Making a Statutory Declaration in Singapore
What is a Statutory Declaration?
A statutory declaration is a declaration made pursuant to Part III of the Oaths and Declarations Act.
In a nutshell, it is a statement made to declare something to be true. This statement can be made voluntarily in relation to any matter or for the purposes of satisfying some legal requirement or regulation.
Situations in Which a Statutory Declaration is Necessary
Section 10 of the Oaths and Declarations Act implies that there are situations whereby a person may be authorised or required by the law to make a statutory declaration.
This occurs frequently in real life and statutory declarations are often used in Singapore to satisfy some legal requirement or regulation where no other evidence is available. Therefore, there are numerous situations in which a statutory declaration will be necessary to facilitate regulatory procedures in Singapore.
Here are a couple of examples:
- Declaring reasons for changing one’s name.
- Filing a trade mark in certain jurisdictions outside of Singapore.
- Providing evidence of use of a trade mark in Singapore.
- Declaring an unemployed status when applying for a HDB loan.
- Having your real estate agent execute a Salesperson Statutory Declaration on all information related to your HDB transaction.
- Reporting the loss of your passport at the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA).
- Registering a child for Primary One registration using the address of the child’s grandparents or the parent’s sibling.
- Incorporating a Singapore subsidiary company of a foreign corporation.
- Declaring evidence in support of patent revocation proceedings.
- Declaring (in certain situations) that a claimant under a will is recognised as a beneficiary in law.
- Declaring that a gift of land by the donor was made when he was solvent at the time of making the gift and that he has not become insolvent as a result of the transaction.
If you are unsure if a statutory declaration can be used for your particular circumstances, check with the relevant ministries, statutory boards or organisations that have requested the statutory declaration. Alternatively, you can consider seeking legal advice from a qualified lawyer.
How to Make a Statutory Declaration
The process for making a statutory declaration in Singapore generally goes like this:
1) Get a statutory declaration form
A statutory declaration must be in the form set out in the First Schedule of the Oaths and Declarations Act. You may obtain the form free of charge from the State Courts, Supreme Court, relevant ministries, statutory boards or organisations where the statutory declaration is intended to be used.
You may also get a statutory declaration form from a lawyer who has been appointed a Commissioner for Oaths.
2) Fill in the statutory declaration form
Firstly, you may have to find out from the relevant organisation just exactly what you are required to declare, and to fill up the form according to its requirements.
You have to ensure that the form is properly filled in and completed before swearing or affirming it.
3). Find a Commissioner for Oaths
The State Courts, Supreme Court, Singapore ministries and statutory boards usually have a Commissioner for Oaths available to affirm your declaration. Alternatively, you may also make a statutory declaration by approaching any Commissioner for Oaths in a law firm to do it for you.
4) Swear/affirm the statutory declaration and sign the document
The Commissioner for Oaths will ask you to produce your NRIC card for verification. You will then have to swear or affirm your declaration in front of him or her. Both you and the Commissioner for Oaths will then proceed to sign the declaration and the declaration is now duly sworn or affirmed.
Making a Statutory Declaration Outside of Singapore
For Commonwealth countries and the UK, it is necessary to have your statutory declaration made before a notary public, Justice of the Peace or other authorised person under the law of that country.
If you’re making your statutory declaration in a country that is not the UK or part of the Commonwealth, it will have to be made before a consul, vice consul or other authorised person under the law of that country.
Making a False Declaration
You should also be aware that knowingly making a false statutory declaration is a criminal offence under Singapore law. Doing so may subject you to a term of imprisonment of up to 7 years and/or a fine.
Finding a Lawyer to Make a Statutory Declaration
To reiterate, it’s usually possible to find a Commissioner for Oaths from the Singapore courts, ministries or statutory boards to witness you swearing/affirming your statutory declaration if you are required to submit one to them.
However, for whatever reasons of your own, you may prefer to look for your own lawyer to do this. There are also certain situations whereby it may simply just be more convenient to have your own lawyer do this.
If you’re looking for a lawyer to assist you in making a statutory declaration, you can approach any of our Commissioner for Oaths here.