An Affidavit is a legal document that is ‘sworn’ to be true.
An affidavit is a legal document which is ‘sworn’ to be true. The person making the affidavit is known as a ‘deponent’.
There is a broad format to be followed in preparing the document, following which it must be sworn in front of a solicitors or ‘Commissioner for Oaths’.
What are Affidavits used for?
Affidavits are used in all sorts of legal matters, and can relate to all manner of subjects from probate, to litigation, to property transactions, and so on. They are statements of truth which you swear to be true.
How do I swear an Affidavit?
You must swear an affidavit before a Solicitor or Commissioner for Oaths. When they administer the ‘swear’, the solicitor is acting as what is known as an ‘Officer of the Court’. And so, you are in essence saying in UK law that your statement is true, and you are promising to the Court that you are telling the truth (to the best of your knowledge and belief). A solicitor can not swear an affidavit if they (or any other solicitor in the same practice) prepared it – you must take it to another practice to swear.
How much does it cost to Swear an Affidavit?
It costs £5 to swear an affidavit, plus £2 for each ‘exhibit’ (attachments to the affidavit that are specifically referenced in it).
What happens if I said something wrong in my Affidavit?
If it later turns out that you knowingly and deliberately lied in an affidavit, you have effectively lied to the UK Courts, and so, you can be prosecuted for perverting the course of justice! That’s an offence for which you can be sent to prison!
What format should an Affidavit take?
An affidavit will typically include 3 parts:-
- TOP (standard format)
- MAIN BODY (including the facts being sworn to be true)
- TAIL (standard format)
The Top of the Affidavit
If the affidavit relates to ongoing court proceedings then the top section will include details of the court reference, court name, and the parties involved in the litigation.
If the affidavit does not relate to court action, it will simply look like this:-
I [NAME OF PERSON MAKING AFFIDAVIT] of [ADDRESS] MAKE OATH and say that:-
The Body of the Affidavit
This will simply set out the facts that you are seeking to ‘swear’ are true. This section will normally be in numbered paragraphs. For example:-
- I am the owner of Volvo XC60 registration number DY22 GBY
- I am aware that a speeding ticket was issued against that vehicle on the M25 on 12.5.22
- I confirm that, whilst I am the registered keeper and owner of the vehicle, I was not driving that vehicle on the M25 on 12.5.22
The ‘Tail’ of the Affidavit
This is where the deponent signs, and the witnessing Commissioner for Oaths will witness and complete their own details. The tail will look something like this:-
Sworn by ______________________________________
Signature of Deponent
Before me ______________________________________
Signature of Commissioner for Oaths
Sworn at ______________________________________
This ________ day of _________________ 2023
Example – An Affidavit must be ‘sworn’ before a ‘Commissioner for Oaths’ (all solicitors are CfO). There is normally a charge of £5 to administer the swear, and £2 for each ‘exhibit’ (formal attachment).