attorney-notary -Commissioner for Oaths-

Commissioner for Oaths

Do you need to have a document sworn before a Commissioner of Oaths?

It is the UK's Lord Chancellor who appoints Commissioners for Oaths.  Please note that documents that are sworn and signed before someone acting as a Commissioner of Oaths in England & Wales are not "notarised" documents. 

* Are you looking to sign and swear a document before a commissioner for oaths?


A "Commissioner for Oaths" is a person commissioned by the Lord Chancellor to administer an oath or take any affidavit for the purposes of any court matter in England.  A Commissioner for Oaths is usually, though not always, a solicitor. A Commissioner for Oaths is appointed by the Lord Chancellor. The powers granted are to administer oaths, take affidavits and statutory declarations.  The list of the UK legal professionals who are permitted to act as Commissioners for Oaths is set out below:

  • Notaries Public.

  • Barristers.

  • Solicitors

  • Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives.

  • Licenced Conveyancers.


All statutory declarations historically used the following wording:

"I swear by Almighty God that this is my name and handwriting and that the contents of this my affidavit are true (if there are exhibits add: and that these are the exhibit/s referred to)".



A person who objects (on whatever grounds) to the language of the above oath is entitled to instead make an affirmation. The deponent (the person appearing)  should say: 

"I, {full name}, do solemnly and sincerely declare and affirm that this is my name, etc."

“I (full name) do solemnly and sincerely declare, that ........ and I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true, and by virtue of the provisions of the Statutory Declarations Act 1835.”

Variations of this wording may be preferred by followers of religions other than Christianity or Judaism.


The swearing of an oath typically involves the making of a swear and the signing of an affidavit. Such a document is intended for use only in the United Kingdom.  An oath does not carry the same legal weight as a notarisation and further to this may often not be accepted abroad.

When administering oaths and affirmations or taking declarations, a commissioner for Oaths is under a duty to ascertain:


(a) that the person making the swear, the "deponent" is in the presence of the Commissioner for Oaths by enquiring whether the signature to the document before the Commissioner for Oaths is the name and in the handwriting of the deponent;


(b) that the deponent is apparently competent to depose to the affidavit or declaration;

(c) that the deponent knows he or she is about to be sworn or declared by the Fellow to the truth of the statement; and


(d) that the exhibits, if any, are the documents referred to.

Responsibility for the contents of the affidavit or declaration rests with the
deponent (the person swearing the oath or affirmation) and the person who prepared it.  
If it is the case that the affidavit or declaration is incomplete, for example because it contains blanks, the Commissioner for Oaths must refuse to administer it.

The following fees are prescribed by the Commissioners for Oaths (Fees) Order 1993/2297.

 ● For taking an affidavit, declaration or affirmation, for each person £5.00
making the same
● And in addition, for each exhibit therein referred to and required to be £2.00 marked or for each schedule required to be marked.

© This website and its contents are copyright of Kevin Michael Burke.