What is a Commissioner of Oaths?

Whilst people often use the expression Commissioner of Oaths the correct reference is Commissioner for Oaths. In English law, a Commissioner for Oaths is a person appointed by the Lord Chancellor with power to administer oaths or take affidavits. All practising solicitors have these powers but must not use them in proceedings in which they are acting for any of the parties or in which they have an interest.

The Oxford English dictionary describes a Commissioner for Oaths as:

"a solicitor authorized to administer an oath to a person making an affidavit."

However this definition is fairly misleading as it suggests that only solicitors are Commissioners for Oaths. This is not the case, with the following professions able to perform the functions of a Commissioner of Oaths:

  • Notary Public
  • Solicitor
  • Barrister
  • Legal Executive
  • Licensed Conveyancer

A Notary Public such as Matthew Pryke is a commissioner for oaths and can therefore deal with any requirements you may have. A meeting with a Notary Public should take no longer than 15 to 20 minutes and the large majority of matters should be dealt with on the same day. The fee you will be charged by the notary public may vary so make sure that you shop around and remember to ask whether the notary public will charge VAT on the fees as this will effect the price you pay. If you want to avoid paying too much make sure you search for details on the Internet and book an appointment having secured a firm quote.  

For further details please subscribed to Matthew Pryke's blog at www.mdpryke-notary.com