Are you aware of the changes to the Oaths and Affirmations Act (2018)?

The new Oaths and Affirmations Act (2018) came into effect on 1 March 2019. This new legislation applies to those who take oaths and affirmations, witness statutory declarations and certify copies of documents.

You should use the prescribed words:

“Certified to be a true copy of the original seen by me” or, “Certified to be a true copy of another certified true copy seen by me”

Statutory Declarations

Be mindful that there is a new statutory declaration form that must be used and any old statutory declaration forms will be invalid after 31 December 2019.

The person making the statutory declaration will now have to make a short declaration aloud confirming the statements in the statutory declaration to be true and correct in front of the witness.

The prescribed words for making a Victorian statutory declaration are:

“I, (full name of person making the declaration) of (address), declare that the contents of this statutory declaration are true and correct.”

When taking affidavits:

The deponent as well as the affidavit taker has to sign every page of the affidavit as well as any exhibit cover sheets (previously only the affidavit taker did this). The affidavit must also have the following statement inserted above the jurat:

“The contents of this affidavit are true and correct and I make it knowing that a person making a false affidavit may be prosecuted for the offence of perjury.”

The following words must also be inserted underneath your stamp:

“A person authorised under section 19(1) of the Oaths and Affirmations Act 2018 to take an affidavit.”

There are new prescribed words when taking affidavits which must also be said aloud by the deponent depending on if they are swearing or affirming the affidavit.

Be aware that some courts will have an affidavit in a form that is different to that in the Oaths and Affirmations Act, in which case you should use the court form.

If you have any queries or confusions about your responsibilities in regards to the certification of documents, taking statutory declarations or affidavits, the Morrows Legal team are always happy to help.

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