Signing and witnessing requirements
Most Titles Registry forms must be signed and dated in the presence of a qualified witness.
Witnesses must clearly print their full name near their signature as well as their qualification as a witness.
Use dense black or blue ink when signing the form to ensure that a quality electronic image of the signature is produced.
Who can witness?
Note: A witness must not be a party to the instrument.
If the form is being executed in Australia, the witness must be either:
- a justice of the peace
- a commissioner for declarations
- an Australian lawyer
- a notary public
- a licensed conveyancer
- another person approved by the Registrar of Titles.
If the form is being witnessed outside Australia, the witness must be either:
- an Australian consular officer or authorised employee of the Australian Government
- a notary public
- an Australian lawyer
- a New Zealand lawyer.
In special circumstances, it may be possible for another person to be approved to act as a witness. However, you must apply and obtain approval for this before the instrument is lodged.
Overseas witnessing requirements
Before proceeding, please refer to Part 60-0390 of the land title practice manual or speak to a lawyer for more information.
Witnessing by Australian consular officers or Commonwealth employees
If your witness is an Australian consular officer or authorised employee of the Commonwealth, the witness will need to complete the Australian Embassy/High Commission/Consulate identity/witnessing certification form (PDF, 109KB). You must attach the completed form when lodging your documents.
Witnessing by other authorised witnesses
Any other authorised witness (e.g. New Zealand or Australian lawyer or notary public) must complete the Titles Form 20 identity/witnessing certification. This must be lodged along with your documents.
|Form||Ver.||Date||Form name||Download form|
|20||2||15/07/2016||Identity/witnessing certification (completion by hand)||(DOCX, 37KB)|
|20||2||15/07/2016||Identity/witnessing certification (electronic version)||(DOCX, 46KB)|
Additional requirements apply to witnessing by an Australian consular officer, an authorised employee of the Australian Government and a notary public. Please refer to Part 60-0390 of the land title practice manual or speak to a lawyer for more information.
Proof of identity
You will need to satisfy the witnessing officer of your identity, for example by providing documentary proof of identity showing your photo and signature.
Documents must be current and could include:
- driver licence
Proof of entitlement to sign
Witnessing officers are legally required to take reasonable steps to ensure the person signing the form is entitled to do so. If you fail to provide adequate evidence of your entitlement to sign the form, they may decline to witness your signature.
Adequate evidence could consist of current documents such as:
- rates notice for the property issued by your local council
- current title search for the property
- registration confirmation statement for the property
- certificate of title (if one exists) for the property.
New purchasers who cannot provide the evidence listed above may provide either:
- a copy of the contract of sale for the property
- official loan documentation from their lender
- a letter from their solicitor confirming their entitlement to sign the form.
Signing under a power of attorney
An attorney for a person or for a corporation can sign a Titles Registry form under the authority of a power of attorney. A signing clause must be inserted adjacent to the signature of the attorney stating '[Name of principal] by their duly constituted attorney [Name of attorney and/or designation attorney] under Power of Attorney [dealing number of registered power of attorney]'.
You will need to produce the original or a certified copy of the power of attorney to the witnessing officer as evidence of entitlement to sign.
The power of attorney is not required to be registered in the Titles Registry at the time of signing the form, but it must be registered prior to registration of the form in the Titles Registry.
For further information on signing under a power of attorney and relevant witnessing requirements, please refer to Part 60-0900 of the land title practice manual.
Corporations can execute documents with or without affixing a company seal. If the seal is not affixed, then the full name of the company and its Australian company number must be shown adjacent to the execution. An execution by a company in this manner does not need to be witnessed. The designations of the signatories must also be shown. See Part 50-2000 of the land title practice manual for more information.
If a statutory declaration is required, the requirements that apply to the form and witnessing of the declaration are those of the jurisdiction where the declaration is made.
The Registrar of Titles will accept a statutory declaration made by person under the Oaths Act 1867 (Qld) even if the declaration is made outside Queensland, provided the person taking the declaration is authorised under that Act and the form used is as provided for by that Act.
See Part 60-0260 of the land title practice manual for more information about statutory declaration requirements or speak with a lawyer.
Find a qualified witnessing officer
The Queensland Government has a service to help you find a justice of the peace or commissioner for declarations.
- Last reviewed: 06 Jun 2016
- Last updated: 06 Jun 2016