- A Commissioner for Oaths is certified to endorse affirmations and declarations– they can also take and receive affidavits or administer oaths.
- A Commissioner for Oaths cannot certify or verify documents, this means that they cannot make a photocopy of an original document and state that it is a true copy of the original (exceptions apply – see below). For this, you need a Notary Public.
- A Commissioner for Oaths cannot witness Enduring Power of Attorney forms.
A Commissioner for Oaths stamp is only valid in the same province. For example, a Commissioner for Oaths from Ontario can only certify documents for use in Ontario. If your paperwork is not being filed or used within the Province in which the Commissioner resides, you will need to see a Notary Public or a Federal Commissioner – even if your paperwork states that a Commissioner for Oaths can administer the Oath.
The person swearing or affirming to a document must appear before the Commissioner for Oaths. Proper identification (photo ID) such as a valid driver’s license, current passport or any other government issued photo identification must be presented as well as the completed affidavit with the exception of the signature. The signing of the affidavit must be completed in the presence of the Commissioner.
- A Commissioner for Oaths only certifies by affixing a stamp or seal that the required oath or affirmation or declaration has been properly administered.
- Commissioners for Oaths do not certify the truth of the statements contained in a document; this responsibility remains with the deponent or declarant.
- The Commissioner is not responsible for the content of the affidavit; it is the responsibility of the person whose signature is being commissioned (the deponent).