A statutory declaration is a written statement that a person signs and declares to be true and correct before an authorised witness.

Statutory Declarations

Statutory Declarations
A statutory declaration is a written statement that a person signs and declares to be true and correct before an authorised witness. By signing it, the person makes a solemn declaration that the contents are true and understands that any information found to be false can result in a charge for perjury.

Statutory declarations can be used to verify insurance claims, proof of age, applications for sick leave or various types of benefits and for a multitude of business day to day matters and personal matters.

Affidavits
An affidavit is a written statement that is mostly used in legal proceedings and for other purposes authorised by law. A person making an affidavit must take an oath on the Bible or other religious book, or make an affirmation that the contents are true and correct before a person authorised to receive an affidavit. A false declaration contained in an affidavit may result in criminal prosecution for perjury.

Requirements for documentation
A person who witnesses the declaration or receives an affidavit must print, type or stamp his or her name and address below his or her signature. Any annexed documents must contain these details as well. If there are any alterations or erasures to the documents, they must be initialled by the witness and person making the statutory declaration or affidavit.

It is preferable for any documents for use interstate to be witnessed by a Justice of the Peace or a solicitor.

Who can witness statutory declarations?

  • Justice of the Peace or Bail Justice
  • Member of the Police force
  • Senior officer of a Council as defined in the Local Government Act 1989
  • Councillor of a municipality
  • Legally qualified medical professional
  • Dentist
  • Veterinary surgeon
  • Pharmacist
  • Principal in the (State) teaching service
  • Bank manager
  • Member of Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia or the Australian Society of Accountants or the National Institute of Accountants
  • Minister of religious authorised to celebrate marriage
  • Barrister or solicitor of the Supreme Court
  • Clerk to barrister and solicitor
  • Prothonotary or a Deputy Prothonotary of the Supreme Court
  • Registrar or a Deputy Registrar of the County Court
  • Sheriff or a deputy sheriff
  • Notary Public
  • Registrar or Deputy Registrar of the Legal Profession Tribunal
  • Member or a former member of either House of the Parliament of Victoria
  • Member or a former member of either House of the Parliament of the Commonwealth
  • Person who holds an office in the public service (of Victoria) that is prescribed as an office of which the holder may witness statutory declarations
  • Principal Registrar, Registrar or a Deputy Registrar of the Magistrates’ Court
  • Registrar of Probates or an Assistant Registrar of Probates
  • Associate to a Judge of or Secretary of a Master of the Supreme Court or the County Court
  • Person registered as a Patent Attorney under Part XV of the Patents Act 1952 of the Commonwealth
  • Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives (Victoria)

Who can “receive” (witness) Affidavits?

  • Justice of the Peace or a Bail Justice
  • Judge or the Associate to any Judge
  • Master of the Supreme Court or the County Court or the Secretary of such a Master
  • Prothonotary or a Deputy Prothonotary of the Supreme Court
  • Registrar or a Deputy Registrar of the Magistrates’ Court
  • Registrar of Probates or an Assistant Registrar of Probates
  • Member or former member of either House of the Parliament of Victoria
  • Member or former member of either House of the Parliament of the Commonwealth
  • Notary Public
  • Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives (Victoria)
  • Member of the police force of or above the rank of sergeant or for the time being in charge of a police station
  • Person who holds an office in the public service (of Victoria) that is prescribed as an office of which the holder may receive affidavits
  • Senior officer of a Council as defined in the Local Government Act 1989
  • Person registered as a Patent Attorney under Part XV of the Patents Act 1952 of the Commonwealth
  • Solicitor: A natural person who is a current practitioner or registered interstate practitioner within the meaning of the Legal Practice Act 1996

Please contact a member of the Dangerfield Exley team – Steven Dangerfield, Simon Exley, Lynda Lim, Angela Catanzariti or Aaron Chan for more information.

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