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Who can witness Queensland mortgage documents?

Witnessing Queensland mortgage documents in Sydney

There are different authorised witnesses depending on where you are and what document you’re signing. According to the Queensland land titles practice manual, mortgage documents signed in Australia can be witnessed by:

  • a justice of the peace
  • a commissioner for declarations
  • an Australian lawyer
  • a notary public
  • a licensed conveyancer from another state
  • another person approved by the Registrar of Titles.

As a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney, we help many New South Wales residents involved in Queensland property transactions by witnessing their mortgage documents. Most clients initially seek assistance from a justice of the peace, since JPs are a free service. However, most JPs around Sydney aren’t willing to witness mortgage documents or other property documents intended for Queensland. Do you know why?

Obligations on witnesses to Queensland property documents

According to Section 162 of the Land Title Act 1994 (Queensland) and Section 311 of the Land Act 1994 (Queensland), a person who witnesses a Queensland mortgage document must:

  • take reasonable steps to verify the person’s identity;
  • take reasonable steps to ensure that the person is entitled to sign the mortgage document;
  • have the person sign the document in their presence;
  • not be a party to the instrument or document; and
  • retain a record of the witnessing, copies of the mortgage documents or evidence that they have satisfied these requirements for  7 years.

While most JPs should be familiar with being able to identify a person and witness their signature, they’re probably not familiar with these other obligations associated with Queensland mortgage documents. In fact, as a volunteer community service, it’s unlikely that most JPs have the infrastructure required to satisfy those obligations, especially the obligation to retain records for 7 years. So if a justice of the peace can’t or won’t witness you sign your Queensland mortgage document, who can?

Signing Queensland mortgage documents in front of a lawyer or notary public

Lawyers and notaries can witness you sign Queensland mortgage documents. By the nature of their usual legal practice, they should also be able to satisfy the obligations in the land titles practice manual, s162 of the Land Title Act and s311 of the Land Act without too much hassle. Instead of signing in front of a JP, you’ll probably find it easier and more practical to sign your Queensland mortgage document (or any other Queensland property document ) in front of a lawyer or notary public.

In some cases, your bank may specifically direct you to NOT use a JP to ensure that you sign your mortgage documents properly. That’s when you should sign in front of a lawyer or notary public.

Signing QLD documents in NSW

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Do you have any questions?

Sending documents from Australia to other countries can be complicated. We make it simple.

If your documents must be stamped with an apostille or authenticated and then legalised, we can help with that too. We’ve also created a flowchart to explain the process.

Not sure what you need? Contact us or visit our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

So, what’s next?

Visit our Notary Fees page for a free quote for our notary public services. Otherwise, call us on +61 2 9687 8885 to speak with our friendly team about your requirements.

Why choose Phang Legal for your notary public services?

We’re a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney. We’re known for:

  • Our experience and expertise in notarising documents for other countries;
  • Our low-cost fixed fees and service offerings; and
  • Our availability to help on short notice.

Our office is conveniently located in Parramatta, the geographic centre of the Sydney metropolitan area. We help clients from across Sydney and beyond with personal, professional and timely notary public services.

Ern Phang
Ern Phang
Notary Public

This website is maintained by Phang Legal, a boutique law firm in Parramatta and a leading provider of quality notary public services to satisfied clients across Sydney and beyond.

Ern Phang is a director of Phang Legal and a notary public (since 2005). Ern regularly writes about his experiences as a notary public and the issues faced by his clients in sending documents to countries all over the world.

All information on this website is for general purposes only and correct at the time of publication. Only rely on information and advice that is specific to your situation and current at the time you wish to rely on it.
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