Department of Premier and Cabinet
Category
Department of Premier and Cabinet Circular
Identifier
C2012-05
Status
Active

C2012-05 Changes to Statutory Declaration and Affidavit Forms

Description:

  • Amendments to the Oaths Act 1900, affecting NSW statutory declarations and affidavits will take effect on 30 April 2012.
  • Before 30 April 2012 agencies should review and amend any forms they produce or use that contain a NSW statutory declaration or affidavit.
FunctionGovernanceSubjectInternal Audit and Internal Controls

The Identification Legislation Amendment Act 2011 inserts a new Part 6 into the Oaths Act 1900 introducing new requirements for the identification of a person making a NSW statutory declaration or affidavit.

From 30 April 2012, authorised witnesses (usually Justices of the Peace or solicitors) who witness statutory declarations or affidavits will be required to:

  • see the face of the person making the statutory declaration or affidavit, unless there is a 'special justification'
  • confirm the person's identity by sighting an identification document, unless they have known the person for 12 months, and
  • certify on the statutory declaration or affidavit that these requirements have been met.

Schedule 1 of the Oaths Regulation 2011 sets out a form of words that will satisfy the new certification requirement. The form of words is as follows:

* please cross out any text that does not apply

I, ................................................................... ,a ................................................................... ,[name of authorised witness][qualification of authorised witness]

certify the following matters concerning the making of this *statutory declaration/affidavit by the person who made it:

  1. *I saw the face of the person OR *I did not see the face of the person because the person was wearing a face covering, but I am satisfied that the person had a special justification for not removing the covering.
  2. *I have known the person for at least 12 months OR *I have not known the person for at least 12 months, but I have confirmed the person’s identity using an identification document and the document I relied on was ................................................................... [describe identification document relied on]

...................................................................                                   ...................................................................
         [signature of authorised witness]                                                                        [date]
 

This wording is in addition to existing requirements for authorised witnesses taking a NSW statutory declaration or affidavit. An example of how the new wording may be incorporated into the existing requirements of a NSW statutory declaration form is attached.

It is a criminal offence punishable by a fine of $220 for an authorised witness to fail to comply with the new requirements. However, failure to comply does not affect the validity of a statutory declaration or affidavit.

Heads of agencies should ensure that any NSW statutory declaration or affidavit forms produced or used by their agency are amended to incorporate the certification wording before 30 April 2012.

Chris Eccles
Director General