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Changing your family name after marriage, separation or divorce

If you were married in Australia, you don't generally need to apply for a change of name with us.

You may also choose to go back to your previous family name due to separation, divorce or personal choice.

Organisations will have different requirements for what proof they need and how you tell them, so you should contact them directly.

What you will need to change your family name after marriage

  1. Were you born or adopted in Australia? *
  2. Born overseas

    Before applying to change your name with us, talk to the organisations you want to update your details with about what documents they will accept.

    If you were born overseas (and married in Australia), you may need to apply to change your name with us. This is because some organisations may not accept overseas documents as official proof of identity.

    You will still be able to change to your married name.

  3. Where did you get married? *
  4. Queensland marriages

    If you got married in Queensland, you can use your standard marriage certificate as an official proof of identity document when telling organisations about your new family name.

    You will need to contact every organisation you have a personal account with to talk to them about what documents they will accept.

  5. Overseas marriages

    If you were married overseas, you may need to apply to change your name in Queensland. This is because some organisations may not accept an overseas marriage certificate as an official identification document.

    Before applying to change your name with us, talk to the organisations you want to update your details with about what documents they will accept.

    This does not mean that your overseas marriage is not legal or that you have to get married in Australia. You can't register your overseas marriage in Australia if it was conducted according to laws of another country and is registered overseas.

  6. Which state or territory did you get married? *
  7. Interstate marriages

    If you got married in the Australian Capital Territory, you can use your standard marriage certificate as an official proof of identity document when telling organisations about your new family name.

    You will need to contact every organisation you have a personal account with to talk to them about the documents they will accept.

    Apply for a standard marriage certificate, if you need a certificate from the Australian Capital Territory registry office.

  8. Interstate marriages

    If you got married in New South Wales, you can use your standard marriage certificate as an official proof of identity document when telling organisations about your new family name.

    You will need to contact every organisation you have a personal account with to talk to them about the documents they will accept.

    Apply for a standard marriage certificate, if you need a certificate from the New South Wales registry office.

  9. Interstate marriages

    If you got married in the Northern Territory, you can use your standard marriage certificate as an official proof of identity document when telling organisations about your new family name.

    You will need to contact every organisation you have a personal account with to talk to them about the documents they will accept.

    Apply for a standard marriage certificate, if you need a certificate from the Northern Territory registry office.

  10. Interstate marriages

    If you got married in South Australia, you can use your standard marriage certificate as an official proof of identity document when telling organisations about your new family name.

    You will need to contact every organisation you have a personal account with to talk to them about the documents they will accept.

    Apply for a standard marriage certificate, if you need a certificate from the South Australian registry office.

  11. Interstate marriages

    If you got married in Tasmania, you can use your standard marriage certificate as an official proof of identity document when telling organisations about your new family name.

    You will need to contact every organisation you have a personal account with to talk to them about the documents they will accept.

    Apply for a standard marriage certificate, if you need a certificate from the Tasmanian registry office.

  12. Interstate marriages

    If you got married in Victoria, you can use your standard marriage certificate as an official proof of identity document when telling organisations about your new family name.

    You will need to contact every organisation you have a personal account with to talk to them about the documents they will accept.

    Apply for a standard marriage certificate, if you need a certificate from the Victorian registry office.

  13. Interstate marriages

    If you got married in Western Australia, you can use your standard marriage certificate as an official proof of identity document when telling organisations about your new family name.

    You will need to contact every organisation you have a personal account with to talk to them about the documents they will accept.

    Apply for a standard marriage certificate, if you need a certificate from the Western Australian registry office.

How to change your name through marriage

If you choose to change your family name when you get married, you’ll need to tell various government agencies, banks, utility suppliers and other businesses your married name.

Organisations will have different requirements for what proof they need for your change of name; some may want:

  • to see your standard marriage certificate
  • a certified photocopy of your standard marriage certificate
  • evidence of updated photo ID
  • a combination of identity documents.

Personal documentation, such as your driver licence and passport, can be changed to your married name using a standard marriage certificate (but not the certificate issued by your celebrant at your wedding ceremony).

Apply for a standard marriage certificate if you need a certificate from us.

What you will need to change back to your previous family name

  1. Were you born or adopted in Australia? *
  2. Born overseas

    If you were born (or adopted) overseas you may need to change your name with us to go back to your previous family name—even if you were married and separated/divorced (if applicable) in Australia.

    Before applying to change your name with us, talk to the organisations you want to update your details with about what documents they will accept.

    This does not mean that your overseas birth is not recognised here.

  3. Were you married in Australia? *
  4. (If you chose ‘No’ above)

    Married overseas

    If you were born in Australia but married overseas, to go back to your previous family name you may need to change your name with us.

    Before applying to change your name with us, talk to the organisations you want to update your details with about what documents they will accept.

    This does not mean that your overseas marriage was not legal.

  5. Were you separated or divorced (if applicable) in Australia? *
  6. Personal choice

    If you were born and married in Australia, you can go back to using the name you were born with by providing relevant organisations the following documents (from any state or territory in Australia):

    • •   birth certificate
    • •   marriage certificate.

    If you were born and married in Queensland, you can use your standard birth certificate and marriage certificate as official proof of identity documents when telling organisations about your family name.

    We don’t issue divorce certificates—you will need to apply to the Federal Circuit Court.

    You will need to contact every organisation you have a personal account with to talk to them about what documents they will accept.

  7. Australian life event records

    If you were born, married and separated/divorced (if applicable) in Australia you can go back to using the name you were born with by providing relevant organisations the following documents (from any state or territory in Australia):

    • •   birth certificate
    • •   marriage certificate
    • •   Decree Nisii or Decree Absolute (your divorce papers), if applicable.

    If you were born and married in Queensland, you can use your standard birth certificate and marriage certificate as official proof of identity documents when telling organisations about your family name.

    We don’t issue divorce certificates—you will need to apply to the Federal Circuit Court.

    You will need to contact every organisation you have a personal account with to talk to them about what documents they will accept.

How to change your name after separation, divorce or through personal choice

If you chose to change your family name when you got married, you may choose to go back to your previous family name due to separation, divorce or personal choice.

Organisations will have different requirements for what proof they need for your change of name; some may want:

  • to see your standard birth and marriage certificates
  • certified photocopies of your standard birth and marriage certificates
  • evidence of separation or divorce (if applicable)
  • evidence of updated photo ID
  • a combination of identity documents.

Personal documentation, such as your driver licence and passport, can be changed to your previous name using a standard marriage certificate (but not the certificate issued by your celebrant at your wedding ceremony) and evidence of separation/divorce (if applicable).

Apply for a standard marriage certificate if you need a certificate from us.

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