The Government has reviewed its requirements for the witnessing of Statutory Declarations in consideration of the current COVID-19 restrictions.

In SA, Statutory Declarations are mostly witnessed by a Justice of the Peace (JP). As several JP services have been withdrawn due to the current restrictions, the Government has agreed to extend the criteria so a number of others can witness a Statutory Declaration.

The full list of people who can witness can be found in the COVID 19 Emergency (section 16) Regulations 2020.

Generally speaking, people who can now also witness a Statutory Declaration include

  • Government employees,
  • Accountants,
  • Religious Ministers,
  • Medical Professionals, and
  • Bank Oficers who meet the criteria.

Whilst the list does not include Registered Conveyancers, the Government is being lobbied by the Australian Institute of Conveyancers, SA Division, to include them in the list.

The expanded list will hopefully make people’s choices wider and a witness more easily accessible.

Where witnessing of documents is required, people are reminded about the public health measures currently in place. Meetings should be held in the open rather than indoors and the signatory and witness should remain 1.5 metres apart. Each party is also recommended to bring their own pen.

E-Conveyancing to become mandatory
On  17 April 2020, the Office of the Registrar General announced that from 3 August 2020 the electronic lodgement of documents will be mandatory.

This is exciting news for conveyancers and their clients, and will change the way they interact when dealing with real estate. Especially with the current restrictions in place, this will allow more flexibility and benefits to the industry.

Many factors were considered by the Registrar General in making this decision. The integrity of the Title Register and security of the eConveyancing system is paramount and the Registrar General believes the industry is now ready to transition into mandating electronic conveyancing.

What are the benefits?
Firstly, the vendor receives cleared funds almost immediately.

Secondly, the purchaser gets security of Title Registration taking place within 48 hours of settlement.

Thirdly, no more bank cheques and waiting for clearance.

Lastly, no more waiting in queues or lengthy delays for conveyancers attending the Land Titles Office (although it is currently closed to settlements).

Contact us
The office of Strathalbyn Conveyancing is open and mindful of the public health restrictions in place. Our office encourages any enquiries in relation to witnessing documents, electronic conveyancing or real property transfers be made by phone or email.

Please contact one of our friendly staff on 85363860 or admin@strathconveyancing.com.au.