Witnessing NOIM Temporary Modified From 21st December 21

temporary modified
Witnessing NOIM

Section 42 of the Marriage Act 1961 (the Act) requires that a marriage shall not be solemnised unless a notice in writing of the intended marriage (this form) is given to the authorised celebrant solemnising the marriage.

In response to Coronavirus, a temporary change has been made to the Marriage Act 1961, to enable the signatures of the parties getting married on the Notice of Intended Marriage form (NOIM) to be witnessed remotely by an authorised person.

This change has been made under the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Modifications—Statutory Declarations and Notices of Intention to Marry) Determination 2021– external site and will be in place until 31 December 2022 (when the legislative instrument is repealed). From 21 December 2021, an authorised witness may legally sign in the ‘Signature of witness box’ on page 4 of the NOIM, if they have observed the party signing the NOIM, whether or not by means of a facility that enables audio and visual communication between persons in different places.

For example, this could include where the witness has observed the signature of the party through videoconferencing facilities such as Skype or Zoom. Such NOIMs signed and witnessed remotely during the specified period should be accepted despite the note on page 2 of the NOIM stating that the ‘Notice must be signed in the physical presence of an authorised witness’.

Please note that the locality requirements of witnesses have not been altered. As such authorised celebrants are only able to remotely witness the signature of parties signing the notice in Australia – see sections 42(2)(c) and (d) of the Marriage Act- external site.

Please note that the locality requirements of witnesses have not been altered. As such authorised celebrants are only able to remotely witness the signature of parties signing the notice in Australia – see sections 42(2)(c) and (d) of the Marriage Act– external site.

The temporary arrangements do not apply to the following:
Important Note
  • There are no changes to the requirement for the physical presence of all parties to the marriage, including the celebrant and two official witnesses, on the day of the marriage (see sections 41 and 44 of the Marriage Act– external site).
  • Section 41 – A marriage shall be solemnised by or in the presence of an authorised celebrant who is authorised to solemnise marriages at the place where the marriage takes place.
  • Section 44 – A marriage shall not be solemnised unless at least 2 persons who are, or appear to the person solemnising the marriage to be, over the age of 18 years are present as witnesses.
  • There is also no change to the requirement that the declaration of no legal impediment be ‘made and subscribed’ before the authorised celebrant prior to the ceremony (see section 42(1)(c) of the Marriage Act– external site).

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