A notary public is a person who can serve as an official witness to the execution (signing) of contracts, agreements, and an almost limitless array of legal documents. A notary may also certify documents to be true copies of the original. Notarization simply refers to an official act of a Notary. A notary also has the authority to administer oaths, solemn affirmations, and declarations that are used for affidavits and statutory declarations. Please note that you must sign in the physical presence of the Notary for her to notarize your signature.
Commissioners of oaths
- Commissioners of oaths are persons who are empowered under provincial or state legislation to administer and witness the swearing of oaths or solemn affirmations in the taking of an affidavit for any potential legal matter. They may also administer the oath for the taking of oral testimony.
- Commissioners of oaths are also empowered to witness any declaration as required under a statute. The person swearing an oath, making an affirmation or making a declaration is called a deponent or declarant.
- A commissioner of oaths only certifies that the required oath or affirmation or declaration has been properly administered.
- Commissioners of oaths do not certify the truth of the statements contained in a document; which remains the responsibility of declarants or deponents themselves.
- In most provinces and states, a commissioner of oaths must administer the oath or declaration in the manner prescribed by law.
- This requires that the deponent be physically present before the commissioner of oaths. Also, the commissioner of oaths must be satisfied about the authenticity of the deponent’s or declarant’s identity and signature before he or she can sign the document themselves.
- The deponent’s or declarant’s signature can usually be confirmed through comparing the signature on a piece of identification such as a driver’s licence or passport. A Commissioner of Oaths that is not a Notary Public may also have a limited Commission. For example, a government employee might have a Commission limited to administering oaths related to their office