Changing Your Name After Marriage

Under Australian Common Law, you may refer to yourself (and ask others to refer to you) by your married name whenever you wish. However, if you want to change your name on documents such as a driver’s licence, passport or bank account, each organisation that you are dealing with will request evidence of your marriage in order to make this change on any official documents.

In most cases, organisations will want to sight a copy of the Standard Marriage Certificate issued by the Registry to show the link between the party’s previous name and married name. Once this has been sighted then they will update the party/party’s names on relevant documents.

To order a marriage certificate click on the link...

If you have ordered a Commemorative (decorative) certificate from the Registry, it is unlikely that this will be accepted for the purpose of updating a name to a married name.

If a couple were married in Australia, they have the following options after marriage:

1)  They can retain their existing family name

2)  They can adopt their spouse’s family name (this applies to both parties, i.e. either party can take their spouse’s Family Name)

3)  They can add their spouse’s name to their own name, either with or without hyphens and either by adding the name before or after their existing family name.


Unlike options one and two, the third option generally requires an official change of name. If this is the case, an application will need to be completed for this to be actioned.