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Commissioner of Oaths

Commissioner of Oaths

A Commissioner of Oaths (also known as a Commissioner for Taking Affidavits) is a person authorized to take your oath or solemn affirmation when you sign an affidavit or a statutory declaration.

What is an Oath?

An oath is a solemn declaration of one’s words by which a person signifies that he/she is bound in conscience to perform an act faithfully and truthfully.  The oath is used to encourage if not to ensure that the truth be spoken.

What is an Affirmation?

An affirmation is a solemn declaration that serves the same purpose as an oath if an oath is objectionable to the person on religious or ethical grounds.

What is an Affidavit?

An affidavit is a document containing statements that are verified by the swearing of an oath or by an affirmation.  Affidavits are generally used for the purpose of establishing legal rights and may be required to attest to a certain fact or set of facts.

There are four parts to an affidavit:

  1. Identification of the person giving the affidavit (deponent or affiant);
  2. Body of the affidavit, which provides the evidence or the statement of facts;
  3. The signature of the deponent; and
  4. Jurat – including the signature of the Commissioner taking the affidavit.  The jurat is the certificate of the commissioner before whom the document was sworn.  It sets out the location of where the oath was administered and the date of the oath.  By signing the jurat, the commissioner is certifying that he or she has administered the oath to the deponent.  If exhibits are attached to the affidavit, then the commissioner must also sign the exhibits certifying them to be part of the affidavit.

A Commissioner does not certify that the statements being made in the affidavit or statutory declaration are true, but only certifies that an oath or solemn affirmation has been administered properly.

“Every oath and declaration shall be taken by the deponent in the presence of the commissioner, notary public, justice of the peace or other officer or person administering the oath or declaration who shall satisfy himself or herself of the genuineness of the signature of the deponent or declarant and shall administer the oath or declaration in the manner required by law before signing the jurat or declaration.”  (Commissioners for Taking Affidavits Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.17, s. 9)

Commissioner of Oaths service is offered at the Town of Petawawa municipal office.  These endorsements include but are not limited to oaths, affirmations and affidavits.  Since the nature of documents varies greatly, it is strongly recommended that you contact the Town of Petawawa prior to your visit to confirm that your attestation can be commissioned by one of our staff members.

Furthermore, it is important to note that the Town of Petawawa’s Commissioners of Oaths cannot notarize documents.  A list of notary publics or lawyers can be found in your local telephone directory.  Commissioners of Oaths are also not authorized to certify documents as true copies.

Once you are certain the Town of Petawawa can commission your document, you may visit the Town of Petawawa municipal office located at 1111 Victoria Street, Petawawa, during regular business hours, although it is recommended that you call ahead (613-687-5536) to ensure that a Commissioner is available.  The request for the Commissioner of Oaths service must be made by the same individual taking the oath and signing the document.  You must present one original piece of photo identification in the form of government-issued photo identification (e.g. a valid driver’s licence, a valid passport, a valid age-of-majority card).  If your identification and/or document is in a language other than English or French, an official translation of the identification and/or document may be required.  The deponent must sign the affidavit in the presence of the Commissioner.  If the document has already been signed, the person will be asked to sign a second time in front of the Commissioner.  Any changes that have been made in the body of the document that are present at the time of signing must be initialed by both the deponent and the Commissioner.  Any changes that are not initialed may be deemed to have been fraudulently changed after being commissioned and invalidate the document.  If your affidavit requires both a witness and a Commissioner signature, you must provide your own witness.  The Commissioner cannot prepare affidavits or provide you with any advice with respect to the documents you are swearing.  You need to read and fully understand the documents yourself.  The Commissioner reserves the right to refuse to commission documents.

Periodically, municipal officials are named as persons able to certify documents for such purposes as applications for Canada Pension, Old Age Security etc.  Any such certification will be noted as limited to the purpose for which it was obtained and this service will be provided only where the customer supplies evidence that the municipal official is explicitly authorized to certify the document.

There is no fee for this service.

If you require commissioning services, please visit the Town Office or contact Kate Bennett, Executive Assistant at or 613-687-5536 ext. 2017.