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Remote Witnessing of the Notice of Indended Marriage

Amendments to the Marriage Act 1961 take effect from 12 June 2024

Notice of amendments to the Marriage Act - Attorney-General’s Portfolio Miscellaneous Measures Act 2024

The Australian Government has been progressing a bill before parliament to update, clarify, and improve the intended operation of legislation administered by the Attorney-General, including the Marriage Act 1961. The changes seek to clarify and improve the operation of the Marriage Celebrants Program and include a new requirement for celebrants to meet separately and in person to ensure safeguards for real consent to a marriage are maintained, and the ability to witness the signing of NOIMs in Australia on line.


The Attorney-General’s Portfolio Miscellaneous Measures Bill 2023 received Royal Assent on 11 June 2024 and became law on 12 June 2024.


Let's look at the amendment relating to couples wanting to lodge their Notice of Intended Marriage, aka the NOIM. The NOIM must be lodged with your marriage celebrant at least one month prior to getting married in Australia, and not more than 18 months.


Remote witnessing

The Marriage Act will be amended to permanently provide couples with the option to have their Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) witnessed remotely, via audio-visual link, as well as in person.

NOTE: The requirements for authorised witnesses will remain unchanged and location-dependent. If the couple is in Australia then the person remotely witnessing the NOIM (which can include an authorised celebrant) must also be in Australia. If the couple is outside Australia, the authorised witness (which cannot be a celebrant) must also be outside Australia. To be clear, you cannot witness online a NOIM for a person or couple outside Australia.


There are now 3 options for lodgment in Australia.


1. We can meet up in person, you bring your i.d. with you, I witness you signing the NOIM and it is lodged.  I keep the NOIM with me to submit to BDM after your marriage takes place.


2. We can organise a video meeting via Zoom or Facetime.  You have your i.d. with you, I witness you signing the NOIM on the video call.  You scan the NOIM (or take a photo of it), send it to me electronically and the date I read the email, it is lodged.  You will need to bring the original document with you when we meet up in person before you get married.


3. You fill out page 3 and, take the whole document to an authorised witness to have your signature witnessed, you need to sign page 4 in front of them, for them to be able to witness your signatures.  You scan the NOIM (or take a photo of it), send it to me electronically and it is lodged.  You will need to bring the original document with you when we meet up in person before you get married.

Authorised witness are :

  • A Justice of the peace.

  • A barrister or Solicitor.

  • A member of the Police Force either Federal or state/territory.

  • A medical practitioner (a Doctor)

Please note - a Pharmacist is NOT authorised to witness a NOIM


If you have any questions regarding lodging your NOIM please get in touch and I'll talk you through the process. Email patriciajamiesoncelebrant@gmail.com Phone: 0412 339 795





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