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 Statutory declarations

The Statutory Declarations Regulations 1993 have been repealed

The Statutory Declarations Regulations 2018, which commenced on 18 September 2018, make the following changes:

  • includes additional occupations/persons who are authorised to witness Commonwealth statutory declarations. These new occupations include:
    • architects
    • midwives
    • migration agents registered under Division 3 of Part 3 of the Migration Act 1958
    • occupational therapists
    • financial advisers and financial planners
    • broadens the category of engineers
  • provides a notary public (however described) appointed overseas, exercising his or her functions at that place, is able to witness a Commonwealth statutory declaration. This is in addition to notary publics who are appointed in Australia
  • updates references to ensure the regulations are current and fit for purpose, and
  • makes minor changes to the form to make it optional for the declarant and authorised witness to provide their email address and/or phone number to assist the receiving organisation to verify the declaration.

The regulations were updated following a review in 2017 where the department called for public submissions. For further information on the review, please refer to Review of the Statutory Declarations Regulations 1993 page.

A statutory declaration is a written statement which you sign and declare to be true before an authorised witness. Commonwealth statutory declarations are different to state and territory statutory declarations.

Statutory declarations are commonly used to legally verify names, addresses, insurance claims, superannuation matters, lost passports and as evidence to support sick leave.

A statutory declaration is not the same as an affidavit, although they have similar purposes. An affidavit is a written statement of fact, confirmed by oath or affirmation for use as evidence in court proceedings. A statutory declaration is also a statement of fact, but is not confirmed by oath or affirmation.

Statutory declarations are used to give evidence in most other situations. If you need an affidavit for a court proceeding, contact the court in which your matter is being heard for assistance.

If you are unsure if a statutory declaration can be used for your circumstances, check with the organisation that has requested the statutory declaration, or consider seeking legal advice.

More information is also available on the Frequently asked questions about statutory declarations page.

Commonwealth statutory declarations

Commonwealth statutory declarations are made on matters relating to the Commonwealth or the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and some smaller territories. They are not used for declarations on matters relating to Australian states and territories.

Anyone can make a statutory declaration under the Statutory Declarations Act 1959, including minors and retirees. However, some organisations may not be willing to accept a statutory declaration made by a person under 18 years of age.

A company or organisation cannot make a statutory declaration itself. However, someone in the organisation who holds the appropriate office or has the relevant knowledge can make the statutory declaration.

This department cannot provide legal advice about statutory declarations.

Either version of the downloadable Commonwealth statutory declaration form may be used:

State and territory statutory declarations

State and territory statutory declarations are different to Commonwealth statutory declarations.

To enquire about statutory declarations in your state or territory, contact the relevant department below:

Authorised witnesses

Common examples of an authorised witness include a doctor, lawyer or Justice of the Peace. Police stations often have a Justice of the Peace available at certain times.

A witness for a statutory declaration should:

  • check the identity of the person making the statutory declaration
  • check to the extent possible, that the person is competent to make the statutory declaration
  • remind the person that he or she will be claiming that the statements in the declaration (and any attachments) are true and that there are penalties for making false statements
  • check that the form does not contain any blanks.

A person who is authorised to witness a state or territory statutory declaration is also authorised to witness a Commonwealth statutory declaration made within that state or territory. For example, a person who is authorised by the Victorian Evidence Act 1958 to witness Victorian statutory declarations can witness a Commonwealth statutory declaration that is made in Victoria.

False information or witnesses

If you intentionally make a false statement in a statutory declaration you can be charged with a criminal offence which carries the possibility of up to four years imprisonment.

If you have concerns about a false statutory declaration or witness, contact the Australian Federal Police. You should also contact the organisation or profession that is responsible for regulating that body of professionals.

Contact details

The Attorney-General's Department cannot provide legal advice in relation to statutory declarations. For enquiries that are not answered on this page or on our frequently asked questions page, email statdec@ag.gov.au and allow up to 28 days for a response.

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