Statutory declarations explained – what a declaration is, how and where to get one, when you need them, and legalising statutory declarations for overseas use.

What a statutory declaration represents

Statutory declarations commonly represent legal documentary evidence of the declarer’s will, statement or status to the best knowledge of the declarer.

Statutory declarations are often mistaken for affidavits and oaths, although statutory declarations need not be sworn or contain any religious texts.

The Statutory Declarations Act governs a statutory declaration in the United Kingdom 1835 [1].

It is defined as the declarer’s solemn declaration conscientiously believing the statement to be true, as per the form prescribed in the Statutory Declarations Act 1835.

As a formal statement of truth, a statutory declaration has to be signed in the presence of a qualified and authorised person, such as a notary public, a solicitor, a justice of the peace, as well as a commissioner for oaths.

When is a statutory declaration used?

They are broadly used as a formal statement when no other evidence or other statements or documents are available to confirm a truthful fact.

They are used as legal documents or evidence confirming a legal matter.

Examples are confirmation of declared marital status, address or identification of a person, and truthfully declared information in a patent application procedure when no other documents of such nature can be presented.

Download our free, editable statutory declaration templates (word templates)

Statutory Declaration Format

Statutory declaration for affidavit
Statutory declaration for burial
Statutory declaration for business
Statutory declaration for construction
Statutory declaration for court fines
Statutory declaration for deed poll
Statutory declaration for deposit
Statutory declaration for financial statements
Statutory declaration for good character
Statutory declaration for holdback release
Statutory declaration for immigration
Statutory declaration for no criminal record
Statutory declaration for partner visa
Statutory declaration for passport
Statutory declaration for separation
Statutory declaration for sick leave
Statutory declaration for signature change
Statutory declaration for teachers
Statutory declaration marriage
Statutory declaration of change of name
Statutory declaration on birth certificate
Statutory declaration on unemployment
Statutory declaration or deed poll
Statutory declaration overseas possession
Statutory declaration right of way

Who can sign a statutory declaration in the UK?

The declarations are to be signed before a solicitor, a notary public or a commissioner for oaths, although they are not to be sworn under oath.

Neither is there a requirement for statutory declarations to contain religious texts.

An interesting fact concerning statutory declarations is that bodies such as the University of Cambridge and Oxford may be able to substitute a declaration in lieu of an oath to execute bylaws or statutes, as long as such are duly passed according to the university’s regulations.

The act prescribes the declarations to be signed in the presence of other authorised persons overseas or in case needed abroad.

Compliance with the solicitor’s regulation authority

If a statutory declaration is to be signed before a solicitor, said solicitor needs to comply with the Standards and Regulations of the Solicitors regulation authority.

A solicitor witnessing the signing of a statutory declaration need not be a solicitor representing the declarant or acting as the declarer’s counsel.

An interesting fact to be considered is that solicitors with a valid certificate to practice could legally act as a commissioner for oaths as well.

Why use a notary public and not a solicitor in some instances?

When no other evidence can be presented in an international case, it is advisable to make a solemn declaration before a notary public rather than a solicitor.

Although a solicitor is aware of the provisions to be followed in the relevant local community, a notary can certify other documentation for other jurisdictions, unlike a solicitor.

Statutory declaration costs

The Statutory Declarations Act 1835 provides for the fees of the execution of a statutory declaration to be paid upon execution, when signed in the presence of the competent authority, be it a solicitor, a commissioner for oaths or a notary public.

The Statutory Declarations Act 1835 does not envisage a specific fee itself.

Still, it is considered for an authority to charge no less than £5 per signatory and £2 per every exhibition to the statutory declaration.

The essence of a statutory declaration

The main idea behind a statutory declaration is for it to be a truthful fact or statement. The declaration needs to be witnessed by and signed before an authorised professional and entail a specific phrasing.

One interesting fact that the COVID pandemic introduced is the means of executing such a document via video conference for insolvency proceedings.

A live video conference via Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet is executed, where after the identity of the declarer’s identity is confirmed, the declaration’s signing is performed.

The phrasing I [the declarer] confirm that this statutory declaration was made by video conference’ is also to be added to the document.

The declaration should also be apostilled in case the document is presented abroad. Especially in an EU country, considering the rules of Regulation (EU) 2015/848 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2015 on insolvency proceedings [4].

Legalising statutory declarations for overseas use

As above, statutory declaration statements must be legalised if they are intended to be used overseas (outside the UK).

Since a solicitor or notary has already signed the statutory declaration, no further certification is required to get a apostille from the FCDO legalisation office.

Either send your documents directly to the Legalisation Office (processing times can take up to 20 days) or use an FCDO-registered legalisation agency to expedite the legalisation process, usually one or two days.

In most cases, an emergency same-day apostille can also be arranged.

Find out more

Apostille for statutory declarations

How to legalise statutory declarations in the UK via the FCDO.
Our guide explaining on how to order a statutory declaration.
Find out more

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