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 Oaths of Office



Who is required to take an oath of office?

Every person elected to an office in the State of Washington, including jurisdictions within counties, cities, and towns is required by our state and federal constitutions to take an oath prior to serving in office.  Depending upon the office and tradition, the oath may be attested to either verbally or in writing.

How should an oath be administered to a candidate?

RCW 29A.04.133 requires that the oath of office be administered and certified by any officer or notary public authorized to administer oaths, without charge.

 

             
Five positions are specifically qualified by statute to administer oaths:
Judges and Notary Publics​ ​ RCW 5.28.010
County Auditors or Deputies  RCW 36.22.030
Town Clerks  RCW 35.27.220
School Officials  RCW 28A.343.360

 


When do Newly Elected Officials Assume Office?

State Offices

Regular Term
Begins

                               
Administration and
Repository Oath
Applicable Citations
President/Vice President January 20 Traditionally administered by the U.S. Chief Court Justice U.S. Constitution Article II, Section I of the U.S. Constitution & Amendment 20
United States Senator and Representative January 3 or on alternate day designated by Congress Senate: As the President of the Senate, the Vice President administers the oath to new senators on the first day of a new Congress.
House: Administered by the Speaker of the House on the first day to new representatives.
U.S. Constitution
Article VI, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution & Amendment 20
 

State Executive Officers    Governor
   -Lt. Governor
   -Secretary of State
   -State Treasurer
   -State Auditor
   -Attorney General
   -Commission of  
     Public Lands
   -Superintendent of 
     Public Instruction
   -Insurance  
     Commissioner

Wednesday following the 2nd Monday in January Administered by a Supreme Court Justice at the capital. Except for the oath of the Secretary of State, all ar filed with Secretary of State. The oath of the Secretary of State is filed with the State Auditor. RCW 43.01.010; RCW 43.08.020; RCW 43.09.010
4 USC sec. 101
   -Supreme Court 
     Justice
   -Court of Appeals
     Judge
   -Superior Court 
     Judge
2nd Monday of January Oath retained by Secretary of State. Washington State Constitution Article IV, Sections 5, 28
RCW 2.04.080
RCW 2.06.070, 085
State Legislature:
   Senator
   Representative
2nd Monday of January Oath is administered orally by a Supreme Court Justice on the first day of session. Oaths retained by the House and Senate. Article VI of the U.S. Constitution;
RCW 29A.04.133





County Special Purpose Districts Regular Term
Begins_
RCW29A.20.040                  
Administration and
Repository of Oath
Citations
County Officials
Executive Officers
District Court Judges
January 1 No earlier that 10 days prior to assuming office, or at last regularly scheduled meeting. Oath retained by County Auditor. RCW 29A.20.040
RCW 29A.20.040
RCW 36.16.040, 060
City and Town Officials
Executive Officers
Municipal Court Judges
January 1 No earlier that 10 days prior to assuming office, or at last regularly scheduled meeting. Oath filed with County Auditor. RCW 29A.20.030, 040
RCW 35.27, 120
RCW 35.23.081
RCW 35A.12.040, 080
RCW 35A.13.160
Port District Commissioners January 1 No earlier than 10 days prior to assuming office, or at last regularly scheduled meeting. RCW 29A.20.030, 040
RCW 53.12.172
Public Utility District Commissioners January 1 Administered by an officer of the county in which the district is situated. No earlier than 10 days prior to assuming office, or at last regularly scheduled meeting. Oath retained by County Auditor.

RCW 29A.20.030, 040
RCW 54.12.100

School Directors Begins at first official meeting following certification of election School officials are authorized to administer all oaths or affirmations. Retained by County Auditor. RCW 28A.343.360
Fire Protection Districts
Commissioners
District Secretary
January 1 No earlier than 10 days prior to assuming office, or at last regularly scheduled meeting. Retained by County Auditor. RCW 29A.20.030, 040
RCW 52.14.070, 080
Sewer, Water, Hospital Districts
Commissioners
January 1 No earlier than 10 days prior to assuming office, or at last regularly scheduled meeting. RCW 29A.20.030, 040
RCW 57.12.030
RCW 70.44.040
Cemetery Districts January 1  No earlier than 10 days prior to assuming office, or at last regularly scheduled meeting.  Retained by County Auditor. RCW 29A.20.030, 040
RCW 68.52.260
Park and Recreation District
Commissioners
January 1 No earlier than 10 days prior to assuming office, or at last regularly scheduled meeting. Retained by County Auditor. RCW 35.61.050
Jurisdictions requiring land ownership
(e.g. diking/flood control districts)
Upon certification of election No statutory reference available.  RCW 85.24.070
RCW 85.38.070
RCW 86.09.301

 
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