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Bradford West Gwillimbury

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​​​Frequently Asked Questions About the Clerk's Office

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Commissioning of Oaths and Documents

Does the Town provide Commissioning of Oaths services?

Yes, the Clerk’s Division provides Commissioning of Oaths services at the Administration office (see contact info at right). Several staff members are certified commissioners and no appointment is required; however you may wish to call ahead to ensure someone will be available. Office hours are Monday to Friday 8:30am-4:30pm, except on statutory holidays.

Which documents will the office commission?

Our office will commission documents such as:

  • General Affidavits
  • Certificate of Loss forms for insurance
  • Declaration of Vehicle Transfer
  • OAS and CPP declarations
  • Real Estate documents
  • Will documents
  • Estate documents

How much is the Commissioning of Oaths services fee?

The fee for Commissioning of Oaths is $20.

Is there a fee for pension forms?

No, witnessing of pension forms is provided at no charge to the pensioner.

What rules apply for official travel document applications?

The Clerk’s Division staff cannot act as a Guarantor on the applications for official travel documents (e.g. passport) unless you have known one of the staff members for the required period of time. It is recommended that Letters of Consent for children’s travel be Notarized rather than Commissioned.

Does the oath, affirmation, or declaration have to be commissioned in person?

Yes. A deponent must take an oath or solemn declaration in front of a person who is qualified to take oaths, and they must witness the deponent signing the document. An oath or solemn declaration cannot be made over the telephone.​

What is a Commissioner of Oaths?

A commissioner for taking affidavits is a person who can legally administer an oath, affirmation or declaration, for example, to a person making an affidavit. When commissioning a document, a commissioner does not affirm that the information in the document is true, but merely that the person whose signature is on the document did in fact sign the document.

When commissioning a document, the Commissioner of Oaths will ask for some form of government identification that includes your signature to confirm your identity. Once satisfied with your identity, the Commissioner will ask you to sign the document in their presence and will place their stamp and signature on the document. A signature alone is sufficient for certain commissioners, such as those by virtue of office, who do not need a stamp to commission documents.

What is an oath or affirmation?

An oath is when a person swears that the contents of a document are true and correct. A solemn declaration is when a person solemnly declares that the contents of a document are true and correct. An oath and a solemn declaration have essentially the same legal effect.

The person making the oath or solemn declaration is called a deponent. The act of administering an oath or solemn declaration is called commissioning an oath.

It is not necessary that the deponent hold a religious book, or raise his/her hand to undertake an oath or solemn declaration.

A person may be prosecuted criminally for knowingly making a false oath or solemn declaration.​

Certified Copies

What is a certified copy?

A certified copy is a photocopy of an original document (such as a passport or birth certificate) with an endorsement from the Clerk's office to say that it is a true copy of the primary document. It does not certify that the original document is genuine, only that it is a true copy of the original document.

The original document must be provided in order to certify a copy as true original. 

The Clerk and Deputy Clerk may certify other documents as "true copies" of the originals, but there is no guarantee that such certification will be accepted. 

What is the fee for certified copies?

Certified copies can be made for a fee of $5.

Notary Services

Does the Town provide notary services?

Yes. Notary services are provided by Rebecca Murphy, Director of Legislative Services, at the Administration Office (see address at right). An appointment is necessary, and can be made by phone.

Other local attorneys may also provide notarial services, and will set their own fees and appointments.

What is the fee for notarial services?

Documents can be notarized for a fee of $20.

What is the difference between a Notary and a Commissioner of Oaths?

A commissioner for taking affidavits (also called a Commissioner of Oaths) only has authority to administer oaths and take affidavits.  A notary public has much broader authority. A notary public can “notarize” copies of documents (verify as a true copy). Barristers and solicitors (lawyers) in Ontario are automatically commissioners for taking affidavits. They also have the automatic right to be notary publics; however, in order to exercise the notary public function they must apply for and obtain a notary public seal. 

What services can a Notary provide?

  • Preparing and witnessing powers of attorney for use overseas
  • Dealing with purchase or sale of land and property abroad
  • Providing documents to deal with the administration of the estates of people abroad or owning property abroad
  • Authenticating personal documents and information for immigration or emigration purposes, or to apply to marry or work abroad
  • ​​Authenticating company and business documents and transactions
  • Acting as a witness to an agreement
  • Drafting and notarizing travel documents for children (i.e. Consent Letter to Travel)

What is a Consent Letter to Travel?

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade recommends that if a person younger than 18 is travelling alone or with only one parent or another adult, they have their parents’ consent for such travel.

A notarized letter of consent to travel is proof of such consent.

A notary public can or notarize this consent document for you. The consent document should be drafted according to the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s recommended specifications.

The parent(s) granting consent must attend the notary public’s office with valid photo identification.

Please note that other documents may be required in addition to notarized consent documents. Visit the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s website before you travel to ensure that you have all of your necessary documentation

What is a Letter of Invitation?

A letter of invitation is where a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada ‘invites’ a person who is outside of Canada and wishes to enter Canada on a Temporary Resident Visa. A letter of invitation may be required by a person applying for a Temporary Resident Visa to visit Canada. Some visa offices may require that the letter of invitation be notarized by a notary public.

The letter of invitation must include particular information about both the person inviting the person to Canada and the person being invited.

Once you have the letter of invitation and, if necessary, had it notarized, you must send it to the person you are inviting to Canada. They will then have to submit the letter of invitation to the Canadian Embassy or Consulate outside of Canada when they apply for their Temporary Resident Visa.

A letter of invitation does not guarantee that a visa will be issued.

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