There are times when you may not have the necessary documentation to prove that something is true. Fortunately, the law does not leave you stranded if this is the case, and you can use a statutory declaration.
Statutory declarations are typically used by declarants as a way of affirming that something is true to the best of their knowledge. For example, when someone legally changes their name, and they don’t have the paperwork as proof.
The statutory declaration is a document that is commonly signed in the presence of a solicitor, although it can also be witnessed by a commissioner for oaths or notary public. The statutory declaration would effectively satisfy some legal requirement, or regulation where perhaps no other such evidence is available.
All statutory declarations are governed by the Statutory Declarations Act 1835, and they need to contain the following wording:
“I (name) do solemnly and sincerely declare, that/as 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.”
As this is a strictly legal document it is essential that the declaration made is absolutely truthful and totally accurate. For the purposes of impartiality, it means a solicitor other than the one acting for you in the legal matter concerned will be appointed and deal with the statutory declaration where one is required.
When might you need a statutory declaration?
When executors need to access money
In a situation where financial institutions have to transfer money to people legally entitled to deal with the estate of a person who has died such as the executors of a will.
Declarations of identity
You may have to prove who you are if your name is different on documentation. In this situation a statutory declaration can explain why these discrepancies exist and confirm that the person is who they say they are. It can also be used if you’ve changed your name and lost your deed poll, stating when you changed your name and what you were called in the past and what your name is currently.
Getting married abroad
When getting married overseas it will be necessary to confirm that both parties are single before the ceremony takes place. A certificate of no impediment can be obtained from the local register office, however, if you can’t obtain one you can claim you are not currently married and there’s no legal reason preventing you from getting married to anyone else by signing a statutory declaration.
When importing or exporting goods
Affirming the provenance and nature of goods for export or import.
For an OCI card
The OCU card is an Overseas Citizen of India card which allows multiple entry into the sub-continent applicable to citizens of India living overseas.
When applying to the Indian High Commission for the card it is necessary to provide evidence of eligibility. If that is unavailable, then you may be asked to provide a statutory declaration explaining why.
Applying for a patent
To declare the originality of an item when applying for a patent.
To declare the solvency of a company
Statutory Declaration of Solvency [the Declaration] is a key document in the liquidation process for a Members’ Voluntary Liquidation [ MVL]. An MVL is a solvent liquidation procedure where, from the outset, it is envisaged that all creditors will be paid in full.
How much does a statutory declaration cost?
The cost of a statutory declaration is £5 and £2 for each exhibit to a statutory declaration. This cost is fixed by law.
What does the cost of a statutory declaration cover?
The £5 cost only covers something called the “taking” of the declaration. Essentially this is the lawyer asks the person making the statutory declaration to state: “I solemnly and sincerely declare that this is my name and handwriting and that the contents of this my declaration are true.”
What does the cost of a statutory declaration not cover?
When asking “how much does a statutory declaration cost?” there are other things which need to be taken into account. You will have to pay extra for other services. These may include:
- Advice on the contents of the statutory declaration
- Guidance on how to lay out the content of the statutory declaration.
- Cost of the lawyer preparing the statutory declaration.
- Advise about the situation which necessitates the statutory declaration.
- Travel costs for a visit from a lawyer.