Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

Commonwealth State Stat Dec Guidelines Quick Summary

Paul December 15, 2019

Types of statutory declarations

There are 2 types of statutory declarations:

  • Commonwealth
  • state and territory

You need a Commonwealth statutory declaration if your matter relates to:

  • the Commonwealth
  • the Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
  • some smaller territories

You can review general information and download a copy at the following site: Commonwealth statutory declarations.

Commonwealth Authorised Witness Steps for Statutory Declarations

As an approved or authorised witness you should:

  • check the identity of the person in front of you;
  • remind the person that they are claiming your statement (and any attachments) is true
  • tell them that there are penalties for making false statements
  • check that the form is completed correctly

Talk to the person who asked for the statutory declaration if you or them makes a mistake.

Sign the statutory declaration

They must sign their statutory declaration:

  • in front of the approved witness
  • with a pen

You cannot use an electronic or digital signature.

If they cannot read or are visually impaired or blind, then as authorised witness must:

  • read the declaration aloud, or have the document read aloud to them in their presence, and
  • be satisfied that they have understood what was read aloud, and
  • certify on the declaration
    • that the declaration was read aloud to them, and
    • they are satisfied that they have understood what was read aloud

As authorised witness you must then write next to the mark they 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 the statutory declaration after being witnessed and signed, they must make the changes in front of the same authorised witness.

They and you as authorised 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 authorised witness must sign the new declaration.

The 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 an existing statutory declaration can be used, check with the person or body who asked for it.

They cannot revoke a statutory declaration. If they need to change a statutory declaration because the facts have changed, they should write a new one.


You can also get additional information and copies of statutory declaration forms for your state or territory, through the department of Justice in each state, as noted in the earlier lesson, i.e by seaching for:

  • statutory declarations in your state or territory
  • the Department of Justice or Attorney-General in your state or territory