Alison asks:

This might be more of a Josh question because it’s about electronic paperwork – or maybe it is for Sarah because of the legal side. I’m performing my very first ceremony tomorrow (hooray!) and I’ve received permission from the ACT BDM to accept electronic signatures and to submit the paperwork by email. I’ve watched Josh’s video for how to sign the marriage paperwork on an iPad and I’m all set to go.

My question is, since I have the electronic paperwork, do I need everyone to sign TWO official marriage certificates (plus the Form 15) after the ceremony, or just the one connected to the DONLIM since I am sending electronically and will retain the digital copy. I can’t see any reason to sign two copies of the same digital document, except for the fact the Marriage Act 50(1)(b) says: Where an authorised celebrant solemnises a marriage, the authorised celebrant shall: prepare 2 official certificates of the marriage.

Alison already answered her own question: the Marriage Act requires two certificates, so we must get them to sign two certificates, whether we’re doing it electronically or manually. Yes, it feels weird and like a waste of time when doing it electronically, but that’s what’s required by the Act our work is governed by, so that’s what we have to do!

This was confirmed by the Registrar of Marriage Celebrants at the AFCC Conference in July. The Act will eventually catch up with electronic submission, but at this stage everyone must sign two copies of the same document 🙂