Changing your name through marriage in Queensland
Many people choose to use their spouse’s surname once they’re married. However, changing your name through marriage is not compulsory. It’s a custom and not the law.
You legally may start to use your married name as soon as you are declared married, hence your Celebrant is able to ‘officially introduce for the very first time, the new Mr. and Mrs.’ !
The process to change your name on official documents is very straight forward, you just need to show proof of your marriage in the form of your ‘official Marriage Certificate’ which you will obtain from the Office of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the State that you were married.
Important: What you will NEVER do! You will not ever change the name on your Birth Certificate .. so please do NOT apply to change your name through the office of Births Deaths and Marriages. This is not required.
How to change your name through marriage
If you choose to change your name when you get married, you’ll need to inform various government agencies, banks, utility suppliers and other businesses of your new married name.
On the day you are married you will receive a ‘Marriage Certificate’ which you and your witnesses will sign on the day, this is know as the Ceremonial Certificate.
This is an official document issued to you, however, as soon as it has been presented to you on the wedding day, it’s ‘official duty’ is over and this certificate can not be used as legal proof of your marriage when changing official documentation to your new name.
Legal lodgement Process:
Prior to the marriage the couple will sign a ‘Declaration of no legal impediment’.
On the wedding day, the couple and your witnesses will also sign your ‘wedding certificate’
AFTER THE CEREMONY
Your Celebrant will collate all of the required legal documentation including the
Notice of Intended Marriage (which is lodged and held with and held by your Celebrant at least one month prior to your ceremony date)
The Declaration of no legal impediment
and your marriage certificate which was signed and witnessed at your ceremony.
Your Celebrant will send this documentation to the Office of Births, Deaths and Marriages soon after your ceremony.
Once received by the Office of Births, Deaths and Marriages, your official paperwork will be processed and your marriage will be recorded and registered.
The process can take anything from 2 days to 3 weeks depending on the workload of the receiving office.
*Most celebrants use the online portal which expedites this process and *IN QLD, the office of BDM will contact you via email and include a direct link to order your official marriage certificate.
It is the role and responsibility of the married couple to apply and order the official certificate, this is not an automated action.
Use this link to obtain a registered certificate of marriage for a marriage solemnised in Qld outside of this 60 day link time. Qld Marriage application
The official, registered Marriage Certificate which is issued by the Dept of Births, Deaths and Marriages is the document which can be used as proof of marriage, to change your name on your official documents such as your Driver’s licence, Medicare card, Bank accounts, Tax Office information, Electoral Role, Passport, Superannuations, Wills etc.
The Office of Births, Deaths and Marriages has extremely strict privacy guidelines. Your Celebrant cannot apply for your official certificate on your behalf.
NOTE: The Official Certificate application process varies from state to state.
In Queensland, your Official Marriage Certificate application form will be emailed to you via a link which will be valid for 60 days.. Please check with your celebrant if you are in a State other than Queensland for instructions regarding applying for your Official Marriage Certificate.
*Special Note regarding Passports
Changing your name to your new ‘married name’ is a free service if you apply within a year of your wedding date. You will need to supply a new photograph and apply via your local post office.