Who can swear an affidavit?

Provincial Court
Supreme Court

Before you file an Affidavit, a commissioner for taking affidavits needs to swear it.

Usually you'll find at least one person at the court registry or government agent's office who's a commissioner.

Lawyers and notaries public are always commissioners.

Other people can be commissioners for taking affidavits as well.

As of March 27, 2020, you can swear a Supreme Court affidavit by videoconference if it's impossible or medically unsafe for you to meet a commissioner to swear an affidavit.

During the period of reduced Provincial Court operations due to COVID-19, you don't need to swear or affirm most affidavits that you're filing.

However, the person who served the documents must swear or affirm an Affidavit of Personal Service (before giving it to you to file) if they won't be attending the hearing.

In BC

Here's a list of people who can swear affidavits in BC that are going to be used in BC courts:

  • A notary public
  • A practising lawyer (as defined in the Legal Profession Act)
  • A Supreme Court registrar, deputy registrar, district registrar, and deputy district registrar
  • A government agent or deputy government agent
  • A judge of a court in BC
  • A justice
  • The local government corporate officer and that person's deputy
  • The secretary treasurer of a board of school trustees
  • The chief executive officer of a francophone education authority (as defined in the School Act)
  • A coroner
  • Any commissioned officer in the Canadian Navy, Army, or Air Force who's on active service (in and out of Canada)
  • All agents general for British Columbia
  • Justice Counsellors appointed under section 10 of the Family Law Act
  • Child Support Officers and local managers from the Family Justice Services Division of the Justice Services Branch of the Ministry of Justice
  • Family Search Officers, managers, and directors from the Maintenance Enforcement and Locate Services Division of the Justice Services Branch of the Ministry of Justice
  • Customer service representatives and senior customer service representatives from the Service BC division of the Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens' Services
  • Any other individual specifically appointed by the Attorney General as commissioners for taking affidavits for BC

See Commissioner for Taking Affidavits on the Courthouse Libraries BC website for a list of more people who can swear affidavits in BC.

Outside BC

Here's a list of people who can swear affidavits outside BC that are going to be used in BC courts:

  • A magistrate or an officer of a court of justice, a judge, or a commissioner who can administer (supervise) oaths in the courts of justice of that province or country
  • A certified notary public or lawyer practising in their own jurisdiction
  • The mayor or chief magistrate of any city, borough, or town corporate
  • An officer of any of Her Majesty's diplomatic or consular services stationed outside of Canada. For example:
    • an ambassador
    • an envoy, minister, chargé d'affaires, counsellor, secretary, attaché, consul general, consul, vice consul, proconsul, consular agent, acting consul general, acting consul, acting vice consul, or acting consular agent
  • An officer of the Canadian diplomatic and consular service stationed outside of Canada. For example:
    • a high commissioner or acting high commissioner
    • a permanent delegate or acting permanent delegate, counsellor, or secretary
  • A Canadian government trade commissioner or an assistant Canadian government trade commissioner stationed outside of Canada
  • Any commissioned officer in the Canadian Navy, Army, or Air Force who is on active service (in Canada or elsewhere)
  • All agents general for British Columbia
  • A commissioner who BC law says can take affidavits

Ask how much the commissioner charges to swear an affidavit. There isn't a standard charge, so some people will charge more than others. Ask a couple of people to get an idea of what's a good price.