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​The appointment process

To become a JP you must complete the appointment process. 

How to complete the appointment process 

Before you start the appointment process, visit Becoming a JP to confirm you are eligible to be a JP and have everything you require to complete the process. 

The appointment process includes:

  • Step 1: Confirm your eligibility and register for JP Online.
  • Step 2: Complete the JP Knowledge Test on JP Online.
  • Step 3: Complete the JP appointment application on JP Online which includes requesting a NSW Member of Parliament (MP) to consider nominating you.
  • Step 4: Take the Oaths of Office.

Step 1: Confirm your eligibility and register for JP Online

Register for a JP Online account to apply for Justice of the Peace (JP) appointment. As part of your registration, you will be asked a series of questions to check your eligibility to become a JP. 

Visit Becoming a JP if you have questions about your eligibility.

Visit the JP Online page to register or learn more about JP Online.

Step 2: Complete the JP Knowledge Test on JP Online

You must pass the JP Knowledge Test before you can apply or reapply to become a JP. The test will ask a series of 20 multiple choice questions that focus on the roles and responsibilities of a JP. The JP Handbook contains all the information you need to know to complete the JP Knowledge Test. You can refer to the handbook while you complete the test.

To successfully pass the test, you will need to answer each question correctly. If you do not pass, you will be directed to the section of the JP Handbook that will help you identify where you went wrong and improve your knowledge. You will then have to take the test again. There is no limit to the number of times you can attempt the test.

The JP Code of Conduct [PDF 109KB] requires all JPs to be familiar with and follow the provisions in the JP Handbook. It’s essential to read the JP Handbook and familiarise yourself with the procedures and obligations required of a JP. 

When you’re ready to take the test, log in to your JP Online account and select 'JP Knowledge Test'. Please allow up to 60 minutes to complete the test.

View the JP Knowledge Test Frequently asked questions for common questions and answers on the JP Knowledge Test.

Step 3: Complete the appointment application on JP Online

After you pass the JP Knowledge Test, you have 12 months to submit an appointment application. 

The appointment application takes approximately 15 minutes to complete using JP Online. To complete the application you will need:

  • proof of identity documents:
    • your Australian driver's licence. (If you have one. You can still apply if you do not have a current driver’s licence.)
    • proof of date of birth such as a scanned copy of your:
      • Australian birth certificate or
      • Australian passport
    • proof of legal name such as a scanned copy of your:
      • Australian birth certificate
      • Australian citizenship certificate
      • Australian passport
      • Australian driver’s licence
  • proof of Australian citizenship or eligibility to vote in NSW elections such as a scanned copy of your:
    • Australian birth certificate
    • Australian citizenship certificate
    • Australian passport or
    • a NSW Electoral Commission document that shows you are enrolled to vote in NSW 
  • the contact details for two character referees
  • if you are applying to be a community JP, you will need to demonstrate the community-based need for your appointment. You must describe in 2000 words or less, the community-based need for your appointment, for example by identifying who you will provide JP services to and why there is a need for JP services within this section of the community
  • if you are applying as part of an employment need, a scanned copy of a supporting letter signed by your employer on the letterhead of your company/organisation, demonstrating the need for your appointment. The letter must state:
    • how the duties of your employment require you to provide JP services 
    • how often you will be required to provide JP services 
    • whether you are employed on a permanent/ongoing basis or a temporary basis. If you are employed on a temporary basis, how long will you be working
  • to disclose any criminal offences including spent convictions and traffic offences that went to court.

Member of NSW Parliament (MP) nomination

As part of your online application, you will need to select a Member of NSW Parliament (MP) to consider nominating you for appointment as a JP. Generally, you should select the MP who represents the electoral district where you live.

You can look up your electoral district at the NSW Elections website and find a list of all NSW MPs on the NSW Parliament website.

Once your chosen MP has nominated you, you will automatically advance to the next stage of the application progress. If your chosen MP declines to nominate you, we’ll email you to let know what to do next.

How long does the appointment application take to process?

The time it takes to process an appointment application can vary depending on the complexity of the application. While the department aims to finalise all applications within three months, in some circumstances it may take up to six months.

Due to the developing COVID-19 situation there will be delays in processing applications for appointment. 

Step 4: Take the Oaths of Office

When your application is approved, we’ll send you an email advising you to take the Oaths of Office at a NSW Local Court. Each Local Court has different arrangements for taking the oaths, visit Taking your oaths. For a list of Local Courts and their arrangements, visit Taking your oaths You need to take the oaths before you can begin providing JP services.

You’ll need to take the oaths within four months of your appointment date. If you don't take the oaths within this time, your appointment will automatically lapse and you will have to start a new application. 

To find out more about the Oaths of Office and how to take them, visit Taking your oaths.

Starting service as JP

You can start serving as a JP when you receive your JP number and the dates of your term of appointment. Your term is valid for five years.

It’s important to be mindful of the end date of your term of appointment. If you don’t apply for reappointment before that date, your appointment will lapse and you will not be able to continue performing JP functions.

When your term is approaching expiry, we’ll send you a courtesy email reminder to apply for reappointment. It’s your responsibility to apply for reappointment before the end of your term. 

You can also check your appointment expiry date in your JP Online account or place an order for a commemorative certificate that includes your term of appointment dates.

For more information to assist you in performing your role as a JP, visit Information and services for JPs.