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What is an affidavit of service or proof of service?

Region: Ontario Answer # 3009

When do you need an an Affidavit of Service?

An Affidavit of Service, also known as Proof of Service, is a legal document that serves as proof that someone received a legal document from another party. Affidavits are most commonly used during lawsuits or other court proceedings such as in Small Claims Court, Family or Civil Court, but will also be used any time it is necessary that someone receive legal documents. An Affidavit can prevent the other party from saying they did not receive the legal documents, which could create delays in the court proceeding.

What information must be included in an Affidavit of Service?

After documents have been served on another party, the process server must complete an Affidavit of Service (available from the court). The form must include certain information, such as:

  • The full legal name and address of the person who the documents were served on behalf of (the applicant) and
  • The full legal name and address of the person who served the documents;
  • The full legal name and address of the person or agency that was served (the respondent);
  • When the documents were served – the date and time;
  • Where the documents were served – business address, house number, apartment number, street name, city, and province;
  • What documents were served; and
  • How the documents were served – personally, at place of residence or business, by regular mail, courier, or fax, etc.
  • If the person being served used any photo identification such as a driver’s license or health card, record the number for further proof of service

Who can affirm an Affidavit of Service?

Once an Affidavit of Service is completed, the server must swear, or affirm, that the information in the Affidavit is true before an officer who is authorized to administer the oath. After this is done, the officer will notarize it – meaning they will sign and stamp the Affidavit and it can then be used as proof that the documents were served.

In Ontario, an Affidavit can be sworn or affirmed before:

  • a notary public;
  • a court staff member who is a Commissioner for taking affidavits;
  • a person who has been appointed a Commissioner for taking affidavits.
  • a lawyer or paralegal licensed by the Law Society of Ontario; or
  • a Commissioner of Oaths

The process server must then provide the court – or other party who required the documents to be served – with the notarized Affidavid of Service and accompanying documents, proving that the papers have been delivered.

More info

Each province has rules and regulations regarding the serving of documents, Affidavits of Service, and who can act as notary or commissioner for taking oaths. View our Links to find your provincial government or courthouse for more information.

Visit other sections of Legal Line for more information on the serving of legal documents and process servers.

Get help

To hire a process server to serve legal documents, file court documents, conduct legal searches, or for other services, contact our preferred experts:

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