A commissioner for taking affidavits may take affidavits and administer other legal oaths, affirmations, or declarations in accordance with the provisions of the Commissioners for Taking Affidavits Act (the “Act”). Section 1 of the Act and paragraph 4 of subsection 1(1) of O. Reg. 386/12 (made under the Act) provide that lawyers, as persons who are licensed under the Law Society Act to practise law in Ontario, are commissioners for taking affidavits in Ontario by virtue of their office.
A lawyer who pays their annual fees at a lower fee category (i.e., 25% or 50%) or who is under a fee exemption (i.e., the lawyer has applied to the Law Society and been approved for a fee exemption because he or she is retired from the practice of law and over 65 years of age) may act as a commissioner. No matter what the lawyer’s status, the lawyer should ensure that he or she does not provide any legal advice when exercising his or her authority as a commissioner unless the lawyer is authorized to do so.
There are certain circumstances in which a lawyer may not act as a commissioner for taking affidavits. If the lawyer surrenders his or her licence, or a lawyer’s licence to practise law is suspended or revoked, the lawyer is no longer entitled to practise law and therefore may not continue to act as a commissioner for taking affidavits. In addition, the lawyer’s commissioner status can also be revoked in accordance with the Act.
Lawyer as Notary Public
Paralegal as Commissioner for Taking Affidavits
Paralegal as Notary Public