Can you sign documents electronically in Queensland?

There has been so much change when it comes to the signing of documents over the last couple of years, you would be forgiven for thinking you could now just sign all documents electronically.

The amendments instigated by our lockdowns are now here to stay with the introduction of the Justice and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2021 (Qld) (the Act) which commenced on 30 April 2022. Queensland now has some of the simplest requirements, permanently permitting deeds to be executed electronically without a witness.

The Act amended several pieces of legislation so that the following is now permitted in Queensland:

  • the majority of statutory demands are able to be witnessed over audio-visual link by special witnesses or prescribed persons;
  • statutory declarations that are witnessed in person by a special witness or prescribed person can be signed electronically and in counterparts;
  • where electronic conveyancing is being used, electronic signatures on statutory declarations but for a land or water dealing;
  • powers of attorney for businesses (that is, corporations, partnerships and unincorporated associations) excluding sole traders can now be electronically signed, in counterparts, by separate execution and without a witness;
  • deeds to be signed electronically need to use an “accepted method” that reliably identifies the signatory, which is consented to by all the signatories and indicates their intention about the document’s contents;
  • Deeds that are signed by an individual do not have to be witnessed (except where applying to powers of attorney for an individual given under a deed);

A snapshot of what can be executed electronically thanks to the introduction of the Act, is:

This is an overview of the changes brought about by the introduction of the Justice and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2021 (Qld). For more specific details and advice on whether you can electronically sign the document in front of you please reach out to the team at Arena Law on 07 3999 7102.