How to Legally
Change Your Name

Standard Name Change

People change their name for a lot of different reasons. It could be that you want to change the spelling of your name, you don't like the name you were given at birth, you don't like your middle name and want to remove it, you want to diassociate yourelf with estranged family members, or maybe you just want a change!

You can legally change your first name, middle name or surname, or any combination of those. 

How do you go about legally changing your name? Names are no longer changed by deed poll, the process is managed by each state's Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages.  You will need to fill out an application form to register your change of name, and possibly another application form so that the Registry will send you a Change of Name Certificate (some states automatically send out this certificate, but not all).  There are fees that also need to be submitted with your form.  More information about the name change process can be found at your state's Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages (links are on the right hand side of this page).

Once you have your Change of Name Certificate, you can start changing your name on your identification documents (e.g. drivers licence, passport etc) and with government departments and other organisations.  It is interesting to note however, that legally you can start using your new name whenever you like within the community, and this is called "name by association".  It's just not possible to change your name on your identity documents and with organisations until you have proof of your name change (by way of your Change of Name Certificate).

The Six Recommended Steps to Changing Your Name

  1. See if you are eligible to change your name in your state / territory. Go to your state's Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages for more information on eligibility.
  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.

Related Frequently Asked Questions

Who can legally change their name?

What is a deed poll?

Are applications to change your name ever rejected?

Places to change your name

Name Change Kit - Click here for more information!