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.
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 website cannot provide legal advice about 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:
- New South Wales – Department of Justice
- Northern Territory – Department of the Attorney-General and Justice
- Queensland – Department of Justice and Attorney-General
- South Australia – Attorney-General’s Department
- Tasmania – Department of Justice
- Victoria – Department of Justice and Regulation
- Western Australia – Department of the Attorney General.
You can only witness a statutory declaration when both you and the declarant are physically present together in New South Wales.
You must see the declarant sign the statutory declaration in front of you. You must never witness a signature that was already on the statutory declaration when it was brought to you.
It is an offence, and penalties apply, for:
- a declarant who makes a false declaration
- a person who witnesses a statutory declaration when not authorised by law to do so
- an authorised witness in New South Wales who witnesses a statutory declaration and fails to follow the required steps for identifying the declarant, except for Declaration under the Statutory Declarations Act 1959
If you are unsure about what to do when witnessing a statutory declaration, you should seek advice.
A New South Wales Statutory Declaration is presc under the Oaths Act 1900 (NSW)
A Commonwealth Statutory Declaration is sanctioned under the
Statutory Declarations Act 1959 (CoA)