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About Commonwealth statutory declarations

Important update

Updated: 12 February 2024

You can now use myGov to create a digital Commonwealth statutory declaration, using your Digital Identity in place of a witness.

Find out more about digital Commonwealth statutory declarations.

You can still complete a Commonwealth statutory declaration the way you always have, with a witness, if you wish.

This page provides general information and answers frequently asked questions about completing a Commonwealth statutory declaration (also known as a stat dec).

For specific instructions on how to fill out and obtain a witnessed statutory declaration, please refer to the following pages based on your method:

If you are currently overseas and need to make a statutory declaration, see Commonwealth statutory declaration overseas.

Ways to make a Commonwealth statutory declaration

There are 3 ways to make a Commonwealth statutory declaration. You can use:

You can choose whichever way you prefer. Each one creates an equally valid Commonwealth statutory declaration.

Differences between each option 

Refer to the below to understand how each option differs and to help you choose which method to use:

  • Format: Paper or electronic version of the approved form
  • Witnessing: An approved witness observes you sign in-person
  • Signature: Wet-ink (pen) signature, or electronic signature
  • Format: Paper or electronic version of the approved form
  • Witnessing: An approved witness observes you sign remotely through a video link program, such as Skype, Microsoft Teams, Zoom or Facetime. 
  • Signature: Wet-ink (pen) signature, or electronic signature
  • Format: Made using the myGov platform
  • Witnessing: Digital Identity verification, no witness required
  • Signature: Electronic signature using myGov

Commonwealth and state and territory statutory declarations

We only provide information about Commonwealth statutory declarations. State and territory statutory declarations will have different requirements. 

Before you start, check which type of statutory declaration you have been asked to make. If the name of an Australian state or territory is at the top of the page, it may not be a Commonwealth statutory declaration. 

If you have questions about a state or territory statutory declaration, contact that state or territory’s department of justice or their Attorney-General’s website. 

Declarations of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and other smaller territories

Commonwealth statutory declarations requirements also apply to statutory declarations of the: 

  • Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
  • Territories of Christmas Island
  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands
  • Australian Antarctic Territory
  • Coral Sea Islands Territory
  • Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands
  • Territory of Heard Island and McDonald Islands. 

Who can make a Commonwealth statutory declaration

Any person can make a Commonwealth statutory declaration, regardless of their age or nationality.

However, some organisations may not accept a statutory declaration from a person under 18 years old. Check with the organisation or person that requested the statutory declaration if you have any questions. 

Companies cannot make a Commonwealth statutory declaration, but a person (like a director) in the organisation can.

What to write in a statutory declaration

An organisation or person will usually request a statutory declaration as part of a process – like for an application or as a legal requirement. The organisation or person that asked you for the Commonwealth statutory declaration will often tell you what you need to write.

We cannot provide information about the specific uses for statutory declarations or what to write in one.

Depending on the purpose of your statutory declaration, you may also wish to seek legal advice on what to write. You can seek legal advice through your:

What to do with a completed statutory declaration

The organisation or person that asked for the Commonwealth statutory declaration will often tell you where to submit your completed statutory declaration.

Please do not send your statutory declaration to us. We do not accept, process or store completed statutory declarations.

What happens if you make a false statement

If you make a false statement in a Commonwealth statutory declaration on purpose, you can be charged with a Commonwealth criminal offence. You could be imprisoned for up to 4 years.

Contact the Australian Federal Police if you are concerned about a false Commonwealth statutory declaration.

Genuine mistakes

To change anything in your Commonwealth statutory declaration after your witness has signed it, you must make the changes in front of the same witness. You and your witness need to write your initials next to every change.

If there are many changes, it may be easier to complete a new statutory declaration. An approved witness must sign the new statutory declaration. You cannot revoke a statutory declaration.

If you need to change a statutory declaration because the facts have changed, you should write a new one.

See also incorrectly witnessed Commonwealth statutory declarations.

Expiry of Commonwealth statutory declarations

A Commonwealth statutory declaration does not expire. It is valid for as long as the information in it is true.

However, some organisations that ask for statutory declarations have time limits. Find out if you can use an existing Commonwealth statutory declaration from the person who asked you for it.

Using a language other than English

If you need to make a statutory declaration in a language other than English, you should ask the person or entity who requested it from you to see if they will accept it.

They can tell you if they will accept a Commonwealth statutory declaration that is:

If you want to write your declaration in a language that is not English, you need to use the form to be made with a witness. Digital Commonwealth statutory declarations created through myGov can only be made in English.

Visa related enquiries

The Department of Home Affairs is responsible for visas and related statutory declarations. Contact them on 131 881 or visit the Department of Home Affairs website.

We do not provide information about the use or contents of statutory declarations to support any process, including visa or immigration processes.

Affidavits, deeds, document certification and other witnessed documents

We do not regulate affidavits, deeds, document certification or other witnessed documents. We cannot provide information about these processes including how they can be witnessed.

If you are unsure who can witness a document which is not a Commonwealth statutory declaration, you should check with the person or organisation that asked you for it.

Get help

Email statdec@ag.gov.au if you have questions that are not answered on this page. You will need to allow up to 28 days for a response.

We can only give general information about Commonwealth statutory declarations. We cannot give legal advice.