Commissioner of Oaths
Need to take an oath?
Some legal documents, such as affidavits or statutory declarations, require you to make a legal oath that what you are saying is true. The City has a Commissioner of Oaths who is authorized to administer your oath for certain documents.
Bring proper identification to prove your identity and the affidavit or statutory declaration that must be signed in the presence of the Commissioner to the Payment Centre in City Hall 8:30 to 4:30 a.m. Monday to Friday.
Fee: $38.75. Payments may be made using cash, money order, Interac, Visa, MasterCard, or American Express.
What is a Commissioner of Oaths?
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.
They are given this authority by the Commissioners for Taking Affidavits Act. The Commissioner is not responsible for the content of the affidavit.
Your responsibility: the content of the legal document
If you are signing a legal document that requires your oath, the content of that document is your sole responsibility. When you are making an oath, you are known as the "deponent" – the person whose signature is being commissioned to ensure the content of the affidavit.
As a deponent, you must understand the details in the document to which you are attesting – and you must understand that, by swearing an oath, you are attesting that those details are correct.
Documents that can be signed by the Commissioner of Oaths
The Commissioner of Oaths may* sign affidavits and statutory declarations related, but not limited to, the following:
- consents to travel
- declaration regarding residency (with accompanying documentation)
- vehicle transfers
- change or proof of vehicle ownership
- insurance claims
- pension plan documents
- statutory declarations on government-related forms
* It is at the exclusive discretion of the individual Commissioner of Oaths whether or not they choose to sign the document. If a Commissioner of Oaths is unsure about the identity of the deponent or the content of the document for any reason, the Commissioner of Oaths may refuse to sign the document and the deponent will be referred to a lawyer.
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 City 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 City 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
The following is a sample of documents a Commissioner of Oaths cannot sign:
- 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.