What Identification Documents are Needed?

All name changes start with a proof document from Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM). This will change based on your situation. We call this document your ‘certificate’.

  • Taking your spouse’s surname. BDM issued marriage certificate. The ceremonial certificate and foreign marriage certificates cannot be used.
  • Removing your spouse’s surname. BDM marriage certificate with one extra document. This may be either a divorce decree or a birth certificate.
  • Any other name change. If you’re changing any part of your given name/s and/or you do not have an Australian marriage certificate then you need to apply for a legal name change with Births, Deaths and Marriages. If you were born in Australia you’ll receive an amended birth certificate. If born overseas you will receive a legal name change certificate.

Certified copies

Almost all companies will want to see your certificate, either the original (in person), a certified copy (required by most companies that hold an asset on your behalf) or a photocopy. In the vast majority of cases, companies will not mind who has certified your certificate, providing they are a professional person who is registered with an association that has a code of ethics and the certifier has a member number with that association. (eg: Justice of the Peace, pharmacist, doctor, CPA, teacher, nurse, engineer, architect, post office manager, police officer, etc.). A small number of companies may insist your certificate is certified by a lawyer or Justice of the Peace. If that is the case, we list this requirement on your notification.

Can’t find someone to certify?

We know how painful it is to get certified copies. When we surveyed over 1,300 customers we learned this was the most difficult part when changing names. Our certified kit customers get all the necessary certified copies of whatever proof documents are needed to change their name. We also check your forms and send everything off for you!

Which companies need photo ID?

Each company has the right to insist on additional identification documents before changing your name. For example, about half of superannuation funds will also ask for a certified copy of a government-issued photo ID. Unless specified on our notifications, it doesn’t matter if it’s in your old or new name as the BDM certificate will link the names together. About half of our customers need their photo ID to be certified, usually just one or two copies.

Total identity verification

There are a small number of companies that may ask for a large number of identity documents to get your name changed. This is the case with Australian passports, replacement citizenship certificates, AHPRA and certificate applications to Births, Deaths and Marriages. These organisations have their own policies on what proof is accepted so always check in with the requesting organisation. Generally speaking, companies ask for the following assortment of documents:

  1. Proof of origin or citizenship. Eg: AU birth certificate, AU citizenship certificate, ImmiCard, foreign birth certificate.
  2. The link between photo & signature. Eg: driver’s licence or passport. It may be stipulated if foreign documents are accepted.
  3. Community identification. Proof that your name is being used in the community. Eg: Medicare card, student photo ID, PAYG payslips, Working with Children cards, and university transcripts.
  4. Proof of address. This is usually a statement from a well-known organisation that has your name and current residential address. It may have an age requirement, such as being issued within the past 6 or 12 months. Eg: rates notice, lease agreement, utility bill, super fund statement, Insurance policy renewal notice, ATO notice of assessment.

Ready to change your name now?