Name Change Frequently Asked Questions
Any adult or child who has the right to reside in Australia on a permanent basis and who has not already changed their name within the past 12 months, can change their name. Unless you are changing your name due to marriage or divorce, you will need to apply to your state's Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages to change your name and each state requires that you were either born in that state or have been living in that state for at least 3 months (sometimes proof is required).
Deed polls are no longer
used for changing names in Australia.
Name changes are now administered by the Registry of Births Deaths and
your state or territory.
There is nothing stopping anyone taking on a new name without going through an official name change process. This is called name by association, and you are free to call yourself what you wish, regardless of what is noted on your birth certificate.
Conducting day to day business, such as opening a bank account or getting a drivers license for example will be almost impossible in your assumed name if it is not legally recognised. The process for changing your name and getting a certificate that testifies to your new name (and therefore making your day to day business a lot easier!) is quite a simple and straight forward process that does not cost a lot.
See if you are eligible to change your name in
your state /
territory. Eligibility requirements are listed in the next
under each state / territory heading.
2. Put careful consideration into your name change decision, ensure that you do really want to change your name, and what this new name will be.
3. Print off an application to register a change of name form (included in the kit), complete it and have it witnessed if applicable.
4. Collate the necessary identification documents.
5. If you are applying by mail, arrange to have your identification documents certified.
6. Post your application or attend the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages to submit your application with the prescribed fee.
7. Once you have received your Change of Name Certificate, start changing your name with organisations.
Unless you are changing your name as a result of marriage or divorce, you can only change your name once every 12 months. Some states have rules about how many times you are allowed to change your name.
are applying to your state's Registry of Births Deaths and
Marriages to change your name (that is, your name change is not related
to marriage or divorce), your change of name application may be refused
• Your intended name is offensive, too long, includes symbols without phonetic significance or is contrary to the public interest;
• You cannot provide sufficient proof of identification;
• You have already changed your name within the past 12 months;
• You are not an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident;
• You are not a normal resident of the state you have applied in, or
• The authorities believe you may be engaging in fraudulent or illegal activities.
Changing your name after gender re-assignment is exactly the same, however there are additional requirements for altering your recorded gender on your birth certificate and other records. This website does not cover gender change.
- Take on your husband’s last name.
- Hyphenate your last names (ie Smith-Jones), which approximately 5% of brides do.
- Double barrel your names (ie Smith Jones).
- Turn your maiden name into a new middle name and take on your husband’s name as your last name.
- Make up a new last name that is a combination of your maiden name and married name.
- Make up a totally new name.
A Name Change Certificate is issued if you change your name through an official name change process with the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages.
The proof of identity rules have recently changed in a lot of states. The “certificate” presented to you at your wedding will either be a “commemorative certificate” or a copy of the document that the celebrant will register later on. This is different to the certificate that is issued by the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages to confirm marriage registration. While some organisations will accept commemorative certificates as proof of marriage, many will not.
the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages will not
issue you with an Australian Marriage Certificate if you were married
overseas, and a lot of organisations will not acknowledge your overseas
marriage certificate. Therefore you will have to go through
official name change process.
How do you go about doing this? Fill out an application form to register your change of name and receive a Change of Name Certificate, and submit it with the relevant fee. We highly recommend the name change kit for newlyweds from www.afterthewedding.com.au
Below is a short list of 25 places that you will need to change your name. Thank you to the After The Wedding Name Change Kit for permission to reprint this extract from their checklist, which contains another 42 places for you to change your name.
Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
Council (for rates if you own a property)
Centrelink (if receiving benefits)
Bond authority (for renters)
Home loan / personal loans
Store accounts (eg Myer card)
Home / contents insurance
Your employer (HR / payroll)
Loyalty programs (eg FlyBuys, Myer One)
Tollway accounts (e.g Citylink)