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Acceptable Proof of Identity Documentation
It is preferable that the claimant provides original documents. Certified and true copies of documents are acceptable as proof of identity (POI).
Verification of original documents
Verification of POI documentation is needed to protect claimants and the department from fraud. Therefore, it is preferable that an employee of DVA sights and copies an original POI document. Original documents may be forwarded to the department to be photocopied and immediately returned to the claimant by certified mail.
If original documents are unavailable, true and certified copies of these documents may be accepted. A true and certified copy must be signed by a person before whom a statutory declaration may be made. Australian, State or Local Government officials with 5 years continuous service, or with a separately listed authorisation are able to certify copies of POI documents as a public service, at no cost to the claimant. For this reason clients should be encouraged to have their copies of POI documents certified by a government official in preference to people with other accepted qualifications.
The person certifying the copy must write on the copy CERTIFIED TRUE COPY, sign and date the copies and insert their name, address, business hours telephone number and profession or occupation group as qualification to sign, as certification, on the documents. An official stamp of the certifying person's organisation should also be affixed, if appropriate. If the certifying officer is a Justice of the Peace, they must list their registration number and state/territory of registration.
Proof of identity document categories
STATUTORY DECLARATIONS REGULATIONS 1993 Schedule 2 Persons before whom a statutory declaration may be made
The model adopted by DVA for the certification of copies of POI documents is in line with the Whole of Government approach adopted by Australian government agencies. The accepted qualifications for the certification of these documents are based in legislation.
It is important that each page of a document is certified, as this provides reassurance that the copy is a true copy of an original. For example, where certification appears on the back of a document (which is blank) or only on the first page of a three page document, then a delegate should request to see the original, in preference to accepting the incompletely certified copy. The test is that a delegate should be reasonably satisfied that a certified copy is a true copy of an original.
Certified copies of certified copies
In some instances, particularly where a person has paid for a document to be certified, they may not be willing to lodge the certified copy. In these circumstances, it is acceptable for a delegate to take a photocopy of the certified copy, for placement on file. The delegate should write on the copy CERTIFIED TRUE COPY OF A CERTIFIED COPY. This provides reassurance that the certified copy was sighted. The copy should be signed and dated.
Copies of certified copies, which have been certified by a person before whom a statutory declaration can be made, can also be accepted.
A copy of a certified copy can be regarded in the same way as a copy of an original. It is therefore not necessary for the original to be re-presented.
Copies of certified copies of documents can only be used for internal purposes, that is for placement on file to support a claim. A claimant may not remove the copy and use it for any other purpose.
Documents in a foreign language must have their originals sighted and a copy placed on file. A written translation must be provided. The translation of any documents must be done at the claimant's expense by an authorised translation service e.g. Department of Immigration and Citizenship, an appropriate embassy or professional translation service. This is usually recognisable by the document being stamped with the translator's details.