For most people, seeing a Commissioner for Oaths or Solicitor to have an Affidavit sworn or a Declaration witnessed is something they have not done before and it can therefore be slightly intimidating. Believe it or not, this is how it is meant to be. The purpose of taking an Oath is to give due solemnity to what you are doing and saying in order to ensure its truth and accuracy. It’s meant to impress upon the person taking the Oath that what they’re doing is serious and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Studies have found that this works. People are extremely reluctant to tell an untruth on Oath whether they’re religious or not.
The process is actually very simple. You should first make sure that you have read and understood the document. You should ensure that it is accurate and that you are willing to swear to its accuracy. There should not be any blanks on the Affidavit/Declaration. You then make an appointment with a Commissioner for Oaths or practicing Solicitor bringing the document with you. You can usually drop in during business hours, but it’s best to let them know you’re coming just in case. The Commissioner for Oaths will need to satisfy himself as to your identity so it is best to bring with you photo ID (passport ideally) and a recent utility bill in your name.
The Commissioner will ask you if you have read and understood the document. If you have not, then he will read it to you (reading it in advance will save time). He will ask you to sign where appropriate, take a Bible, Old Testament, Qur’an or relevant holy book in your hand and say “I swear that this is my name and handwriting, that I have read the affidavit and that the contents of the affidavit are true”. For a Declaration, replace “swear” with “solemnly and sincerely declare”. If you are not religion, you can affirm instead of swearing. That’s it. Simple.
The fee is fixed by Statute at €10 per Affidavit or Declaration and €2 per exhibit.
I hope this article has been helpful. If you have any queries regarding personal injuries claims please contact us by phone at 061 501100, email Thomas Dowling, personal injuries partner at [email protected] or get a call back by completing our contact form so we can provide you with further information or advice.