People can now create a Commonwealth statutory declaration in a new end-to-end digital process in myGov, without needing an approved witness.
The new myGov digital statutory declaration uses the Australian Government’s Digital ID to verify the identification of the person making the declaration.
The new myGov statutory declarations follows changes to statutory declarations that came into effect on January 1 that gave Australians more choice in how they create these important legal documents.
Australians can now complete a Commonwealth statutory declaration in three equally valid and legally effective forms:
- through the myGov platform and myGov ID Digital ID
- digitally using electronic signatures and video-link witnessing
- and the traditional, paper-based method.
Digital statutory declarations could save over $156 million each year, hundreds of thousands of hours, simplify government services and be a productivity winner for the private sector.
Australians spend an estimated 9 million hours each year executing and processing more than 3.8 million statutory declarations. Historically, these documents have been strictly paper-based, requiring they be witnessed in person and signed in ink.
myGov steps people through the process of using their Digital ID to verify who they are to create and electronically sign their digital statutory declaration. The completed declaration is then downloaded to the person’s phone or computer for printing or sharing.
Digital declarations also include a unique QR code, which can be scanned using the myGov app scanner. This gives organisations the option to check the authenticity of the document they’ve received.
The Albanese Government recognises that any digital option must have strong safeguards that protect against fraud and misuse of personal information.
The Statutory Declaration Amendment Act 2023 includes a range of provisions to ensure transparency and accountability, and a requirement for approved online platforms and identity services to demonstrate that they comply with privacy laws and have robust fraud and security arrangements.
The Act also prohibits approved online platforms from retaining copies of statutory declarations, noting that they can hold particularly sensitive personal information. There is also an annual reporting requirement to the Parliament on the operation of the online execution platform.
These important reforms will benefit all Australians seeking a more convenient, and efficient, statutory declaration process - particularly those in rural, remote or regional parts of Australia.
For more information on how to create a digital Commonwealth statutory declaration in myGov visit my.gov.au/statdec
For more information on Commonwealth statutory declarations and what it means for businesses and other organisations go to: ag.gov.au/statdec