New Reg: Administering Oath or Declaration Remotely

2020-08-04 4:14:16 PM

The Province has published O.Reg 431/20 under the Commissioners for Taking Affidavits Act. 

As you may know, the Act was amended through Bill 190, COVID-19 Response and Reforms to Modernize Ontario Act, 2020 through which the Government made amendments to several pieces of legislation to assist businesses and others practice physical distancing. Among other things,  it re-enacted Section 9 of the Act to provide for circumstances in which a person administering an oath or declaration need not be in the physical presence of the deponent or declarant if the regulations made under this Act so provide and the conditions set out in the regulations are met. O.Reg 431/20 sets out those conditions. 

AMCTO members had expressed some concern about liability for commissioners who may choose to confirm identities remotely.  The regulation states, among other things, that if "the person administering the oath or declaration takes reasonable precautions in the execution of the person’s duties, including ensuring that the deponent or declarant understands what is being signed," an oath or declaration may be taken remotely.

This regulation may assist municipalities who choose to use remote means to to take an oath or declaration, in the issuance of marriage licenses for example. 

Municipalities may wish to consult their legal counsel on the appropriateness of confirming identities remotely. 


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