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How To Change Your Name After Marriage

How to Change Your Name After Marriage in Australia: A Comprehensive Guide

Changing your name after getting married is a personal choice and a significant one for many newlyweds. In Australia, the process is straightforward, but it does require some attention to detail to ensure all your documents and records are updated accordingly. Whether you are taking your spouse’s surname, hyphenating, or creating a blended name, this guide will walk you through the steps to make the transition smooth and legally compliant.

Understanding Your Options

  • Before diving into the bureaucratic process, it’s essential to decide how you want your new name to appear. In Australia, you can:
  • Take your spouse’s surname.
  • Hyphenate or combine both surnames.
  • Continue using your maiden name.
  • Any combination of the above, or even a completely new name, though this last option might require a formal legal change of name process.

Step 1: Obtain Your Official Marriage Certificate

The first step in changing your name is to get a copy of your official marriage certificate from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) in the state or territory where your marriage took place. Note that the decorative certificate given on your wedding day is not a legal document and cannot be used to change your name on official records.

Step 2: Notify the Relevant Authorities

Once you have your marriage certificate, you need to notify various government and private entities. Here’s a breakdown of where to start:

1. Australian Passport Office

If your passport was issued more than 12 months ago, you’ll need to apply for a new passport and pay the standard fee.
If it was issued less than 12 months ago, you can get it reissued in your new name without charge.

2. Driver’s Licence and Vehicle Registration

Visit your local state or territory’s road transport authority to update your driver’s licence. This often requires you to fill out a form and provide your marriage certificate along with identification.

3. Australian Electoral Commission (AEC)

Update your details to ensure your voting information is correct. This can typically be done online or by filling out a form and sending it to the AEC.

4. Tax Office and Centrelink

Notify the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and Centrelink, if applicable, through the MyGov website. You can update your details online by linking your accounts and following the instructions for updating personal information.

Step 3: Update with Other Institutions

After the government authorities, you should also inform:

  • Banks and financial institutions.
  • Insurance providers.
  • Employers and professional licensing boards.
  • Utility providers (electricity, water, internet).
  • Doctors and health care providers.
  • Subscription services and loyalty programs.

Each organization may have its own procedure for updating your name. Generally, you will need to provide a copy of your marriage certificate and sometimes also photo identification.

Step 4: Consider Your Online Presence

In today’s digital age, updating your name on social media and professional networking sites like LinkedIn is also essential. This helps maintain consistency across all platforms and ensures that your professional contacts can still find and recognize you.

Tips for a Smooth Transition

Keep a checklist: There are many places where your name needs to be updated, so keeping a list can help ensure you don’t forget any.

Start with the most critical documents: Prioritize documents like your driver’s licence and passport, as you’ll often need these as ID during other name change processes.

Order extra marriage certificates: Having several copies can make the process more efficient, as some organizations may need to see an original.

Communicate with your spouse: If both partners are changing their names or details, coordinating can make the process smoother.


Changing your name after marriage in Australia involves several steps, but with the right preparation, it can be a hassle-free process. By methodically updating your name across all official and personal platforms, you can start your new married life with one less thing to worry about. Remember to enjoy this new chapter, as a name change is not just about paperwork but also an exciting part of your marital journey!

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