Affidavits and Commissioning Documents
The Municipal Office requires appointments for lengthier services such as document commissioning.
Please call the office to book an appointment with one of our Commissioners 613 338-2811 Ext 277 or
Ext 211 or fill out a Customer Service Request.
By virtue of office, Clerks, Deputy Clerks and Treasurers may act as Commissioner of Oath. A Commissioner of Oath or a Commissioner for taking Affidavits is empowered under provincial legislation to administer and witness the swearing of oaths or solemn affirmations in the taking of an affidavit for any potential legal matter. It is at the exclusive discretion of the individual Commissioner of Oath whether or not they choose to sign the document. The Commissioner of Oaths may refuse to sign the document and will refer you to a lawyer.
Please note we cannot act as a Notary Public. Law firms or the Justice of the Peace may assist you in this matter. (see below for more details).
The fee is $25.00 + HST = $28.25 and is payable by cash, cheque or debit.
Common documents we can witness include:
- Consent letters for children travelling out of the country
- Declaration regarding residency (with accompanying documentation)
- Vehicle transfers
- Change or proof of vehicle ownership
- Immunization exemptions
- Insurance claim forms
- Statutory declarations on government-related forms
- Foreign pension or life pension statements (witnessed free of charge if a resident of HH) See Below.
Services we do not provide
A Commissioner of Oaths is not a Notary Public. If you require a document to be “notarized” as opposed to “commissioned” the person who administers the oath or affidavit is a Notary Public – generally a lawyer and not a Commissioner of Oaths. The Municipality does not have a Notary Public.
A Notary Public is a person who is authorized under the Notaries Act to commission documents, certify or notarize documents as true copies and to verify signatures. The requirements to become a Notary Public are more stringent than for a commissioner and most are lawyers or judicial officers.
You may need a Notary Public for the following documents:
- If the document specifically states “Notary” and does not offer the option of a Commissioner of Oaths – generally this occurs because the document is from outside Ontario or Canada – the Municipality cannot assure that the authority of a Commissioner of Oaths will be recognized.
- land transfer and other real estate matters
- passports and related documents in certain situations
- We cannot provide notarial certificates, certified true copies, or documents specifically requesting a notary public.
- We cannot authenticate documents. For document authentication please visit the Government of Canada website at: https://www.international.gc.ca/gac-amc/about-a_propos/services/authentication-authentification/step-etape-1.aspx?lang=eng for more information.
The following is a sample of documents a Commissioner of Oaths cannot sign and should be taken to a lawyer for appropriate advice and assistance:
- Court Documents
- Estates or Wills
- Power of attorney documents
- Family Law i.e. Divorce papers or separation agreements
- Real estate matters and documents, including transfer of land
- Documents that need to be certified
- Forms which call upon a Commissioner of Oaths, and also request certified true copies of other documents as attachments. The Commissioner cannot certify attachments and therefore cannot sign the forms
Before having your document commissioned
- The document must be in English.
- You must present one original piece of government-issued photo identification (for example, a valid driver’s licence). A Health Card is not considered a valid form of government-issued photo identification.
- You must be 18 years of age to take an oath in regard to a document. If you are under 18, it will be at the discretion of the Commissioner to make the determination if the child is capable of knowing right from wrong.
- If a witness is required, bring someone who knows you. The witness must not be your spouse, child or relative. They may need to swear an Affidavit of Witness that you are who you claim to be and that they saw you sign the document.
Having your document commissioned
- Read the document completely in advance. This is extremely important as you will be swearing that the statements in the document are true. We cannot provide you with any advice with respect to the documents you are swearing. When signing under oath, you are swearing as if you are testifying in a court of law that the document contains true statements.
- Bring everything that you will need, including any letter of instruction from the person or office requesting the sworn statement.
- If a sworn statement indicates that there are copies of documents to be attached, you must bring those original documents with you, as well as the copies to be attached. Otherwise, the oath cannot be administered by the Commissioner.
- Do not sign the document in advance. You must sign the document in the presence of the Commissioner.
Pension documents from other countries
There are residents of Canada who were born in other countries and are entitled to receive pensions from their country of birth. These pensions require periodic verification that the pensioner is still living. A commissioner can provide this service if the document is in English. There is no fee for this service only if you are a resident of Hastings Highlands.
- If you require a sworn statement on an application for a Canadian passport, a Commissioner can administer the oath and complete your statement.
- Commissioners do not provide guarantor services for Canadian passport applications and certification of true copies.
- An individual cannot act as a guarantor and cannot sign an application unless they have known the applicant for a period of at least two years.
Right to refuse service
- We have the right to refuse to commission documents where there is a possibility that we may be required to testify in a court of law.
- We reserve the right to refuse to commission documents for persons who are not capable of understanding them.