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Wednesday, 10 May 2000
Page: 16239


Mr Hollis asked the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 15 February 2000:

Is it permissible for marriage celebrants to accept Australian Passports as proof of birth; if not, why not?


Mr Williams (Attorney-General) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

Passports are useful evidence for proving the identity of persons being married.

However subsection 42 (1) (b) of the Marriage Act 1961provides that a marriage shall not be solemnised unless there has been produced to the authorised celebrant in respect of each of the parties,

'(i) an official certificate, or an official extract of an entry in an official register, showing the date and place of birth of the party; or

(ii) a statutory declaration made by the party or a parent of the party stating that, for reasons specified in the declaration, it is impracticable to obtain such a certificate or extract and stating, to the best of the declarant's knowledge and belief and as accurately as the declarant has been able to ascertain, where and when the party was born.''

In short, the Act requires an official certificate or an official extract or a statutory declaration. The Act does not provide for a passport in lieu of these.

The Act is currently under review and the continued appropriateness of these provisions will be considered as part of this revlew.