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You are married and want to change your surname…and have no idea where to start!

You’ve done it.. you are now legally married and you want to change your surname. Where do you start? Here is an overview of everything you need to know.

What you need:

You are going to need a registered copy of your official certificate of marriage. This is obtained from Births Deaths & Marriages (BDM) in the state in which your wedding ceremony took place.

This is different to the Certificate of Marriage that I give you to keep on the day of your ceremony. This one is a commemorative certificate for you to keep, however it cannot be used for proof of identification for either you or your partner. When I lodge all of your paperwork with BDM after your ceremony, I will apply for a registered copy of your official certificate of marriage and enter your contact details so you receive an email directly from BDM to organise this certificate. You will need to pay a small fee to receive this certificate. You should allow a few weeks after you pay for the certificate for it to arrive.

Next steps:

Decide if you’ll do the name change research and paperwork yourself, or if you’d rather use a time saving service like Easy Name Change. If you want to do it yourself, jump ahead to the next paragraph. If you hate the idea of weeks spent hold, searching for forms and filling in paperwork then Easy Name Change can do all this for you in just 10 minutes. Check off the companies you need to notify from their database. Easy Name Change instantly sends you a personalised pack of forms, emails and letters. Attach the proof listed and send! You’ll get detailed instructions for all your companies chosen, so you’ll know where to go online (eg: PayPal, Netflix) and the 1 or 2 places in person (driver’s licence, large banks), but for the rest you’ll save about 8 hours

If you would like to do it yourself, it’s time to make a list of all of the organisations where you have a personal account and will need to change your name. To start your list, think about the ID you produce when you need to prove your identity. You might also look through your purse/wallet – what cards do you hold that have your name on them? Then think about any bills or mail you receive.

Your list may include:

· Driver’s licence

· Passport

· Bank accounts

· Car registration

· Medicare

· Insurance policies

· Australian tax office

· Australian electoral commission

· Medical professionals

· Work

· Superannuation

· Accounts you hold with electricity providers or phone companies

Each organisation will have different requirements regarding proof they require for your change of name, as well as how to tell them. Once you have your list, contact each organisation directly.

A great place to start is with your personal photo identification, such as your driver’s licence and passport. You can change these to your married name by taking the registered copy of your official certificate of marriage (the one you received directly from BDM) to the relevant organisation. For example in Qld, your driver’s licence will require you to attend a Department of Transport and Main Roads office to show them the original copy of your registered copy of your official certificate of marriage to change your name.

To change your name on your passport, you will need to contact The Australian Passport Office. Where you choose to change your name because of a change in your marital status, you can choose to get a free replacement passport if you meet certain conditions. All the details can be found here:

Once you have your photo ID in your new name, this along with the registered copy of your official certificate of marriage can be used to make most other changes you will want to make.

Its important to note that changing your name is not a simple thing.. it will take time and effort. There is no time period in which you must make your name change. So take a deep breath and get started when you are ready.

If you have any questions about the paperwork you sign when you get married, please let me know.


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