Changing your name through marriage
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 do not need to ‘apply’ to ‘change’ your name, legally you may choose to use your partners surname as soon as you are married. 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.
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 an official document issued to you however, after 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.
You and your witnesses will also sign paperwork on your wedding day ‘wedding certificate’ which will be posted to the Office of Births Deaths and Marriages after the wedding day.
Your Celebrant will collate all of the required legal documentation including the Notice of Intended Marriage (which is lodged with and held by your Celebrant at least one month prior to your ceremony date) and the Marriage certificate paperwork which is signed and witnessed at your ceremony. Your Celebrant will post 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.
The process usually takes approximately 2 to 3 weeks, you can apply for your official Marriage Certificate once you are married, this is the document which you will use as proof, 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 Official Marriage Certificate application form and all of the information that you will need is available online here at this link.
The Office of Births, Deaths and Marriages has extremely strict privacy guidelines. Your Celebrant cannot apply for your official certificate on your behalf.
*Special Note regarding Passports
Changing your name to your new ‘married name’ is free if you apply within a year of your wedding date. Visit https://www.passports.gov.au/