Navigating the world of legal documents can be challenging and confusing, especially if you have never filled one out before.
However, there are times when filing legal documents is necessary.
As a statutory declaration form is a common and useful document, it’s worth understanding what one is, the information required and where to obtain one.
What is a statutory declaration form?
Sometimes associated with affidavits, which are important legal documents in court, statutory declarations can be used in a broader context and for many reasons.
A statutory declaration, which is governed by the Statutory Declarations Act 1835, is a written factual statement whereby a declarant affirms that the facts stated are true to the best of their knowledge.
It’s used in situations where there are no formal legal proceedings.
This form is often provided by government departments, and can be downloaded and printed out.
The person making the declaration will need to sign the form in the presence of an authorised witness or prescribed person.
The statutory declaration form must be completed accurately and honestly as making a false declaration can be deemed as a serious offence and can incur penalties.
With statutory declarations, there are no religious texts that are invoked during the signing process.
According to the act, all documents must have the following confirmation:
“I do solemnly and sincerely declare that follows: – 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”.
Where can I get a statutory declaration form?
A statutory declaration can be obtained in multiple ways.
It’s possible to obtain a statutory declaration form by downloading one from the internet.
Many government websites provide statutory declaration forms on their websites that can be easily located and printed.
Statutory declaration forms can also be accessed from your local magistrates’ court. Most will be able to provide a copy if you ask.
Legal professionals, like a solicitor or notary public, also have the authority to hand out statutory declaration forms and can even help to draft them for you.
While there are many ways to obtain a statutory declaration form, it’s important you are the one who completes and signs it in the presence of an authorised witness.
How to complete a statutory declaration form?
It’s easier than you think to complete a statutory declaration form.
First, locate one from a government website, nearby magistrates’ court or a legal professional. Once you have a copy, you can take steps to complete it.
If you are unsure about how to do so, a legal professional can help. This needs to be done in accordance with the Statutory Declarations Act 1835.
With most statutory declaration forms, you are required to introduce yourself in a certain way, for example with the words: “I [Insert name here] do solemnly and sincerely declare…”
This statement will precede the facts that you are declaring to be true.
The form will typically end with a closing statement such as: “…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.”
You will also need to include other details, including your full name and address, so that it’s unique to your own circumstances.
The date the statutory declaration was made should also be included for legal purposes and for transparency.
Once all of this information is included in the declaration, it’s obligatory to both sign and date the form.
Any information that is included on a statutory declaration form should be accurate and legitimate.
Who can sign a statutory declaration form?
It’s necessary for a statutory declaration form to be signed by two people.
This will be the person who is making the declaration, and a witness.
The witness can be a Commissioner for Oaths, a solicitor, a notary public, a justice of the peace or any other suitably qualified person.
A Commissioner for Oaths is an individual commissioned by the Lord Chancellor to administer oaths or affidavits for matters relating to the court in England or Wales.
A solicitor that has a valid, legitimate practising certificate is entitled to act as a Commissioner for Oaths.
A notary public is a lawyer and public official who specialises in the authentication and certification of signatures, authority, and capacity relating to documents for use abroad.
A justice of the peace is a normal citizen who is permitted to hear minor civil and criminal cases in their local community.
Any other qualified person is also able to fulfil this role. This could be a member of the armed forces who has the title of Major, Lieutenant-Commander or Squadron Leader as well as British Consular and Diplomatic officers positioned abroad.
Wafer Phillips Solicitors can assist with statutory declarations by preparing and creating the declaration, providing an independent witness during the signing process (provided the document doesn’t specify we are unable to, for example if the witness must have known you for two or more years) and certifying copies of original documents for you.
The average fee we charge for each document is £5.
We are dedicated to making the process of navigating statutory declarations as simple as possible.
Wafer Phillips Solicitors can also provide guidance on various aspects of statutory declarations, such as when they are needed, who can make a statutory declaration, and the potential consequences of making a false declaration.
For further advice relating to our witnessing and certified copy services, or to arrange an appointment, call us on 0151 256 7898 to initiate a conversation with a member of our helpful team.