Swearing of Documents
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Swearing - Affirming documents which we have prepared
A solicitor who has prepared documents which needs swearing cannot administer the oath. This has to be done by someone independent such as:-
• Another Solicitor
• A Commissioner for Oaths
• A Court Official who is authorised to administer Oaths.
Solicitors and Commissioners of Oaths normally charge £5 per document plus £2 for each exhibit (if your documents includes this), however ask for their fees when attending their office.
We are more than happy to assist you with the arrangements for swearing a document and if you are in any way unsure about the procedure, please let us know.
It is your responsibility to ensure that the contents and spellings of the documents we have prepared are accurate. If after swearing your documents you realise there were mistakes, these cannot be corrected. The documents either must be destroyed and new ones prepared, or the original altered and re-sworn. In either case, you will be charged again to have it re-sworn. Therefore, before leaving the office to swear the documents, you should read it carefully and draw to the attention of the solicitor who prepared the documents anything which needs altering, otherwise we will charge a fee to amend or prepare a new document.
Swearing An Oath - Affirming a document and certified copies of Original Copies
Oaths and Affidavits and Statutory Declarations
Some documents need to be sworn on oath or affirmed, such as affidavits, before a solicitor or commissioner of oaths.
The usual procedure when you “swear” a document is for you to hold the Bible, if you are Christian or appropriate holy book depending on your faith, in your hand and repeat these words:
“I, [full name] swear by Almighty God that this is my name and handwriting and that the contents of this affidavit are true (if there are exhibits: and that these are the exhibit/s referred to)”.
Followers of religions other than Christianity may wish to vary this wording.
However, if you are not a follower of any particular religion or simply do not wish to swear on a holy book, you can “affirm” instead of swearing. Should you decide to do so, you will be asked to sign the document in your usual signature and “affirm” by repeating these words:
“I, [full name] do solemnly and sincerely affirm that this is my name and handwriting and that the contents of this affidavit are true (if there are exhibits) and that these are the exhibit/s referred to”.
Regrettably, we do not have holy books to accommodate all the different faiths. We therefore, normally only “affirm”. However, should you wish to swear on your religion’s holy book, you are welcome to bring that along with you? You should tell the solicitor who is administering the oath whether you wish to “swear” or “affirm”.
Please take note that we may refuse to swear the document if you do not have valid identity. Please bring along original documents to confirm your identity, such as:
• Passport / National Identity Card
• Driving licence
• Current photographic College/University/Work/Freedom Pass ID along with your bank card
You do not normally need to book an appointment to swear/affirm a document, however when you come in, if a solicitor is not available right away you may have to wait or if you prefer return at a different time. We will inform you if you have to wait longer than 15 minutes.
Certified Copies of Documents
You may need to send a copy of a document to an organisation that requires a copy of the original verified as a true copy of the original without seeing the original. We can certify some documents but not all, we cannot for example, certify documents downloaded from the internet as true copies of the original such as bank statements or utility bills.
Please take notice that we are not a Notary Public, which may be required in some instances, such as when sending documents abroad. If you require such services we may refer you to a local notary.
Depending on the nature of the document to be sworn, we charge a minimum of £5 per document plus £2 for each exhibit (if your document includes this), we will confirm the price once we have seen the document. The charge to have a document certified is generally £10 per document. This is payable in cash only.
• Swearing a document is a serious matter. You are stating that the entire contents of the document are true. If it is later discovered that you have made a false statement you could be held in contempt of court and sent to prison. Therefore, before swearing/affirming a document, you should read it carefully and if it was prepared by a solicitor, draw to his/her attention anything which needs altering.
• It is your responsibility and that of the person who prepared the affidavit to ensure that it is accurate. Please take note that an error in an affidavit, which is discovered after it has been sworn/affirmed, cannot be corrected. Either the affidavit must be destroyed and a new one prepared, or the original affidavit altered and re-sworn/re-affirmed. In either case, you will be charged again to have it re-sworn/re-affirmed.
Non-English speakers and/or documents in a foreign language
• Please note that we will refuse to swear/affirm any document other than in the English language, unless a certified translation of the same document into English is available, and if you do not speak English, an interpreter must be present during swearing/affirming to ensure that you understand the procedure, as you will have to repeat the wording of the swear/affirmation in English and the solicitor will need reassurance that you understand what you are signing.