There are a few steps involved in changing your name. First, you’ll need a document proving your name change. You might already have your marriage certificate, so you can send out your name change notifications straight away! If you need to apply for proof then check your state Births, Deaths and Marriages website for current processing times.
If you purchase an Easy Name Change kit expect to have your records updated over a 2 or 3 week period. If you are managing your own name change research and paperwork this takes about 6 weeks.
Get your Certificate
Once married, apply to your state Births Deaths and Marriages for your official Marriage Certificate. It takes about 2 to 4 weeks and costs between $50 and $80. Your celebrant may have arranged for your certificate to be issued, in which case it usually arrives within 3 weeks of your wedding. You can’t use the ceremonial certificate issued on your wedding day to change names as it is missing some security information.
If you are reverting to your maiden or prior name you need to provide your BDM marriage certificate together with either your BDM Birth Certificate*, AU citizenship certificate* or a court-issued Divorce Decree. (*needs to be in your former name). Application forms and instructions on how to apply are available with your kit.
Getting a Legal Name Change Certificate
Put aside a few hours to complete the Legal Name Change Application form. Some states have online ordering where your identity can also be verified online. Otherwise, request the paper form in your Easy Name Change kit. Some states require you to mail in certified copies of your supporting ID. It can take a few weeks to prepare all the documentation and in some cases, it can be quite specific who can certify your documents (eg: Justice of the Peace).
Fees are set by BDM in each state and vary between $131.50 (Victoria) to over $270 (SA). Contact BDM for your state’s current fees, or check the Easy Name Change Guide, included in all kits. Successful applicants receive their legal name change or amended birth certificate anywhere from 2 – 14 weeks later (correct at the time of writing, BDM offices have wildly different processing times). Make around 5-10 copies of your certificate and have up to half certified. Then allow about 30 minutes to sign and send all your Easy Name Change letters, emails and forms.
Click here for more information about the legal name change process.
Updating all your records
No matter what your reason for changing names, once you have a marriage certificate, legal name change order, or divorce order follow the same steps to get your records updated:
- Purchase an Easy Name Change kit.
- All kits are immediately emailed after purchase. Allow 4-8 working days for delivery of printed kits.
- Certified kit customers will have their paperwork checked and lodged for them.
- Standard and premium kit customers should set aside a few hours to get photocopies and certified copies of your documents. You may need to locate a JP.
- Allow 30 minutes or so to check forms and sign your notifications. Add the listed document, sign and send!
A few organisations require you to visit an outlet in person so your signature can be witnessed. This includes banks, driver’s licences and passport interviews. To save time visit on a mid-week morning.
When is my name considered to be changed?
There’s no ‘central registry’ of names. Your name is separately recorded by each organisation where you do business. This means there’s no one definitive time that your name is changed. It will be gradually changed over by each organisation as they receive your request. Keep in mind that many companies will not confirm with you that your name change has taken place, so keep an eye out for correspondence in your new name or check your name as you log in to your various accounts online.