Affidavits are used frequently and for many different reasons, but -- unlike a contract or agreement -- many people don’t have a good handle on the definition of an affidavit. Chances are, you’ve likely already signed an affidavit at some point in your life.

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In our Plain Language Legal Dictionary, we define affidavit as “A written statement of facts, sworn to and signed by a deponent before a notary public or some other authority having the power to witness an oath.” In other words, when you sign an affidavit, you’re simply attesting, under law, that you swear a statement written in the affidavit is true.

A good way to think of an affidavit is as a sort of written court testimony. Where, in a court of law, you’d have to place your hand on a Bible and swear that you’re telling the truth and nothing but the truth, on an affidavit, you simply do this in writing. You’re under oath, but you’re on paper.

Many government forms -- like voter registrations, for example -- could technically be defined as affidavits, since lying on such forms can carry with it the the charge of perjury. This is what we were referencing early, when we mentioned you’d probably signed an affidavit or two already, whether you knew it or not.

If you’re signing an affidavit, make sure you read what you’re attesting to in its entirety. If you can agree to all of the statements in the document, feel free to sign. You’ll have to sign in front of a notary public or similar authority to make the affidavit fully legal.

If you’d like to learn more about affidavits, please take a look at some of the common affidavits Rocket Lawyer offers or check out our sample affidavit for an example. 


Get started Start Your Affidavit Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.


Get started Start Your Affidavit Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.