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Commissioner for Oaths

What is an oath?

An oath is a solemn declaration that a statement is true. An oath must be taken before a Commissioner of Oaths or a Notary Public for it to be valid. Oaths are often used to confirm a written statement, known as an affidavit, for use in court, estate or land title transactions.

What is a Commissioner for Oaths?

In the Province of Manitoba, a Commissioner for Oaths is an individual who is empowered to administer and witness the swearing of oaths, and take and receive affidavits, statutory declarations and affirmations.

The person swearing an oath, making an affirmation or making a declaration is called a deponent or declarant. A Commissioner for Oaths only certifies that the required oath or affirmation or declaration has been properly administered. Commissioners for Oaths do not certify the truth of the statements contained in a document. This is the responsibility of the declarant.

A declarant must be physically present before the Commissioner for Oaths. Also, the Commissioner for Oaths must be satisfied about the authenticity of the deponent's or declarant's identity and signature before a he or she can sign the document. The declarant's signature must be confirmed by comparing the signature on at least one piece of current identification, such as a valid driver's license or on a provincial health insurance card.

A Commissioner for Oaths cannot certify or verify documents (they cannot make a photocopy of an original document and state that it is a true copy of the original). A Commissioner for Oaths cannot witness Enduring Power of Attorney forms.

Can a Commissioner for Oaths refuse to take an affidavit?

Yes. Documents signed by a Commissioner for Oaths could go to court. Since the Commissioner for Oaths must be able to defend these documents, they may refuse to take an affidavit for valid reasons.

Where can I find a Commissioner for Oaths?

The City Clerk's Department provides Commissioner for Oaths services for certain documents. To find out if your document can be witnessed by a Commissioner for Oaths, please call 311 to inquire.

Additionally, you may be able to find Commissioner for Oaths at Real Estate Agencies, General Insurance Agencies, some Professional Accountants offices, some MLA and MP Constituency offices. It is a free service. Please call the office first to make an appointment.

What if my document requires a signature from a Notary Public?

Lawyers can apply to be Notary Publics so they can sign and seal documents that may be sent outside the Province of Manitoba and worldwide. They can also certify and verify true copies of documents such as transcripts, birth, marriage and death certificates. Most lawyers are Notary Publics. You can find them in the yellow pages of the phone book under Lawyers.

* The City Clerk’s Department does not have a Notary Public and therefore cannot sign documents that must be signed by a Notary Public.

For further information please contact:

Commissioner for Oaths/Notary Public Appointments,
Renewals and Authentications

Address: 1034-405 Broadway, Winnipeg, MB R3C 3L6,
Phone: 204-945-2654
Toll-free: 1-866-323-4249(in Manitoba)
Fax: 204-945-1459

* This office does not have a Notary Public or Commissioner for Oaths to witness documents for you.

Last update: September 19, 2014