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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 to change your name with us.

The same applies if you 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 about your change of name, as well as how to tell them, so you should contact them directly.

This page helps you find out what documentation you may need and how to go about changing your name after marriage, or changing it back because of separation, divorce or personal choice.

Changing your family name after marriage

What you will need

Answer the questions to identify whether you may need to apply to change your name with us.

  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 official marriage certificate (this is the certificate you ordered from us) as proof of identity when telling organisations about your new family name.

    You will need to contact every organisation you have a personal account with to find out what documents they will accept.

  5. Overseas marriages

    Before you apply to change your name with us, you need to talk to the organisations you want to update your details with about what documents they will accept if you were married overseas.

    You may need to apply to change your name in Queensland, because some organisations may not accept an overseas marriage certificate as an official identification document.

    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 official marriage certificate as proof of identity when telling organisations about your new family name.

    You will need to contact every organisation you have a personal account with to find out what documents they will accept.

    Apply for a official 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 official marriage certificate as proof of identity when telling organisations about your new family name.

    You will need to contact every organisation you have a personal account with to find out what documents they will accept.

    Apply for an official 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 official marriage certificate as proof of identity when telling organisations about your new family name.

    You will need to contact every organisation you have a personal account with to find out what documents they will accept.

    Apply for an official 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 official marriage certificate as proof of identity when telling organisations about your new family name.

    You will need to contact every organisation you have a personal account with to find out documents they will accept.

    Apply for an official 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 official marriage certificate as proof of identity when telling organisations about your new family name.

    You will need to contact every organisation you have a personal account with to find out what documents they will accept.

    Apply for an official 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 official marriage certificate as proof of identity when telling organisations about your new family name.

    You will need to contact every organisation you have a personal account with to find out what documents they will accept.

    Apply for an official 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 official marriage certificate as proof of identity when telling organisations about your new family name.

    You will need to contact every organisation you have a personal account with to find out what documents they will accept.

    Apply for an official 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 official marriage certificate
  • a certified photocopy of your official 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 an official marriage certificate (but not the certificate issued by your celebrant at your wedding ceremony).

Apply for an official marriage certificate if you need a certificate from us.


Changing back to your previous family name

What you will need

Answer the questions to identify whether you may need to apply to change your name with us.

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

    You will need to talk to the organisations you want to update your details with about what documents they will accept.

    We can’t change a name back to the name on your birth certificate, where both names are the same (i.e. Jane Doe to Jane Doe).

    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, you may need to change your name with us to go back to your previous family name.

    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 the following documents (from any state or territory in Australia) to relevant organisations:

    • •   birth certificate
    • •   marriage certificate.

    If you were born and married in Queensland, you can use your official birth certificate and marriage certificate (but not the certificate issued by your celebrant at your wedding ceremony) as proof of identity 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 find out 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 the following documents (from any state or territory in Australia) to relevant organisations:

    • •   birth certificate
    • •   marriage certificate.

    If you were born and married in Queensland, you can use your official birth certificate and marriage certificate (but not the certificate issued by your celebrant at your wedding ceremony) as proof of identity 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 find out what documents they will accept.


How to change your name due to separation, divorce or 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 official birth and marriage certificates
  • certified copies of your official birth and marriage certificates
  • 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 an official marriage certificate (but not the certificate issued by your celebrant at your wedding ceremony) and evidence of separation/divorce (if applicable).

Apply for an official birth certificate or marriage certificate if you need a certificate from us.

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Contact us

Online: Our general enquiry form.

By phone: Local call* 13 QGOV (13 74 68)

International +61 7 3328 4811 (+10 hours UTC)

(Phone lines are open Monday–Friday, 8.30am–4.30pm)

*Costs may be higher from mobile phones and interstate.