Notary Public and a Commissioner of Oaths

Difference between a Notary Public and a Commissioner of Oaths

Managing partner Paul Murran was appointed a Notary Public by the Chief Justice of Ireland. The functions of a Notary Public are often confused with a Commissioner for Oaths. In this blog we will briefly discuss the difference between the two.

What is a Notary Public?

A Notary is a public officer who most commonly provides services in non-contentious matters, usually concerning foreign or international business.

A Notary Public has the following functions:

  • Authenticate documents
  • Witness and prove signatures to documents
  • Administer oaths
  • Take Affidavits (other than from the courts in Ireland)
  • Draw up Powers of Attorney and other legal documents customarily prepared by notaries.

Further to the above functions, a Notary Public has a number of powers, as set out below.

  • Notaries can authenticate the validity and provenance of underlying documents, when required to do so.
  • A Notary can prepare a Notarial Certificate, which they may then attach to the underlying document.
  • A Notary can arrange for the document to be apostilled or authenticated by the Department of Foreign Affairs. This may be required by the Jurisdiction where the document is intended for use.

What is a Commissioner for Oaths?

A Commissioner for Oaths is a person who verifies affidavits — statements in writing and on oath, and other legal documents.

A Commissioner for Oaths is necessary:

  • When giving evidence on an affidavit for court proceedings in Ireland.
  • For making an affirmation, declaration, acknowledgement, examination, or attestation for the purposes of court proceedings.

The Difference between a Notary Public and a Commissioner for Oaths

There are some similarities between the two. However, in simple terms, a Notary Public has more powers than a Commissioner for Oaths.

If you are unsure as to whether a Commissioner for Oaths will be sufficient, contact your local Notary who should be in a position to clarify.

Book an appointment online with Paul Murran, Notary Public.