A statutory declaration is a legal document defined under the law of certain Commonwealth nations. It is like a statement made under oath, however, it is not sworn. Statutory declarations are commonly used to allow a person to affirm something to be true for satisfying some legal requirement or regulation when no other evidence is not available. They are thus like affidavits (which are made on oath).

Depending on the jurisdiction, statutory declarations can be used for:

Declarations of identity, nationality, marital status, etc. when documentary evidence is unavailable.

Declaring the intention to change one’s name.

Affirming the provenance and nature of good for export or import.

Bank/building society or credit card statements.

What is a statutory declaration and how can they be used?

A statutory declaration is a formal statement made affirming that something is true to the best knowledge of the person making the declaration. It has to be signed in the presence of a solicitor, commissioner for oaths or notary public.

Statutory declarations are generally used to satisfy a legal requirement or regulation when no other such evidence is available.

Statutory declarations need to be completely truthful and accurate so a solicitor other than the one acting for you in a legal matter will deal with the statutory declaration to ensure that it is valid on the grounds of being impartial.

Examples of how statutory declarations are used

  • By people who wish to change their name as a method of legally adopting their new name so they can use it on documents such as passports and driving licences
  • By financial institutions to transfer money to people legally entitled to deal with the estate of a person who has died, such as executors of a will
  • Declarations of identity, nationality or marital status when documentary evidence is unavailable
  • By company directors declaring solvency when going into voluntary liquidation
  • Affirming the provenance and nature of goods for export or import
  • Declaration statements of originality of an item as part of a patent application.

How to word a statutory declaration

A statutory declaration is a legal document that is governed by the Statutory Declarations Act 1835. All statutory declarations must contain the following wording.

“I (name)of (address) do solemnly and sincerely declare, that/as follows.. ..

(Insert here the text setting out what you need to declare)

and I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true, and by virtue of the provisions of the Statutory Declarations Act 1835.

Declared at (leave blank for solicitor/commissioner to insert address

This         of           20    (leave date blank)

Before me……(leave blank for solicitor/commissioner to sign)”

 

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