A Commissioner for Oaths is a person in the legal profession who is entrusted with the ability to witness the signing and swearing of documents.
Quite simply, they witness you signing a document and swearing that the information you have supplied is correct to the best of your knowledge. Then the Commissioner for Oaths will sign to authenticate your declaration.
You may need the services of a Commissioner for Oaths if you are: changing a will, making a power of attorney or a statutory declaration, swearing an affidavit.
Can anyone be a Commissioner for Oaths?
Commissioner for Oaths are most usually Solicitors or qualified Notaries Public but other people within the legal profession such as Barristers, Legal Executives and Licensed Conveyancers are just as qualified to fulfill this role. Be aware, however, that a Solicitor is forbidden to act as a Commissioner of Oaths in any proceedings in which they have a vested interest. So, if you are involved in a legal case which requires you to sign an affidavit, then you must sign in front of a Solicitor who is not acting on your case.
What does a Commissioner for Oaths charge?
Although the fees charged by a Commissioner for Oaths are determined by statute, it is not unusual for prices to vary depending on where you are in the country, the VAT status of the firm providing the service, and the branch of the legal profession that one approaches to fulfill the function. As ever, it is always advisable to obtain a quote in advance from any oaths commissioners that you approach.
However, for the most part expect to pay no less than £5 to your Commissioner of Oaths for each person making an affidavit, declaration or affirmation along with a further £2 for each additional exhibit or schedule.