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Roles and responsibilities of the Commissioner for Oaths

The Commissioner for Oaths administers your oath before you sign a document or testify.

The Commissioner for Oaths can:

  • administer your oath
  • administer your oath even if they don’t know you or you aren’t a Canadian citizen.

Commissioners for Oaths may not administer oaths to close relatives (parents, siblings, spouses, children).

They may refuse to administer your oath if certain rules have not been followed, e.g.:

  • the document is not prepared in the prescribed form,
  • the document is worded incorrectly or contains vulgar or unreasonable assertions,
  • you do not seem able to express your will.

The Commissioner for Oaths cannot:

  • certify that a document is an original or a true copy of an original. At most, they may administer an oath to a person who declares that a document they are presenting is a true copy of the original. This does not impart it with authentic value.
  • authenticate or confirm your identity.

The Commissioner for Oaths does not have to verify if your declaration is true.

Persons authorized to administer an oath

Oaths can also be administered by:

  • court clerks of a court of Justice;
    • deputy clerks;
  • mayors;
  • city councillors;
  • clerks or secretary-treasurers of a municipality;
  • lawyers;
  • notaries;
  • justices of the peace.

Last update: May 3, 2023


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