Applying for an Appointment as a Commissioner for Taking Affidavits
In British Columbia, commissioners for taking affidavits are appointed to qualifying individuals, pursuant to the B.C. Evidence Act. The Ministry of Justice administers the commissioner appointment program through the Order in Council Administration Office.
The B.C. Evidence Act allows commissioners for taking affidavits to administer oaths and affirmations and take affidavits and statutory declarations, where permitted or required by law.
Most appointed commissioners are restricted in the types of services they provide and the circumstances in which services are provided. Commissioner appointments only permit commissioners to do what is stipulated in their appointment forms. Their services must be directly related to the business of their employer or volunteer organization.
To be appointed as a commissioner for taking affidavits, an applicant must have a legitimate requirement for the appointment, based on their employment or connection with a volunteer organization — for example, their employment or volunteer work involves administering oaths or affirmations or taking affidavits or statutory declarations.
Eligibility criteria for an appointment as a commissioner for taking affidavits include the following:
- A minimum age requirement of 19 years
- Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status, and
- No relevant criminal record
The procedure for applying for an appointment as a commissioner for taking affidavits consists of:
- The submission of an application (PDF, 1.6 MB) for appointment or renewal as a commissioner for taking affidavits. It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide all information required, including the relevant legislative authority under which commissioner services will be performed.
- Reading the Information and Instruction Guide (PDF) for Commissioners for Taking Affidavits for British Columbia and successfully completing the examination (PDF) to ensure applicants understand the scope of a commissioner's authority and how to perform duties properly.
- If applicable, the payment of a $50 appointment fee by cheque or money order, made payable to the Minister of Finance. Under the Evidence Act, with few exceptions, only officers or employees of the Government of British Columbia or Canada, a municipality, a regional district or the trust council, a treaty First Nation, the Nisga’a Nation or a Nisga’a Village or a veterans’ organization or designated persons or classes of persons are exempt from paying the appointment fee. (For a complete list of exemptions, see Section 58 of the Evidence Act.)
- If paying the appointment fee, the completed application and examination must be mailed to the Order in Council Administration Office. If exempt from the fee requirement, the application and examination can be faxed or mailed to the office.
Appointments are normally granted for a three-year term. Commissioners must not perform any commissioner functions after the expiry date of their appointment.
Commissioners wishing to renew their appointment, at least eight weeks prior to their appointment expiry date, may download and print an application (PDF, 1.6 MB) and examination (PDF) from this website or contact the Order in Council Administration Office to request an application package. A completed application form and examination must be submitted with the appropriate fee, if applicable, for every appointment requested, including renewals.
Commissioners for taking affidavits are prohibited from charging fees for providing services, except where fees are specifically allowed under other statutes.
Note: The Order in Council Administration Office cannot provide advice as to whether a particular form or document can be witnessed by a commissioner for taking affidavits. Staff do not administer oaths or affirmations, take affidavits or statutory declarations or provide any other commissioner services.
Further information about the application process and contact information for the Order in Council Administration Office are included with the application (PDF, 1.6 MB) for appointment or renewal as a commissioner for taking affidavits.