2.1 Log book entries

Keeping Records in your Log Book

A log book is a register which provides the JP with a reliable record should they be called upon to give evidence relating to a document. It is a record of when you performed your role, the number of clients, who you saw and the documents you serviced. It records the evidence you sighted to satisfy yourself that the service you provided was appropriate (QJA Journal Spring 2015).

It is important you incorporate the entering of information in your log book as a routine and consistent part of your document witnessing process. Current JP training courses and the JP Handbook offer some guidance on the columns and content in your log book.

Recording client identification

The Justice of the Peace and Commissioner for Declarations Act 1991, S35A, makes provision for a JP to sight a  proof of identity document  and record information for the purpose of taking an affidavit or attesting an instrument or document. The JP must take reasonable steps to ensure this information is kept in a secure way. The JP must not disclose this information other than in the performance of their office as prescribed by law.

The Justice of the Peace Branch Technical Bulletin 01/09 sets out the requirements of the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988 and the Queensland Privacy Principle and Guidelines in regards to the recording of personal information. This Technical Bulletin states that "specific numbers including passport numbers, driver licence numbers, credit card numbers are not to be recorded into a log book".

In certain circumstances a client may not be able to provide personal ID, due to loss or destruction. Justice of the Peace Branch Technical Bulletin 01/13 makes provision for this. Record into your log book that proof of identity was not supplied and specify the reasons for this.

It is courteous practice to inform the client that you are recording minimal information for your records.

Minimal Log Book Records

Page 147 of the JP Handbook shows an example of a number of minimal log book entries. There are columns for Date, Name, Document, Proof of ID and Comments.

A more extensive example of a sample log book page appears in the VIP. It shows columns headed: Date, Document witnessed, Name of deponent, ID sighted, Location of signing and Comments.

Log Book Records in Practice

Best practice is to record the name of the client and the type of ID sighted, the type of document and supporting information. Most JPs tend to develop their own log books with extra columns to aid their own record keeping, especially with additional comments and statistics required at some signing sites. Using a rigid single line per document witnessed leads to very cramped comments especially for recording answers to EPA/AHD questions, land title document particulars and interview questions and responses with warrants.

It is best to adopt a layout which stretches over the left and right pages of a ruled exercise book and allows for multiple lines to be used for comments. A suggested layout appears in an article "Columns in a Log Book".


  • Technical Bulletin 01/09
  • QJA Journal Spring 2015
  • Justice of the Peace and Commissioner for Declarations Act 1991, s35A.
  • Technical Bulletin 01/13