An oath is when a person swears that the contents of a document are true and correct. A solemn declaration is when a person solemnly declares that the contents of a document are true and correct. An oath and a solemn declaration have essentially the same legal effect.
The person making the oath or solemn declaration is called a deponent. The act of administering an oath or solemn declaration is called commissioning an oath.
It is not necessary that the deponent hold a religious book, or raise his/her hand to undertake an oath or solemn declaration.
A person may be prosecuted criminally for knowingly making a false oath or solemn declaration.
A Commissioner of Oaths must verify the identity of the deponent and satisfy himself or herself of the genuineness of the signature of the deponent and will then administer an oath or solemn affirmation.