How to change your last name when you marry

by | Ceremony Wisdom, Wisdom


Brisbane City Celebrants, Jamie + Cara - Brisbane City Celebrants
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Image by Carmen Rose 

How to change your last name when you marry

Congratulations on getting married! Taking your partners surname is completely optional. The following is a guide to the process for those that decide to do so.

In order for an individual to change their last name to that of their partners last name, either person is required to firstly apply to their states Office of BDM (Births, Deaths and Marriages) for their official ‘registry issued’ marriage certificate.

The presentation certificate that you receive on your wedding day generally isn’t considered sufficient evidence for most organisations to update your last name, which is why you need your registry issued marriage certificate.

Image by Marcus Bell of Studio Impressions

Every state has a slightly different process for applying for this, some states allow the Celebrant to submit the application for this certificate with the marriage documents, others require individuals to apply directly, your Celebrant will be able to outline the specific process in your state, and the process will be also be outlined on the website of your states office of BDM.

Once this certificate has been received, it can then be presented as proof of marriage to the various organisations (see our handy little check list below), who can then update the individuals last name on their records and issue new documents where relevant (Drivers Licence, Passports etc).

Image by Marcus Bell of Studio Impressions

We have created the following marriage change of name check list to assist with the process, if the bride chooses to take the groom’s last name.

Once you have received your registry issued marriage certificate, using this as your proof of marriage, you can contact the following departments and companies, to advise them of your change of name, so they can update their records accordingly:

Organisations will also have different requirements on what proof they need, some may require:

  • to see your standard marriage certificate
  • a certified photocopy of your standard marriage certificate for your account file with them
  • evidence of updated photo ID
  • a combination of identity documents.

Brisbane City Celebrants Handy Tip: Create a file with several JP witnessed copies of your official registry issued marriage certificate, so you can have these at hand, ready to update with the above places as you go.

Marriage Name Change Check List

  • Medicare and any private health insurance funds
  • Superannuation fund
  • Your employer
  • Any educational institution you may be enrolled with
  • Electoral rolls
  • The Transport Authority in your State, eg. Transport Dept
  • Bank/ Home loan provider/ Credit card issuer
  • Insurance and utility companies, eg. Telephone, electricity, internet provider, car insurance, etc.
  • Passports office
  • Australian Tax Office
  • Australian Electoral Commission
  • Vehicle Registration
  • GoVia account
  • Flybuys, Qantas or other reward programs, store cards, airline loyalty programs, gym and other memberships
  • Doctors, Dentists, Health Care Professionals etc
  • Landlord
  • Your Will (if you don’t have one, now that you are married it’s important to consider getting one)
  • You may also wish to change your email address for your work and home emails.
  • Social Media Accounts (ok we know they are the first to be updated!)

Image by Marcus Bell of Studio Impressions

We hope this information has been useful, wishing you all the very best for your future together!

Ms Zigzag says: Doing all of the admin side of a wedding might not be as much fun as dress shopping or cake trials, but it has to be done. Thank you to the legends at Brisbane City Celebrants for this comprehensive guide to changing your name. 

About Brisbane City Celebrants: Brisbane’s most highly recommended Marriage Celebrant duo specialising in modern, simple, meaningful, sweet, happy weddings. With a choice of an experienced and passionate female or male celebrant, our couples describe us as warm, friendly and calming. You can find Brisbane City Celebrants on the Polka Dot Bride directory here.



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