Statutory declarations

This page teaches how to make a legal claim in Victoria. You can find information about similar legal claims with Commonwealth matters at ag.gov.au.

A legal affirmation is a written statement that you (the declarant) sign and affirm to be true and accurate in the presence of an authorized witness.

By signing it, you agree that the information contained within is true. You can be charged with a criminal offense if the information is false. You can receive a fine of up to 600 penalty entities, imprisonment of up to 5 years or both.

Legal affirmations are used for a number of purposes, including:

  • Verify insurance claims
  • Test your age
  • Request leave for pathology at work.

Step 1: Download and complete the form

To make a legal assertion in Victoria, download and complete the legal assertion form now.

Complete the legal affirmation before meeting with your authorized witness, but do not establish it. You must sign your legal affirmation in front of your witness.

Statutory declaration form

Step 2: Find someone to witness your statement

You now require that your legal assertion be witnessed. Many people have the possibility of being present of a legal affirmation, including:

  • Justice of the Peace
  • Police officer
  • Court recorder
  • Bank manager
  • Doctor
  • Dentist.

Keep in mind that:

  • Authorized presenters do not have to accept an endorsement to be present for a legal assertion
  • Organizations that employ individuals who are authorized to witness a legal assertion are not allowed to suggest this system as an organization.

When arranging for a legal assertion to be witnessed, it is preferable to make sure that a witness is available at a convenient time and place.

List of Authorized Legal Statement Witnesses

Under Section 19 of the Oaths and Affirmations Act 2018 (as of 1 March 2019), previously Evidence (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1958, the list of persons who may witness statutory declarations includes:

  • A person currently licensed or registered to practice in Australia as one of the following occupations:
    • Architect
    • Chiropractor
    • Conveyancer
    • Dentist
    • Financial adviser or financial planner
    • Legal practitioner
    • Medical practitioner
    • Midwife
    • Migration agent
    • Nurse
    • Occupational therapist
    • Optometrist
    • Patent attorney
    • Pharmacist
    • Physiotherapist
    • Psychologist
    • Trade marks attorney
    • Veterinary surgeon
  • An accountant who meets at least one of the following criteria:
    • Fellow of the National Tax Accountants’ Association
    • Member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand
    • Member of the Association of Taxation and Management Accountants
    • Member of CPA Australia
    • Member of the Institute of Public Accountants
  • Agent of the Australian Postal Corporation who is in charge of an office supplying postal services to the public
  • Australian Public Service employee engaged on an ongoing basis with 5 or more years of continuous service who is not otherwise authorised
  • Australian Consular Officer or Australian Diplomatic Officer
  • Bailiff
  • Bank officer with 5 or more continuous years of service
  • Building society officer with 5 or more years of continuous service
  • Chief executive officer of a Commonwealth court
  • Clerk of a court
  • Commissioner for Affidavits
  • Commissioner for Declarations
  • Credit union officer with 5 or more years of continuous service
  • Employee of a Commonwealth authority engaged on a permanent basis with 5 or more years of continuous service who is not otherwise authorised
  • Employee of the Australian Trade and Investment Commission who is authorised in writing by the Secretary of DFAT to collect fees under s 3(d) of the Consular Fees Act 1955, if at a place outside Australia and in the course of the employee’s duties at that place
  • Employee of the Commonwealth who is authorised in writing by the Secretary of DFAT to collect fees under s 3(c) of the Consular Fees Act 1955, if at a place outside Australia and in the course of the employee’s duties at that place
  • An engineer who meets at least one of the following criteria:
    • A member of Engineers Australia, other than a student
    • A Registered Professional Engineer of Professionals Australia
    • Registered as an engineer under a law of the Commonwealth or a State or Territory
    • Registered on the National Engineering Register by Engineers Australia
  • Finance company officer with 5 or more years of continuous service
  • Holder of a Commonwealth statutory office not otherwise specified
    • For example, Director of the Australian Institute of Family Studies
  • IBAC Officers
  • Judge
  • Justice of the Peace
  • Local government Councillor
  • Magistrate
  • Registered marriage celebrant
  • Master of a court
  • Member of the Australian Defence Force who meets at least one of the following criteria:
    • An officer
    • A non-commissioned officer with 5 or more years of continuous service
    • A warrant officer
  • Member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
  • Member of the Governance Institute of Australia Ltd
  • Member of the Parliament of a State
  • Member of a Territory legislature
  • Member of a local government authority
  • Registered minister of religion
  • Notary public, including a notary public exercising functions at a place outside either the Commonwealth or the external Territories of the Commonwealth
  • Permanent employee of the Australian Postal Corporation with 5 or more years continuous service who is employed in an office providing postal services to the public
  • Permanent employee with 5 or more years of continuous service who is not otherwise specified, if employed at one of the following:
    • State
    • Territory
    • State authority
    • Territory authority
    • Local government authority
  • Police officer
  • Police reservist
  • Protective service officer (PSO)
  • Registrar, or Deputy Registrar, of a court
  • A school principal
  • Senior executive employee of a Commonwealth authority
  • Senior executive employee of a State or Territory
  • Senior Executive Service employee of the Commonwealth
  • Sheriff
  • Sheriff’s officer
  • State Trustees officer or employee with a classification level of 2 or above
  • Teacher employed on a permanent full-time or part-time basis at a school or tertiary education institution
  • Transport Accident Commission officer or employee with a classification of level 2 or above
  • VicRoads officer or employee with a classification of level 2 or above
  • Victorian Inspectorate Officer
  • A Victorian Public Service employee with a prescribed classification level of 2 or above
    • For example, a project officer employed as a VPS4 or an administrative assistant employed as a VPS2
  • Victorian WorkCover Authority officer or employee with a classification of band 2 or above
  • Any authorised affidavit taker, including:
    • A judicial officer
      • For example, a judge or magistrate
    • An associate to a judicial officer
    • An honorary justice
    • The prothonotary or a deputy prothonotary of the Supreme Court
    • The registrar of probates or an assistant registrar of probates
    • The registrar or a deputy registrar of the County Court
    • The principal registrar, a registrar or a deputy registrar of the Magistrates’ Court
    • The principal registrar, a registrar or a deputy registrar of the Children’s Court
    • The principal registrar, a registrar or a deputy registrar of VCAT
    • The principal registrar or a registrar of the Coroners Court
    • A member of VCAT
    • A member or former member of either House of the Parliament of Victoria
    • A member or former member of either House of the Parliament of the Commonwealth
    • A public notary
    • A senior officer of a Victorian municipal Council who meets one of the following criteria:
      • Chief Executive Officer
      • A member of Council staff with management responsibilities and reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer
      • Any other member of Council staff earning a salary of at least $124,000 (or a higher threshold, if specified by the Minister under s 97B of the Local Government Act 1989)
    • A fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives (Victoria)
    • A person acting judicially
      • For example, an arbitrator or any person or body with authority to hear, receive and examine evidence
    • Any other officer or person empowered, authorised or permitted by or under any Act or rules of a court or rules of a tribunal to administer affidavits

Step 3: Complete your declaration

You can complete your affirmation in person or online.

You cannot certify copies of documents online. If you need to add a certified copy, you must get the certified documents in person .

Complete your return in person

Arrange to meet with your witness

When arranging for a legal statement to be witnessed, it is best to confirm in advance that a witness is available at a convenient time and place.

Sign and initial each page

When you and your authoring witness are together you both need to:

  1. Sign or initial any alteration to the statutory declaration
  2. Sign or initial each page.

Complete and sign an exhibit certificate for each attachment

If the legal assertion relates to a separate file, you must sign a certificate attached to the file that identifies you as proof of the legal assertion. You can download a template for the certificate now.

The authorizing witness must sign the certificate and insert their qualification as a legal affirmation witness.

Exhibition Certificate Template

Say the declaration out loud

Then in front of the witness you must say:

‘I, [your full name] of [your address], declare that the contents of this statutory declaration are true and correct.’

Sign and date the last page

You must sign and date the last page of the statutory declaration.

The witness must sign and write, type or stamp:

  1. their name
  2. personal or professional address, and
  3. their qualification as a statutory declaration witness.

The statutory declaration is now complete.

Completing your declaration online

Arrange to meet your witness online

When completing a statutory declaration online, you should consider the following:

  • How will you meet online? For example, through Zoom or Skype.
  • How will you send documents to one another? This could be through fax, email or some other way of electronically sending documents.
  • Do you want to use a scanned copy or an electronic copy of the statutory declaration? Do you have access to a scanner and printer?

Sign the statutory declaration

During your live audio visual link you must:

  • sign or initial any alteration on each page
  • sign or initial each page

Complete and sign an exhibit certificate for each attached document

If the statutory declaration refers to a separate document, you must sign a certificate attached to the document identifying it as an exhibit to the statutory declaration.

If you need to attach a certified copy of a document, you must get the document certified in person first. If you already have a certified copy, you can use this document in the online process.

Say the declaration out loud

Then in front of the witness you must say:

‘I, [your full name] of [your address], declare that the contents of this statutory declaration are true and correct.’

Sign and date the last page

  • sign and date the final page
  • sign and date each certificate (if any).
  • write, type or stamp your name and address.

The signature can be made electronically, for example by signing a PDF version on a tablet, smartphone or laptop using a stylus or finger. You can also physically sign a hardcopy version of the document and then scan it.

Send all the documents to the witness

Send the signed declaration and certificates and documents (if any) to the witness

You can use email, fax or any other method of electronically transmitting the document.

Ask the witness to sign the documents

The witness must sign the statutory declaration and certificates (if any) and send them back to you.

The witness must:

  • sign or initial any alteration on each page
  • sign or initial each page
  • sign any certificates that are attached to documents and write, type or stamp a statement that indicates the certificate was witnessed online, for example:
    • “This certificate was witnessed by audio visual link in accordance with the Oaths and Affirmations Act 2018.” 
  • sign and date the final page
  • write, type or stamp their name and address.
  • write, type or stamp a statement that indicates the certificate was witnessed online, for example:
    • “This document was made in electronic form and was witnessed by audio visual link in accordance with the Oaths and Affirmations Act 2018.”

This can be completed using handwritten signatures or electronic signatures. The witness may use a scanned or electronic copy of the statutory declaration to complete these requirements.

The witness sends the documents back to you

The witness must send the statutory declaration back to you

The witness must fax, email, scan or use some other method of electronically transmitting the document back to you. 

The statutory declaration is now complete.

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