Commissioner for Oaths
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In Singapore, Commissioners for Oaths are appointed by the Board of Commissioners for Oaths and Notaries Public. The board is appointed by the Senate of the Singapore Academy of Law (SAL). In general, Commissioners for Oaths are tasked with administering oaths and affirmations for legal documents, statutory declarations used in Singapore, and affidavits used in Singapore Courts.
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The Commissioner for Oaths fees in Singapore are prescribed by the Senate of the Singapore Academy of Law and cannot be negotiated. The Commissioner for Oaths is allowed to charge a reasonable additional fee for translating, interpreting, or reading the content to the person having the statement commissioned or for travel time if the oath is administered outside the commissioner’s office. Some of the fixed fees prescribed are outlined below for reference.
- On taking an affidavit or affirmation before an advocate and solicitor who is appointed as a commissioner for oaths: $25
- For each exhibit referred to in an affidavit sworn or affirmed before an advocate and solicitor who is appointed as a commissioner for oaths: $5
- On taking or receiving a statutory declaration: $25
- For each exhibit referred to therein, which is required to be marked: $5
Frequently asked questions
When will you need a Commissioner for Oaths?
Generally, you will need a Commissioner for Oaths when you sign an affidavit or a statutory declaration. You will also need a Commissioner for Oaths if you apply to be appointed executor or administrator of a deceased’s estate.
What does a Commissioner for Oaths do?
To understand what Commissioners for Oaths do, we need to understand the difference between an oath and an affirmation, and an affidavit and a declaration.
The difference between oath and affirmation
- By taking an oath, the oath maker swears that the statement is the truth. It often has a religious element – “So help me God”. The oath maker “calls” God as a witness to the truth.
- An affirmation does not have a reference to God but still is a solemn and formal declaration that the statement is the truth. It has the same legal status and force. People who object to taking an oath or whose religion relies on a different divinity will make an affirmation.
The difference between an affidavit and a statutory declaration
- An affidavit is a sworn or affirmed written statement of facts, often to be used as evidence in court proceedings.
- A statutory declaration is a statement made to declare something as the truth to satisfy some statutory requirement. The format is usually prescribed. Statutory declarations are not necessarily used in court proceedings.
What is the role of the Commissioner of Oaths?
A Commissioner for Oaths will take an oath or an affirmation from the person making the affidavit or statutory declaration to ensure the truthfulness and authenticity of the affidavit and declaration. This must be done in the presence of the Commissioner for Oaths, who will record and administer the oath or affirmation. As part of the process, the commissioner will confirm that the person has read and understands the statement’s content.
The commissioner will also verify the identity of the person taking the oath or affirmation as the person making the statement and witness the deponent’s signature. It should be noted that an advocate or solicitor may not act as a Commissioner for Oaths in any matter or business in which the advocate or solicitor or any member of his firm is acting as advocate and solicitor.
It is important to remember that Commissioners for Oaths are only involved with documents to be used in Singapore. Any documents to be used outside of Singapore require a Notary Public’s services instead.