A celebrant asks:

I have received a Notice of Errors in documentation email from BDM. They have requested the bride provides a stat dec indicating why her signature on the NOIM and Marriage Certificate are different. Is there wording we can provide on the stat dec to assist completion? Can we provide a scanned copy of the stat dec to BDM (or do they need to sight originals)

I don’t know how it works in other states, but in Victoria the BDM staff look very carefully at the parties’ signatures on all the documents, and if they’re not comfortable that they’re the same signature, BDM sends the celebrant a Notice of Errors in Documentation email. They ask the celebrant to ask the party to sign a stat dec that they did indeed sign both documents, and provide samples of the signatures they used on the different documents.

I’ve had this happen twice, and I refuse to do anything until BDM sends me scanned copies of the signatures in question. I want to be able to look at them myself and ensure I think they’re different enough (which they always have been for me), and I also want to be able to send them to the party in question to go see, these look different.

Once I’ve got those from BDM, I draft up the stat dec for them to sign, and send it to them with instructions by email. You can download my email template (first page) and stat dec template (second and third pages) here: