If you were married in Australia and no longer want to use your married surname we can help! You only need to prove the link between your married and former names, which for most customers is just their official Australian marriage and birth certificates together. If you no longer have your marriage certificate from Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) you will need to reorder this. You do not need to show a divorce order, but if you have this available you may choose to show your divorce order instead of your birth certificate.
What documents can I show?
Your official Australian marriage certificate, AND any one of the following:
- birth certificate in your former name, or
- Australian citizenship certificate in your former name, or
- Divorce decree
Married more than once? In addition to the documents above, also show all previous marriage certificates and associated divorce or death certificates. You don’t need to be divorced or separated from your current partner but will need to show certificates proving the end of any previous marriages.
Your preferred name is not on your Australian birth, marriage or citizenship certificate. You are only allowed to use the name that is currently on your Australian birth certificate or Australian citizenship certificate unless you choose to use a previous married name. If you became an Australian citizen in your current married name then you can’t go back to a name that you have not legally held in Australia, even if you have an Australian divorce decree. Apply for a legal name change in the state where you reside. Read more about having a complicated history of names.
If you were married overseas then chances are you had to apply for a legal name change to take your spouse’s name. Once your name is legally changed you can’t resume the use of your former name unless you apply for another legal name change.
There are a small number of customers who were married overseas and changed names over 30 years ago but never applied for a legal name change certificate. Proving identification was less strict in those times and your foreign married certificate was more likely to be accepted. You can’t apply for a legal name change because your legal name is already on your Australian birth certificate. You won’t have the exact documents most companies want, so it is recommended you show your Australian birth certificate (this should be in the name you want to use in the future), your foreign marriage certificate, and any documents showing the end of this marriage (if available). It’s a good idea to also provide a statutory declaration explaining that you were married overseas, you never legally changed names and that you intend to only use your birth name in the future.
You don’t want any of your old names back. Perhaps the thought of using a former name is just as unappealing as your married name. 10% of our divorce name change customers go on to take a whole new name! Read more about legal name change after divorce.
Start notifying companies
Once you’ve determined you have the right proof documents to prove the link between your married name and the name you want to use in the future then you’re good to go! Simply start using your former name everywhere. Get an Easy Name Change kit and receive ready to send name change forms, letters and emails for all your companies. Where one of our notifications says to include a copy or certified copy of your ‘certificate’, we mean all the proof documents together that link your married and former names.
Where do I get certificates from?
Marriage and birth certificates must come from Births, Deaths and Marriages from the state where the event took place. You can either download the application form directly from the BDM website, or we can send it as part of your personalised kit. If you are already divorced and have lost your divorce decree you can order a new one here.
Ready to start changing names?
You don’t need to be divorced to start changing names. If you don’t have your birth and marriage certificates we can provide the application forms as part of your kit. We provide all the forms and paperwork instantly, so you can be back using your former name in just 10 minutes!