Find a JP, Notary and CD JP Commissioner for Declarations

The positions of Justice of the Peace (JP), Notary Public and Commissioner for Declarations (CD) have different functions. The information provided below will assist you to determine which you need.

The positions of Justice of the Peace (JP) and Commissioner for Declarations (CD) are positions in the law, created for, amongst other things, witnessing Tasmanian state-based documents. A notary public (also referred to as a public notary or notary) is a public officer, usually a practicing solicitor, appointed for life by State/Territory Supreme Courts (except in Queensland where they are still appointed by an English Archbishop).

A Justice of the Peace (JP) acts as an independent and objective witness to documents people use for official or legal purposes. When contacting a JP, please note JPs are volunteers who provide their services to the community free of charge. While JPs make themselves available as much as possible, it should be remembered that they have the same type of work and personal commitments as any other person. As such, you will need to discuss a mutually acceptable time and place for an appointment.

Find a JP or JP signing clinic (document witness centre) HERE on the Department of Justice website. You can also call the Tasmania Legal Aid Telephone Advice Line on 1300 366 611.

A JP can undertake the following:

  • certify a true copy of an original document
  • certify a person’s identity
  • witness an affidavit for use in court
  • witness a statutory declaration
  • witness the signing of a document

For more information about JPs see the Department of Justice website HERE.

Commissioners are empowered to exercise some of the ministerial functions of justices. They may witness signatures to documents and take statutory declarations but they are not authorised to administer, take or receive an oath, affidavit or affirmation or receive a complaint or issue a summons or a warrant. The jurisdiction of Commissioners is state-wide.

Find a Commissioner for Declarations (CD) HERE on the Department of Justice website.

The Minister may appoint persons to be commissioners for declarations. A person may also be a commissioner for declarations if that person is

  1. is authorised to practice as a member of a profession;
  2. a person listed in an employment group; or
  3. a member of a group of persons declared by the Minister to be an occupational group.

For more information about Commissioners see the Department of Justice website HERE.

A notary public (also referred to as a public notary or notary) is a public officer, usually a practicing solicitor, appointed for life by State/Territory Supreme Courts (except in Queensland where they are still appointed by an English Archbishop). On their appointment they are given statutory powers to witness documents, administer oaths and provide other wide-ranging administrative functions of a national and international nature.

Find a notary public in Tasmania HERE on the Supreme Court of Tasmania website.

Notary Publics in Tasmania
Most Australian notaries public are lawyers. In Tasmania, with a population of approximately half a million, there are 10 notary publics currently listed on the Roll. The majority are based in the south of the State – seven in Hobart, two in Launceston and one in Burnie. See the lists above.

The Notaries Public Act 1990, which was commenced on 1 March 1993, provides for the appointment, enrolment and discipline of notaries public in Tasmania. The Supreme Court is responsible for assessing and appointing notaries public.

While JPs can witness documents and administer oaths in Australia, notaries public have the exclusive right to do the same for international documents for use outside Australia.

For more information about notaries see the Supreme Court of Tasmania website HERE.