Difference Between An Oath And An Affirmation
Both oaths and affirmations are notarial acts that compel a person to tell the truth, an oath is a solemn, spoken pledge to God or a Supreme Being, while an affirmation is a spoken pledge made on the signer’s personal honor with no reference to a higher power. Either is viewed as satisfactory, the decision is left is left to the signer.
The Notary then administers the oath or affirmation by asking if the person swears or affirms the truthfulness of their statement. The person taking the oath or affirmation then answers “Yes” or “I do.” The signer must talk clearly and perceptibly so the Notary can hear and comprehend the reaction.
Example of what a Notary Public will say when conducting an oath or affirmation:
For an oath: “Do you solemnly state that the evidence you shall give in this issue (or matter) shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?”
For an affirmation: “Do you solemnly state, under penalty of perjury, that the evidence that you shall give in this issue (or matter) shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?”