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Commissioner of Oaths

The Municipal Office prefers appointments for lengthier services such as document commissioning so that we may book space in our meeting room.

Please call the office to book an appointment with a Commissioner at 613 338-2811 or fill out a Customer Service Request

What is a Commissioner of Oaths?

The Municipality's Commissioner of Oaths is a person designated to take oaths or declarations when you sign an affidavit or statutory declaration on a document. The Municipality of Hastings Highlands does not have a Notary Public. Examples of documents the Commissioner of Oaths may sign are listed below. 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, Notary Public, or Paralegal.

For more information about Commissioner of Oaths and Notary Public services, visit the Province of Ontario's website.


The fee for Commissioner of Oath service is $25.00 + HST = $28.25 payable by cash, cheque or debit.

Documents the Municipality can commission

The Commissioner of Oaths will sign affidavit or statutory declaration documents including but not limited to the following:

  • Statement of conscience or religious belief i.e. Immunization exemptions
  • Declaration regarding residency (with accompanying documentation)
  • Vehicle transfers
  • Declaration of unregistered vehicle
  • Change or proof of vehicle ownership
  • Insurance claim forms
  • Statutory declarations on government-related forms e.g. Lieu of a Guarantor, lost identification
  • Sworn statement for family gift of a used motor vehicle
  • Foreign pension document or life pension statements (witnessed free of charge if a resident of HH) 
  • Application to change a name
  • Declaration for a change of sex designation
  • Declaration of common law or single status
  • Consent to travel with child (travel letter)
  • Application for authorization and statutory declaration for the purposes of entry into Canada
  • Construction completion form
  • Ontario Land Transfer Tax Refund Affidavit

Documents the Municipality may not commission 

The Municipality's Commissioner of Oaths only completes documents that indicate the need for Commissioner of Oaths’ signature. Due to their complex or legal nature of some documents, the Commissioner of Oaths will not sign, or witness documents related to:

  • Court Documents
  • Wills, living wills, codicils to wills, or estate settlement
  • Power of attorney documents
  • Family Law i.e. Divorce, separation of marriage agreements
  • Custody
  • Debt
  • Real estate matters and documents, including sale, purchase, mortgages, transfer of land
  • Documents that need to be certified
  • Documents that are not in English or that do not have English descriptors
  • Certified true copies
  • 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
  • Documents requiring the signature of a Notary Public

Commissioner of Oaths vs. Notary Public

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, perhaps a Paralegal and not a Commissioner of Oaths. The Municipality does not have a Notary Public or Paralegal.

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 for more information.

Prepare for your appointment

  • The document must be in English.
  • 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.
  • Person(s) signing the document must be present at the appointment and show current, government-issued photo identification that matches their name on the document being commissioned. 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.
  • Documents must be filled out prior to the appointment and be unsigned as you must sign the document in the presence of the Commissioner.
  • 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.

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 if you are a resident of the Municipality of Hastings Highlands.

Passport applications

Sworn Statement

  • If you require a sworn statement on an application for a Canadian passport, a Commissioner can administer the oath and complete your statement.

Guarantor services

  • 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.

Need help?

If you have questions about documents that you need commissioned or the Commissioner of Oaths service, please contact us 613 338-2811 ext. 277 or ext. 211 or please call the front desk. [email protected]

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