand to undertake an oath or solemn declaration.

In Person Notarization

Online Notary

Drafting Services

Instructions for document commissioning

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You must have two valid government-issued pieces of identification with a photo and your address. 

Examples of acceptable ID include, Provincial Driver’s License, Passports, Permanent Resident Card, Citizenship Card, First Nations Card, Age of Majority Cards (e.g. the Ontario Photo Card), Health Card (as a second piece of ID only), Government Employee Photo Cards, etc.

Do not sign a document prior to commissioning, as it must be signed in the presence of commissioner of oath. 

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