The Commissioners for Taking Affidavits Act specifies how an oath is to be witnessed

Published by Paragon Notary on 20th May, 2021

The Commissioners for Taking Affidavits Act specifically states that a deponent or declarant is supposed to declare in the physical presence of the commissioner who is witnessing the oath. There are also certain rules and regulations governing Ontario commissioners of oaths and notary publics.


However, the Ontario Regulation 431/20 Administering Oath or Declaration Remotely, allow for certain conditions to be met and for the oath that was witnessed to be valid. This came about as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the inability of citizens and permanent residents of Ontario to visit the offices of a certified Notary Public.


Organizations however, are not bound to accept a document that was sworn to remotely and this discretion is entirely in their hands. Therefore, before entering into an agreement with a client to do remote swearing, the notary public should urge the client to do this in-person in order to verify their identification and signature.

This should only be done in a case where a client is entirely unable to attend the office of the Notary Public or book an in-person consultation to have their affidavit or oath witnessed. In this case, there is an exception but the Notary Public should be aware that they would still be held liable if an oath is found to be fraudulent in any way.


If however, the notary public decides to continue with the remote swearing of the oath or affidavit, this should be communicated to them via electronic means. This way, the commissioner and declarant can hear, see and communicate with each other in real time and leave little room for fraud or mistake.


The notary public or commissioner of oaths should also keep a proper record of the transaction so that they can prove they tried everything in their best ability and powers to ensure that what was being witness was truthful as far as they could tell. To book an appointment with a certified Notary Public in Ontario, contact Paragon Legal Services. We witness oaths, affidavits and commission documents.

When completing the jurat from a remote swearing, the commissioner of oaths is required to indicate this on the oath or affidavit in accordance with the Ontario Regulation or else they may be liable under law. Notary Publics are advised to take reasonable precautions to avoid clients swindling them.

They should also take the execution of their duties seriously and try to identify the deponent as best as they can before allowing the oath to be sworn to and before witnessing it. To speak with a Notary Public in Ontario, contact Paragon Notary today.