Statutory Declaration Singapore: What You Need To Know

Written by Team Farallon

  • Farallon Law Corporation
  • December 4, 2021

What is a Statutory Declaration?

In Singapore, a statutory declaration is a formal statement made under the Oaths and Declaration Act. It is a declaration of something to be true, made voluntarily about any matter or to fulfil a legal requirement or regulation.

A statutory declaration is used as a factual statement while interacting with statutory bodies or government institutions. It is often used as documentary evidence representative of the truth in the absence of other proof. As statutory declarations are regarded as declarations of truth, declarants making false or misleading statements will be liable for criminal charges.

In Singapore, statutory declarations are made before a Commissioner of Oaths. As lawyers are allowed to act as commissioners of oaths, they are often engaged for this purpose as well as assist in the preparation of the necessary documentation for affirming a statutory declaration.

Situations Where You May Need to Make a Statutory Declaration

In order to satisfy legal requirements or regulations, a person may be required by the law to make a statutory declaration. Often, this is in the case whereby there is an absence of any other evidence to establish a cause.

There are various situations about personal, business, and legal matters which may require a person to make a statutory declaration.
Some examples related to personal matters may include:

  • Making changes to identity, marital status, religion, or nationality when there is no other proof available;
  • Loss of Singapore Identity Card, passport, or other documents;
  • Official government statutory board matters, such as applying for rental relief under the COVID-19 Rental Relief Framework or applying for HDB loan when unemployed;
  • Other personal legal matters such as issues regarding the maintenance payments when planning to remarry

Some examples related to business and legal matters may include:

  •  Affirming contents of documents;
  • Confirmation of signing, sealing, or publication of a will, deed or document;
  • Affirming the originality of patent applications;
  •  Filing for a trademark in jurisdictions outside of Singapore;
  • Confirmation of the status of goods subjected to export-import control;
  • Declaration that a claimant under a will is recognized as a beneficiary in law;
  • Obtaining subsidy for childcare fees on the basis that a parent has no financial support after separation; and
  • Registering a child for Primary One registration using the address of the child’s grandparents or parent’s siblings.

The above lists are just some examples of situations that require statutory declarations and by no means an exhaustive list. However, it should give you an idea that a statutory declaration can be used in a wide array of situations when a need arises to affirm a fact or statement, especially when interacting with governmental and statutory bodies in the spheres of personal, business, and legal matters.

If you are unsure whether a statutory declaration is required for your particular circumstance, you can check with the relevant authorities or institutions. Alternatively, you can also consult with a lawyer regarding this matter.

How to Make a Statutory Declaration

Making a statutory declaration in Singapore involves several separate stages, each with its own legal requirements.

1. Obtain a Statutory Declaration Form

A statutory declaration must be made in accordance with the legal requirements set out in the First Schedule of the Oaths and Declarations Act.

You can obtain the statutory declaration form from the State Courts, Supreme Court, relevant ministries, statutory boards, or organisations where the statutory declaration is intended to be used. As each Ministry and government institution may have its declaration form, you must obtain the statutory declaration form from the relevant institution relating to your intended purpose.

You can also get a statutory declaration form from a lawyer who has been appointed a Commissioner for Oaths.

2. Fill in the Statutory Declaration Form

When filling in the statutory declaration form, you will need to find out from the relevant institutions regarding what you are required to declare. This information can be obtained from the Commissioner for Oath of the intended institution or a lawyer.

The form should be properly completed according to the requirements before swearing or affirming it.

3. Find a Commissioner for Oaths

A Commissioner for Oaths can be found at the State Courts, Supreme Court, Singapore ministries, and statutory boards. You will need to find a Commissioner for Oaths to affirm your declaration. Otherwise, you can also make a statutory declaration by approaching any Commissioner for Oaths in a law firm to assist you in the process.

4. Swear/Affirm the Statutory Declaration and Sign the Document

A declaration before the Commissioner for Oaths will first require you to produce your NRIC card for verification. You will then have to swear on a bible (for Christians) or affirm your declaration (for non-Christians) in front of the Commissioner for Oaths.

Once a declaration is sworn or affirmed, both you and the Commissioner for Oaths will sign the declaration. After this is done, the statutory declaration is taken to be a legal affirmation and cannot be changed or amended unless before a Commissioner of Oaths.

Important Things to Consider

False Declarations

Intentionally making a false statutory declaration constitutes a criminal offense in Singapore, and is punishable by imprisonment up to 7 years and/or a fine.

Statutory Declarations Outside of Singapore

For statutory declarations to be used in the Commonwealth countries and the UK, it is required to have your statutory declaration be made and signed in the presence of a Notary Public, Justice of Peace, or other authorised person under the law of that country.

For statutory declarations to be used in a country outside the Commonwealth countries and the UK, it is required for your statutory declaration to be made and signed before a consul, vice-consul, or other authorised person under the law of that country.

Finding a Lawyer to Make a Statutory Declaration

As statutory declarations in Singapore need to be accurate, truthful and require the declarant to present evidence as to the facts known, it is highly recommended that you engage with a lawyer in the process. While it is possible to engage with a Commissioner of Oaths from the Singapore courts, ministries, or statutory board, engaging a lawyer will ensure a smoother process as well as eliminate the risks of you making false statements that are punishable under the Singapore law.

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