Complete a statutory declaration
Important COVID-19 information
Updated: 22 September 2021
Commonwealth statutory declarations cannot be witnessed remotely or via video conferencing technology. You must sign your statutory declaration in the physical presence of an approved witness. You cannot use an electronic or digital signature on a statutory declaration.
For information about Commonwealth statutory declarations for travel exemptions visit the Department of Home Affairs website or call 131 881 (in Australia) or +61 2 6196 0196 (outside Australia).
Tips to help you complete a Commonwealth statutory declaration.
Download a statutory declaration
We highly recommend that you use the Commonwealth statutory declaration form.
You can only create your own form if it has all the required elements in Schedule 1 of the Statutory Declarations Regulations 2018.
Write your name, address and occupation
Section 1 of a statutory declaration requires you to write your:
Your name should be your full legal name.
Your address should be your home address, or a place where you can be contacted such as your work address.
You cannot use an email address in this section. To add an email address, you may write it in Section 10.
Your occupation is your type of job. If you don't have a job you may write unemployed, student (if you are a student), or leave this part blank.
Make your statement
Section 2 of a statutory declaration is where you write your statement.
You can type your statement, or use a pen. You should not use a pencil because information could be erased.
We cannot give you advice about what to write in your statement.
Contact the person who asked you for the statutory declaration if you:
- have a question about what to write
- are not sure if you should write or type your statement
- want to know if you can use multiple pages
- have any other questions about the content of your statement
There are no rules about the length of your statement, but if you use more than 1 page you should:
- number each page in order
- write your initials on each page
- ask your approved witness to write their initials on each page
There are legal consequences for making a false statement.
Using a language other than English
If you want to write your declaration in a language that is not English, you should ask the person who requested it from you.
They can tell you if they will accept a declaration that is:
- written in a language other than English
- translated by someone else
Attach documents to your statutory declaration if you need to
You may attach documents or other information to your statutory declaration.
If you have attachments, you should mention them in your declaration.
Your approved witness should see the attachments, but they don't need to sign or read them.
Ask an approved person to witness your statutory declaration
For your statutory declaration to be valid, it must be witnessed by an approved person.
This must be in person and done in writing. You cannot get a document witnessed via webcam or Skype.
Your approved witness should:
- check your identity
- remind you that you are claiming your statement (and any attachments) is true
- tell you that there are penalties for making false statements
- check that the form is completed correctly
Talk to the person who asked you for the statutory declaration if your witness makes a mistake. You can also talk to them if there are other issues about your witness signature.
Sign the statutory declaration
You must sign your statutory declaration:
- in front of the approved witness
- with a pen
You cannot use an electronic or digital signature.
What to do if you cannot sign the declaration
If you are the person making the declaration, you have to be the person to sign it.
You can make a mark in place of a signature if you are:
- unable to read
- visually impaired or blind
- physically unable to sign
If you cannot read or are visually impaired or blind, your approved witness must:
- read the declaration aloud, or have the document read aloud to you in their presence, and
- be satisfied that you have understood what was read aloud, and
- certify on the declaration
- that the declaration was read aloud to you, and
- they are satisfied that you have understood what was read aloud
Your witness must then write next to the mark you have made:
'I, being the person before whom this statutory declaration is made, certify that this mark was placed by [declarant's full name] on this statutory declaration in my presence.'
Change your statutory declaration
To change anything in your 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 declaration.
Your statutory declaration is valid as long as the information in it is true. However, some organisations that ask for statutory declarations have time limits. To find out if you can use an existing statutory declaration, check with the person who asked you for it.
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.
Submit your statutory declaration
Do not send your statutory declaration to us unless we have requested it (for example, in relation to the Marriage Act 1961). We do not process statutory declarations.
You can send your statutory declaration to the person or organisation that asked for it.
You must submit your statutory declaration in hard copy (printed), if it's required by legislation. For example, under the Marriage Act 1961, you may need to complete a statutory declaration and provide it in hard copy.
If it's not required by legislation, you can ask the person who requested it if they want to receive it electronically or in hard copy.