A statutory declaration is a written list of facts that you have sworn to be true in the presence of a notary public. While it is similar to an affidavit, you usually need an affidavit for evidence in court. Statutory declarations have a much broader range of uses. (See some examples below.)
Like other legal documents, there are clear guidelines as to the features and style of a statutory declaration. The 5 must-have features are as follows:
1. Information about you and the reason
The top of the declaration will show:
- your full name
- your address
- the province
- the reason (or “matter”)
Before you swear an oath, the notary public will confirm that your name and address are accurate. For this reason, you will need to bring official ID.
2. List of facts which you know to be true
The point of this kind of declaration is for you to show that you have sworn certain facts to be true. For example:
- Marital status – You may need to attest to the fact that you are in a common law marriage.
- Passports – You’ve lost your passport and you have no other way of proving what happened to it.
- Inventions – You need to swear an oath that you created a certain invention.
- Importing goods – You need to confirm the origin of goods.
- Nationality – You don’t have an acceptable document showing your nationality.
There are many other uses as well.
You must be sure that the facts are true to the best of your knowledge. Lying on a legal document of this kind can lead to criminal charges.
3. Correct style
The declaration needs to be made in the first person – “I” and “we.” This is because you are personally making this declaration, not someone else about you.
The facts must be listed separately, one per paragraph and numbered. The language should be as clear as possible, not vague or meant to deceive.
4. Your solemn oath
To make this document legally valid, you must swear an oathin the presence of a notary public.
5. Your signature and notarization
You are also required to sign the declaration in the presence of the notary. After the notary public witnesses you swearing the oath and signing, he will notarize the document, giving it legal validity.
Always remember that you are the one who is responsible for the facts. The notary only attests to the fact that it is your signature and that you have made the oath.
As with affidavits, the best approach is to have an experienced notary public, such as Golden Notary, draft and notarize your statutory declaration. This will ensure that it meets the requirements as well as save you time and effort. Contact us at Golden Notary if you have any questions about statutory declarations or if you need to have one prepared.