How to Change Your Name in NSW
If you want to change your name in New South Wales you will need to go through the New South Wales Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages. The Registry assesses name change applications and issues name change certificates and marriage certificates that are needed to prove identity when changing your name with organisations.
According to the current name change application form (at time of publishing) you can't change your name if
- You have changed your name three times or more, regardless of the state you changed your name in.
- You have changed your name in any state in the past 12 months.
- Your new name is a prohibited name.
- You weren't born in NSW and if you were born overseas you can't prove that you have been a resident of NSW for the past three years.
- You are an inmate of a correctional centre or are on remand or parole.
- You are a periodic detainee or subject to a supervision order.
- You are a forensic patient or a correctional patient.
- You are a registtrable person under the Child Protection Act.
There are a few exceptions to the above rules, which include people who have been convicted of an offence under a law of the Commonwealth, are the subject of a warrant under the Commonwealth Defence Force Discipline Act 1982, who are detainees within the meaning of the Commonwealth Migration Act, who are in the keeping of a correctional officer under Section 250 of the Crimes (Administration of Sentences Act) 1999 and who are a former serious offender because of the commission or alleged commission of an offence under a law of the Commonwealth.
In addition, anyone who is being supervised by the NSW Police Commissioner, the Mental Health Review Tribunal or the Commissioner of Corrective Services are required to have that authority's approval before submitting an application.
A police check is standard process as part of a name change appliation in NSW and there is a section in the application form for you to agree to the police check. You can choose not to agree to a police check, however this might delay your name change application.
The above image is a screenshot of the identity documents that are required to accompany your name change application. All of this information is outlined in the name change application form.
Changing Name After Marriage in NSW
If you are recently married and changing your your husband's name you will need a copy of your marriage certificate from the Registry (note, this needs to be a registered copy, not just a certificate from your wedding day).
Changing Your Name After Divorce in NSW
If you are changing back to your maiden name after divorce, you will need a copy of your marriage certificate, also available from the Registry. It is also a good idea to have evidence of your divorce at hand. Most organisations will use your marriage certificate as evidence of your names, but some organisations may wish to see documented evidence of your divorce.
Other Name Changes
To change your name to something other than your husband's name or your maiden name you have to apply to register a change of name. Forms and information is available from the New South Wales Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages website or you can call them if you have specific questions. After your name change has been approved and registered you will be sent a name change certificate that you can use to change your name with other organisations and on your identity documents and with other organisations.
How Much Does it Cost to Change Your Name in NSW?
Changing your name can be a fairly expensive process. There is a fee to change your name, which at the time of publishing is $195. This covers the cost of processing your name change application, processing the police check that accompanies your application, and sending you your name change certificate. After this, you may also have to pay to updated your ID documents, specifically when getting a new driver's licence and passport.
Please note that the current processing time for name changes in NSW is approximately 9 weeks, however we have been told that it is often slightly quicker if you apply online rather than in post or in person.