Signing a Doc? Who Can Witness a Signature?

Have you ever ever needed to signal a authorized doc that states it have to be signed within the presence of a witness? You may be questioning what this implies and who can witness a signature? 

It’s essential so that you can perceive the legal guidelines and laws surrounding who is usually a witness. It’s because utilizing an improper witness can diminish the legitimacy of the authorized doc. On this article, we’ll clarify who can witness a signature, why witnesses are wanted, the forms of paperwork that require a witness and solutions to different incessantly requested questions.

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There are lots of the reason why a witness is required when a authorized doc is being signed. The first objective is that it helps to make sure the particular person signing the doc is who they declare to be. The aim of that is to keep away from fraudulent paperwork through which one particular person indicators a doc on one other particular person’s behalf. 

In order for you additional data relating to paperwork being signed on behalf of people, learn our article ‘Is It Authorized to Signal on Somebody Else’s Behalf?‘.

Moreover, witnesses are additionally helpful when two totally different paperwork are submitted. It’s because if the witness has stored a duplicate of the doc, they’ll be capable of confirm the unique and legit doc. The presence of witnesses can be essential to stop unlawful actions from affecting the legitimacy of the signing, for instance, duress.

Who Can Witness a Signature?

There are lots of individuals that may be witnesses. Typically, who is usually a witness of a signature can differ relying on the kind of doc that’s being signed, the placement the doc is being signed and the related legislative necessities. Nevertheless, basically, a witness will need to have the next traits:

  • Witnesses have to be no less than 18 years previous
  • Witnesses have to be acquainted with the particular person whose signature they’re witnessing
  • Witnesses have to be of sound thoughts and have the capability to witness
  • Witnesses should not be a beneficiary, or social gathering of the authorized doc
  • Witnesses should not be beneath the affect of medicine or alcohol
  • Witnesses should know the person they’re appearing as a witness for a interval of over a yr. And in the event that they haven’t recognized the person for this time interval, the witness is required to confirm the identification of the person

Nevertheless, some authorized paperwork have totally different necessities. As an example, a witness for an affidavit or statutory declaration have to be a:

Which paperwork will a witness have to see to confirm your identification?

You ought to be conscious that if a witness has recognized you for lower than one yr, they might want to confirm your identification. There are two ways in which witnesses can confirm your identification. These embrace the next:

  • You’ll be able to present the witnesses with a photographic identification doc. These paperwork can embrace a passport, driver’s license or a proof of age card issued in accordance with the Photo Card Act 2005
  • Alternatively, you’ll be able to present a witness with a major non-photographic doc. These can embrace start certificates, pension playing cards or citizenship certificates. Alternatively, you’ll be able to produce your witness with a secondary identification doc similar to a discover from Centrelink or the Australian Taxation Office( ATO) 

Can a member of the family (relative) witness a signature?

Though there’s no particular legislation that states {that a} relative can’t be a witness, it isn’t at all times the very best thought as a result of, ideally, a witness ought to be a impartial third social gathering. Moreover, as beforehand said, witnesses can’t be a beneficiary or social gathering to the doc. Family usually tend to be a beneficiary or social gathering to a doc than impartial third events.

When relative witnesses a doc being signed, the doc’s legitimacy is diminished. Subsequently, it’s greatest to nominate a witness with little interest in the doc. This additionally implies that the witness shouldn’t have a big curiosity in your affairs. Avoiding having a relative as a witness is especially necessary in wills because it’s extremely seemingly that the relative can be a beneficiary.

Can a partner witness a doc?

Spouses can witness paperwork. Nevertheless, this isn’t best as equally to members of the family, there’s the next likelihood {that a} partner has important curiosity in comparison with a impartial third social gathering.

Forms of Paperwork Requiring a Witness

The next paperwork usually require a witness when they’re being signed:

Can E-signatures be witnessed?

Digital signatures might be witnessed. Nevertheless, the signature must be witnessed following the rules which are outlined within the Electronic Transactions Act 2000(NSW). The next necessities have to be met when an e-signature is being witnessed:

  • When the person is signing the doc, the witness has to correctly observe the person signing it 
  • An audio-visual hyperlink is required for the signing
  • After the doc has been signed, there must be an announcement offered that confirms that the doc has been signed and that the related authorized necessities have been met

For a fast and straightforward strategy to signal your doc, try our free eSignature instrument.


To summarise, witnesses are required when numerous authorized paperwork are being signed. It’s essential to have paperwork accurately witnessed, as this may make it easier to keep away from authorized penalties and disputes down the observe. Moreover, it’s essential for witnesses to correctly witness the signing of paperwork correctly to keep away from potential fines.

In the event you’re nonetheless not sure about who can witness a signature, it is best to rent a lawyer to make sure you choose the proper witness. Equally, as a witness, you could possibly additionally rent a lawyer to make sure you’re conscious of your authorized obligations as a witness.