Article • 28 August, 2021

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Notary vs. Commissioner of Oaths

People often confuse having a document notarized and having it commissioned. Understanding the difference between a notary public and a commissioner of oaths is important. It can save you time and money.

A commissioner of oaths is a person who’s authorized by the Province of Ontario to take an oath when you sign an affidavit or statutory declaration. They’re regulated under the Commissioners for taking Affidavits Act. The Commissioner isn’t responsible for the content of the affidavit. If you’re signing a legal document that requires your oath, the content of that document is your sole responsibility. As the deponent—the person whose signature is being commissioned to ensure the content of the affidavit— you must understand the details in the document to which you’re attesting, and you must understand that by swearing an oath, you’re attesting that those details are correct.

A commissioner of oaths isn’t a notary public. A notary public is a person who’s authorized under the Notaries Act to commission documents, certify or notarize documents as true copies, and verify signatures and marks. Hence, a notary public has all the powers of a commissioner of oaths and more.

At Notaring, we are all notaries. So, whether you need a document notarized or commissioned, we can help you.

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