Breaking marriage law news – for the second time since 1961: Celebrants can witness NOIMs over the internet. You can start witnessing notices of intended marriage from the beach tomorrow.

In short

From 22 December 2021 you can witness the parties sign the Notice of Intended Marriage over an audio/video call, e.g. Zoom or FaceTime. Simples. You can send a couple their NOIM as a PDF, hopefully pre-filled with their correct information, call them on FaceTime or your video call app of choice, and watch them sign the form. Then they will scan the NOIM (using a scanner or a phone scanning app like Notes or Dropbox on your iPhone) and send it back to you, and you can then sign it with an ink or digital pen, and consider the NOIM received. The one month notice period begins on the day you receive their signed electronic Notice, and none of you had to leave the house and stick your tongues in each other’s ears or however it is you catch the spicy cough.

In depth

The Attorney-General, Michaelia Cash, and the former Attorney-General had received recommendations for legislative changes in response to the Coronavirus pandemic – which only started more than 650 days ago – and the main one relevant to celebrants was the witnessing of signatures on Notices of Intended Marriage over a video call, like a FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, or WhatsApp call.