By Jessica Douglas
If you are a registered Justice of the Peace, Commissioner for Declarations or Solicitor working with Title Registry documents, then you should be aware of the changes to the witnessing requirements which come into effect on 30th September 2019.
The Department of Natural Recourses, Mines and Energy (Land Title Office) have released important changes to the requirements for witnessing relevant land title documents, such as transfers and mortgages. A guide to the changes to the witnessing requirements can be found in the new Part 61 of the Land Title Practice Manual (LTPM), specifically section 61-2300 which outlines the obligations of witnesses. Whilst, only a draft copy has been released you can find a link to the relevant Part 61 of the LTPM here.
It is likely that witnessing officers are already undertaking adequate steps to verify the identity of the individual signing a document before them. However, from 30 September 2019 it is now a legal requirement to undertake a series of steps to confirm the true identity of the individual and keep written records of the steps undertaking and the documents sighted.