New Requirements For Stat Decs

New laws require authorised witnesses taking affidavits – who include solicitors, Justices of the Peace and court commissioners – to see the face of a person making a statutory declaration or affidavit, and either have known them for 12 months or confirm their identity through identification documents, and certify on the document that these rules have been complied with.

They are exempt from having to view the face if the person is wearing a face covering which the witness is satisfied they have special justification not to remove. This includes legitimate medical reasons, such as wearing a bandage after an accident. A person’s face is defined as “from the top of the forehead to the bottom of the chin, and between (but not including) the ears” and “face covering” as “an item of clothing, helmet, mask or any other thing that is worn” that “prevents the person’s face from being seen (whether wholly or partly)”.

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