Do Notaries Need to Verify the Truth of Affidavits?

The notary public’s function is primarily administrative and not investigative. They are not required to validate or verify the accuracy of the information in the affidavit beyond confirming the affiant’s identity and willingness to sign the document.

to Verify the Truth of Affidavits

What exactly is an affidavit, and what is its purpose?

The purpose of an affidavit is to formally legitimize a claim. An affidavit is a written statement made voluntarily by a person (known as the affiant or deponent) who confirms the truthfulness of the information presented therein. The primary purpose of an affidavit is to provide evidence or support to a legal claim, validate certain facts, or present firsthand information relevant to a court case or administrative process.

When are affidavits used?

Affidavits are used for various purposes in legal and administrative matters. Here are some common uses of affidavits:

Court Proceedings: Affidavits are used as evidence in civil and criminal cases to support or refute claims. They allow individuals to present their version of events or provide relevant information to the court.


Immigration Matters: Affidavits are often required in immigration processes to verify relationships, financial support, or other essential details provided by applicants or sponsors.


Estate and Wills: In probate matters, affidavits can be used to confirm the authenticity of a will or to provide information about an estate’s assets and liabilities.


Name Changes: When someone legally changes their name, an affidavit may be required to affirm their intention and the reasons for the name change.


Family Law: Affidavits are used in various family law matters, such as child custody cases, adoption proceedings, or child support claims, to present relevant facts and evidence.


Business Transactions: In business and financial matters, affidavits can be used to certify information related to contracts, financial statements, or other agreements.


Notarized Documents: Certain documents require notarization, where the affiant swears under oath before a notary public that the information provided is true and accurate.


Land and Property Transactions: In real estate transactions, affidavits may be used to confirm facts related to property ownership, boundary disputes, or easements.


Personal Injury Claims: Affidavits can be used to record the accounts of witnesses or victims involved in personal injury cases.


Administrative Processes: In administrative matters, such as license applications or government benefit claims, affidavits can be used to provide relevant information.


Financial Affidavits: In divorce proceedings or financial disputes, financial affidavits may be required to disclose income, expenses, and assets.


Verification of Facts: Affidavits are commonly used to verify facts or support claims in various situations, even outside formal legal settings.

Do you have to provide a Notary Public with supporting evidence when you are swearing an affidavit?

The answer is no.  When an individual is swearing an affidavit before a notary public, they typically do not need to provide the notary with supporting evidence at the time of swearing the affidavit. The role of the notary public is to witness the signing of the affidavit and verify the identity of the affiant, not to authenticate the truth or accuracy of the statements made in the affidavit.


It is the responsibility of the affiant to ensure that the information contained in the affidavit is accurate and truthful. The affiant is expected to have personal knowledge of the facts they are attesting to and should only include information that they believe to be true.


Even though notaries do not need to see supporting evidence, the person, organization or institution to whom you are submitting your affidavit or statutory declaration may require you to provide evidence that verifies the truth of your affidavit or statutory declaration. If you’re not certain, make sure to contact the person, organization or institution to clarify their requirements.

How is an affidavit different from a regular statement or declaration?

The key difference lies in the legal significance and formalities involved. An affidavit is always made under oath, which means the affiant swears to tell the truth and can be held legally responsible for any false information provided. On the other hand, a regular statement or declaration may not carry the same level of legal accountability.

What are the essential elements of a valid affidavit?

For an affidavit to be considered valid, it typically needs the following elements:

Heading: Clearly stating “Affidavit” at the top of the document.

Title: Describing the purpose of the affidavit.

Affiant’s Information: Name, address, and contact details of the person making the statement.

Statement of truth: A clause affirming that the affiant believes the information provided is true and accurate.

Signature: The affiant’s signature, which must be notarized or witnessed, depending on jurisdiction.


What is an Affidavit and How Do I Notarize it?

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Who can make an affidavit?

Generally, any individual who possesses firsthand knowledge of the facts they are attesting to can make an affidavit. However, the person making the affidavit should not have any conflict of interest in the matter.

Does an affidavit need to be notarized or witnessed?

In many cases, yes. Most legal jurisdictions require affidavits to be either notarized by a notary public or witnessed by authorized individuals, such as a lawyer. Notarization or witnessing helps validate the authenticity of the affiant’s signature and ensures the affidavit’s credibility.

Can affidavits be used as a substitute for live testimony in court?

Yes, in certain situations. Affidavits are considered a form of “hearsay” because they are written statements, and they may not always be admissible as evidence during trial. However, in many cases, such as uncontested matters or pre-trial proceedings, they can be used in place of live testimony.

Can an affidavit be challenged or rebutted?

Lack of supporting evidence at the time of swearing the affidavit doesn’t mean that the contents of the affidavit cannot be challenged later. During legal proceedings, the opposing party may question the accuracy or validity of the information presented in the affidavit and may request additional evidence or testimony to corroborate the statements made. Affidavits can be cross-examined during the trial or during other legal proceedings.

What if I provide false information

Providing false information in an affidavit can have serious legal consequences. Affidavits are considered legal documents, and making false statements in them is a form of perjury. Perjury is the act of deliberately lying while under oath, and it is considered a criminal offense in most jurisdictions.


If you find yourself in a situation where you have already provided false information in an affidavit, it is crucial to rectify the situation immediately. In some cases, it may be possible to amend the affidavit or provide a corrected version before the false information causes significant harm. You should consult with an attorney to understand the potential consequences and the best course of action to take.

How All-Canada Notary can help?

All-Canada Notary can help you draft and notarize your affidavit. Book your appointment for in-person or online notary service. Affidavit notarization fee is just $32.95.