Oath of Office

oath of office Lyndon B Johnson Air Force One 1963Oath of Office

Under Colorado notary law, a notary is authorized to administer an oathaffirmation, or oath of office.  An oath or affirmation is usually administered to a document signer, to certify that the statements written on a document are true and correct.

Then the notary completes a notarial certificate, called a jurat, that is attached to the sworn statement.  An affidavit is a common type of sworn statement.  An oath or affirmation is part of the process for completing a sworn statement.

Photo credit: Lyndon B. Johnson, on Air Force One, 1963, by Cecil W. Stoughton, John F. Kennedy’s official photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A notary may administer an oath or affirmation without a document being signed, such as an oath of office for an elected public official, or an officer of a corporation, LLC, homeowners association (HOA) or other association.  The oath of office, inauguration or installation of officers may be made in a public or private setting.  Public officials such as the President, or Governor, may be sworn in to office on live television.

For a small business or association, the officers may be elected at an annual meeting and sworn into office at the same meeting or at a later date.  The notary may use language provided by statute for a public official, or provided by the bylaws of a corporation or the operating agreement for an LLC.

Sample Oath of Office

State of Colorado
County of _______________

I, _______________________, do solemnly swear (or affirm), that I will faithfully perform the duties of the office of (Title) of the (business or association name), upon which I am about to enter, in accordance with its governing documents (articles of incorporation, articles or organization, constitution and) (bylaws or operating agreement) and local, state and federal laws, [so help me God].
Signature ________________________________

Subscribed and sworn to, or affirmed, before me on this _______day of
_________________, 20_____.
Notary Public _____________________________________________
[Notary Seal]

Presidential Oath

The Presidential oath is specified in Article II, Section 1, of the US Constitution:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.

By convention, incoming Presidents raise their right hand and place the left hand on a Bible or other book while taking the oath of office.  The closing phrase “So help me God” is not specified in the Constitution, but is usually added.

While the Constitution does not mandate that anyone in particular should administer the oath, the oath is traditionally administered by the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.  For President Calvin Coolidge, in 1923, the oath of office was administered by his father, John, a notary, at the family home in Vermont.

In 1963, two hours after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, U.S. District Judge Sarah Hughes (Northern District of Texas) administered the oath of office to Lyndon B. Johnson aboard Air Force One (see photo above), nine minutes before it took off from Love Field airport in Dallas. At the same time, CBS TV news anchor Walter Cronkite announced to the nation that President Kennedy was dead.  In the photo, Jackie Kennedy is still in her blood-soaked clothes, turned away from the camera.

President Johnson refused to use a Dallas notary to be sworn in more promptly. He insisted on waiting until he reached Air Force One, and for a federal judge to arrive to perform the ceremony.

Governor’s Oath

In January 1995, the Governor of South Dakota was sworn into office by a notary.

Colorado Oath of Office

Article XII, Section 8 of the Colorado Constitution reads:

Every civil officer, except members of the general assembly and such inferior officers as may be by law exempted, shall, before he enters upon the duties of his office, take and subscribe an oath or affirmation to support the constitution of the United States and of the state of Colorado, and to faithfully perform the duties of the office upon which he shall be about to enter.

Colorado law, CRS 24-12-103, under State Government Administration, states that all notaries public shall have power to administer oaths and affirmations to witnesses, and to administer all oaths of office and other oaths required to be taken by any person upon any lawful occasion.

Other government officials that have power to administer oaths and affirmations include courts, judges, justices, magistrates, referees, clerks and public utilities commission (PUC) members. A sheriff can administer an oath of office to appointed deputies.

Colorado law, CRS 12-55-110(1)(b), under the Notaries Public Act, states that every notary public is empowered to administer oaths and affirmations.

Unauthorized Oath of Office

Persons who are not notaries or other authorized officials should not give oaths or affirmations if they are not authorized by law.

Corporations, LLCs, HOAs and associations may wish to establish a relationship with a notary to administer the oath of office to elected directors and officers and to notarize records such as minutes of meetings, a Certificate of Incumbency listing the current officers, contracts, leases, financial statements, employment applications and business record affidavits.

Visit our website for Colorado Springs Mobile Notary services or Colorado Notary Training classes.

[Last-Modified Date 2017-11-18] added list of officials authorized to administer oaths

Oath of Office
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