Being a Commissioners of Oaths in Ontario is currently a lucrative business, and it is estimated to expand further in the coming years. You do not need to have a legal background or previous work experience in Policing, but getting familiar with Ontario’s core laws and regulations is required. Also, getting a certification or two in State laws wouldn’t hurt.
To be eligible to work as a Commissioner of Oaths in Ontario, you should already work at a business or company registered in Ontario that requires commissioner services as part of its regular business and be qualified to work in Canada.
As a Commissioner of Oaths, you will be required to certify or notarise documents, commission solemn Declarations or Oaths, witness the process of legal Signatures, witness the statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union, and oversee the statutory Declaration of lost, stolen, damaged, destroyed, or inaccessible Canadian travel documents.
How To Become A Commissioner Of Oaths In Ontario?
You need to print and fill out an application form online to begin your career as a commissioner of Oaths in Ontario Canada.
The Minister of Justice and Solicitor General(MJSG) monitors your application process and appointment as a Commissioner of Oaths. The Ministry is also responsible for establishing the Code of Conduct for both Notaries and Commissioners. The Code of Conduct states explicitly that all Commissioners must act with honesty integrity and treat all people with respect, and any contradictory behavior will attract severe penalties.
All applications are made through a petition, accompanied by a certificate of physical fitness signed by six members of the legal profession and six leaders of the local business community.
The MJSG sets the criteria for applications and certificate renewals when necessary.
Your appointment is for three years and may be renewed. You need to notify the Legal Appointments Office at least three months before the expiry of your current license for renewals. All renewals do not need a new application form, but it attracts a renewal fee.
You will need a letter of authorization from your employer nominating you as a commissioner. This letter must include your job title, describe your work, the type, and the estimated number of documents you commission. If you are self-employed, you don’t have to worry about getting authorization from your employer, as you can write your letter of authorization.
To proceed further, you will need to pay a fee of $75 (if you are a legal or paralegal practitioner and $110 if you are a non-legal or non-paralegal practitioner) either by cheque or money order addressed to the Minister of Finance in Ontario.
You can only submit your application after the payment has been successful.
Who Can Be a Commissioner Of Oaths In Ontario?
Suppose you are licensed to practice law or provide legal services in Ontario. In that case, you already qualify as a designated Commissioner of Oaths and are not required to apply for a Commissioner appointment or pay a license fee.
If you have your license suspended or revoked to practice as a lawyer or paralegal, you will no longer be entitled to practice as a Commissioner of Oaths in Ontario.
If you are a Commissioner of Oaths and a Solicitor, you cannot use your license in any proceedings you are acting for any of the parties involved.
As a non-solicitor, you cannot practice outside your appointed area.
What Are The Duties Of a Commissioner Of Oaths?
You will make sure that the evidence in question is clear, concise, and in written form.
To establish that the person who needs the affidavit has read and fully understands the contents.
You must establish the person’s identity signing the affidavit as a Commissioner of Oaths.
You are required to confirm that the client swears that the affidavit is true by raising the appropriate Testament in the right hand and repeating the words included in the oath.
It would be best to verify that the affidavit was properly sworn by completing a “jurat” on the affidavit. Without this, you are liable to punishment by a fine of up to $2000.
You must ensure that the services provided both in-person and remotely are accessible to people with disabilities in a manner consistent with the Human Rights Code and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), present in Ontario.
What Are The Qualities Of a Commissioner Of Oaths?
- You must be diligent and carry out your duties in a dignified manner.
- You should be impartial and free of bias towards your declarants.
- You should have strong communication skills, be an exemplary citizen (be willing to follow the rules because your career depends on it), and have good judgment.
How Much Can I Earn As a Commissioner Of Oaths In Ontario?
It varies, and the hourly fee for small commissions can increase according to the type of document that requires legal authority. You can earn as high as $50 for the first document per declarant and $20 for subsequent documents.
What Are The Steps For Taking Written Declarations And Affidavits As a Commissioner Of Oaths
1. You have to verify the genuineness of the signature included in the Declaration (with proof of identity from the declarant). As a commissioner, you must sign the affidavit before commissioning it.
2. You must administer the Declaration, Oath, or Affirmation. The Declaration should be made in a manner that the person taking the oath or making the affirmation declares to be binding on the declarant’s conscience.
3. You should complete the jurat, which is the part of the document where you certify the time and place you took the affidavit or oath. It is usually written at the foot of the Declaration.
4. You must maintain a record or log of every act of remote or in-person commissioning that you perform.
You can also administer the oaths and Declaration remotely via an electronic mode of communication you have carefully selected. If you are working remotely, record each meeting, and store the recordings in a secure location where you can access the files for as long as required.