legal contract

NSW announces online witnessing measure

Online witnessing of legal forms passed in Parliament

The signing of legal documents such as wills, statutory declarations, and affidavits can be done more efficiently with online witnessing of the task.

The legislation that allowed the remote witnessing scheme as a temporary response to COVID-19, is now a permanent feature in NSW.

The Electronic Transactions Amendment (Remote Witnessing) Bill 2021 passed both Houses of NSW Parliament, after an 18-month trial period.

Remote witnessing provides greater choice and flexibility for individuals and businesses, however traditional methods of signing and witnessing documents will remain available.

Attorney General Mark Speakman said people who use remote witnessing for personal, business, and legal documents have found it convenient and efficient, saving both time and money.

“Continuing these measures will benefit people living in rural, regional and remote areas. It will also improve access to justice for vulnerable members of the community including older people, people suffering from illness, or people with a disability,” Mr Speakman said.

To safeguard the risk of fraud, the remote signing must be witnessed in real-time and the witness must be reasonably satisfied they’re signing the same document or an exact copy.

The witness must also endorse the document with a statement that they have complied with the requirements and state the method used to witness the signature.

Source: NSW Government