October 2020 Update from the Justice of the Peace Branch

justices of the peace branch

October 2020 Update from the Justice of the Peace Branch

Dear colleagues,

Welcome to our October 2020 update!

Since our update last month, several new JPs in the Community signing sites have commenced witnessing services to the community and I thank those new volunteers who expressed their interest in joining the volunteer program. Limited volunteer opportunities are still available across the State and I encourage those that wish to volunteer to contact the Justices of the Peace Branch (JP Branch) and discuss their options.

Earlier this month, we sent an email updating everyone on the upcoming changes to guardianship laws and forms. If you did not read that update, you can read a copy online here.

Leading up to the commencement of the new guardianship laws, JP Branch will send you further information about your role when witnessing enduring documents. There will also be opportunities for you to engage with us by attending some webinars, completing our professional development modules and other opportunities to ask questions about your witnessing role.

Once again, thank you for the work you continue to do across the State and hope you find this month’s update useful and relevant to your role as a Justices of the Peace (JP) or Commissioner for Declarations (Cdec).


Certifying copies for Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) Registrations

As 2020 draws close to an end, so too does the academic calendar for many students graduating from universities or other higher education providers.

For those students who have completed a degree to become a health practitioner, for example a dentist, pharmacist, midwife, doctor and so on, they will need to apply for registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) before they can practice in their chosen field.

Part of the registration process requires the applicant to submit certified copies of documents, including certified photo identity documents, with their application.

In anticipation of an increase in certified copies for AHPRA, we have contacted AHPRA to confirm the certification processes and AHPRA has advised that the following practices will be accepted when certifying copies.


Documents without a photo can be endorsed with the JP Branch’s self-inking certified copy stamp or with the endorsed wording:

“I certify that this is a true copy of an original, which I have sighted”

Documents with a photo can be endorsed again with the JP Branch’s self-inking certified copy stamp and the additional wording inserted afterwards:

“and that the photograph is a true likeness of the person presenting the document”

All certified copies must also include:

  • The date
  • Your signature
  • Your full name
  • Your seal of office or prescribed mark of office
  • Your registration number

Your phone number (it is recommended that you insert the JP Branch contact details – 1300 301 147 – and not your own personal contact information).


If you are one of the volunteers in our JPs in the Community Program, your site is provided with a specific self-inking stamp that you can use to certify photo identity documents. While these stamps are not available for purchase from the JP Shop, you may arrange to purchase your own stamp from a relevant supplier.

Should you choose the option have a stamp made, please ensure that the following wording is used:

“I certify that this is a true copy of an original, and that the photograph is a true likeness of the person presenting the document as sighted by me.”

You can of course continue to follow the Certifying Documents: Instructions for applicants and authorised officers (PDF, 296KB) that the applicant may present at the time of witnessing but remember AHPRA has assured us that the above practices will be accepted.

If you do encounter a client that has an application returned, it will normally be accompanied with a rejection certificate with details of the decision maker, known as the Regulatory Officer.

AHPRA has requested we note the details of this officer and the reason for the rejection so they can investigate the application and address any reoccurrences where our certified wording has not been accepted.

You can email this information to the Community Engagement Team at the JP Branch on [email protected].

Further information on AHPRA can be found at www.ahpra.gov.au.


Digital Licence Update

The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) has been conducting a trial of the Digital Licence App on the Fraser Coast this year.

The Digital Licence App allows users to use a digital version of their licence without the need to carry their physical copy. A digital licence can be used exactly the same way as a physical copy, both will become equally valid forms of ID in QLD.

A key function of the Digital Licence App is the option to share or print a PDF copy of their digital licence to assist in proving their identity, allowing witnessing officers to certify a copy of a digital licence if required.

To assist you in learning more about this form of ID, please see the attached information sheet on the licence and the PDF verification process.

If you need more information regarding the Digital Licence Trail, please don’t hesitate to contact TMR by emailing [email protected]


JP’s in the Community Program Vacancies

The below JPs in the Community sites need additional experienced volunteers.

If you are interested in volunteering at any of the below locations, please contact the Community Engagement Team at JP Branch at [email protected].

  • Brisbane Magistrates Court: Backup roster
  • Greenslopes Mall: Saturday
  • Springwood Mall: Tuesday and Saturday
  • Logan City Council: Tuesday & Thursday backup
  • Bulimba Community Centre: Wednesday
  • Capalaba Park Shopping Centre: Thursday & Saturday
  • Beenleigh Marketplace & Neighbourhood Centre
  • Chevron Renaissance Shopping Centre: Tuesday & Wednesday
  • Upper Coomera Community Centre: Tuesday & Thursday evenings
  • Maleny Neighbourhood Centre
  • Cairns Courthouse
  • North Townsville Community Hub
  • Mackay Base Hospital
  • Dalby Shoppingworld: Any day

    If you have any questions or concerns regarding your role as a witnessing officer in Queensland, please don’t hesitate contacting the JP Branch on 1300 301 147 or [email protected].

    I trust you find the contents interesting and relevant.

    Kind regards,

    John McKenna
    Acting Registrar and Manager
    Justices of the Peace Branch

First published by the Justice of the Peace Branch in their newsletter.