What ID is needed for having documents witnessed?

Posted on 06 March 2012

If you have a need for an affidavit or statutory declaration to be witnessed in NSW you should be aware of changes coming in to place shortly.  The Oaths Act 1900, has been amended such that from 30 April, 2012 the process of identifying a person and verifying their identity prior to witnessing the document will become more rigorous.  

If asked to witness a statutory declaration or affidavit a Solicitor or Justice of the Peace will have to follow additional steps to ensure they have properly identified the person whose documents they are witnessing.   As the person having your documents witnessed, you should be prepared to submit the correct identification items.  It should also be noted that it is now necessary for  identification purposes, that the person witnessing your documents also needs to have a full view of your face.  All face coverings, including clothing, helmet or mask, needs to be removed.  The face is defined as being from the top of the forehead to the bottom of the chin and between, but not including, the ears. 

If you have not been known to the person witnessing your signature for at least 12 months, it is also necessary for them to confirm your identity.  Some of the items that can be use to verify someone’s identity include drivers licences, proof of age cards, birth certificates, citizenship certificates, passports, entitlement cards issued by Commonwealth or state governments,  credit cards, electoral enrolment cards, student identity  cards.

If you need to have an affidavit or statutory declaration witnessed in NSW after 30 April 2012 in order to save you time, effort and costs, be sure to take your identification documents with you to the meeting with them.