Name Change when Living Between 2 Countries

Name Change when Living Between 2 Countries

Name Change when Living Between 2 Countries

If you live between two countries it can be difficult to know where to change names and what process to follow. Changing names, whether by marriage, divorce or legal name change can be done in Australia by Australian permanent residents or citizens regardless of where else you hold a passport or any other country where you may also reside.

The first thing to think about is where you hold the most number of records and accounts that you access on a regular basis. If you want a different name reflected on your passport, licence, bank accounts and other records you will need to follow the name change procedure for that country. If you also want to update your name in second country, check with the licence and passport offices for that country to see if your records can be changed with the proof of name change documents you have available.

Changing names in Australia – Legal Name Change

An Australian Citizen can change names at any time, regardless of where they currently reside. For legal name changes, contact Births, Deaths and Marriages in the state where you were born for the application form. If you are not a citizen, permanent residents usually need to apply from within Australia. If you are a citizen who was born abroad or have another unusual situation please contact BDM for more advice on legal name change.

Changing names in Australia – Marriage and reverting to prior name

Get your Australian identification and records updated into your new name following your marriage, or revert to your prior name at any time. If changing names from marriage you only need an Australian marriage certificate. If reverting to your prior name you need a divorce order. Foreign certificates are usually OK if you were a permanent resident of that country at the time, or usually reside abroad.  Certificates must be in English or translated by an accredited translator.

Changing your name outside of Australia

As there are over 160 foreign countries, we can’t begin to explain what process to follow in another country. If you decide to update your name abroad we recommend starting with government issued photo ID, such as your foreign drivers licence or passport. If you can get foreign government photo ID, use it to support your name change application with other companies from that country. You may also need to show your Australian legal name change document, marriage or divorce certificate.

Can a foreign name change document be accepted in Australia?

Australia is one of the most stringent countries in the world for name change. If you ordinarily live outside of Australia, the passports office will accept internationally issued documents as proof of your name change. Once you have an updated Australian passport, you may show that together with an international marriage, divorce or name change certificate and get your Australian records updated. If you ordinarily reside in Australia you must show an Australian issued marriage certificate or legal name change order to change names in your passport, so an Australian legal name change may be necessary. If you were divorced abroad, your divorce order should be accepted if you can prove you were not a resident at the time.

Will I need two name changes?

Every country has different policies, so this is general advice only. It is usually easiest to change names in the country where you reside now and intend to reside in the foreseeable future. Follow the name change procedure for that country. If you move countries in the future, take all your proof of name change and approach each relevant company when you move and ask for your name change to be updated on your record. As you were not a resident of the country when you changed names, and have proof that you have been living elsewhere with a different and legal name, you are most likely to have your name change accepted.

What if I only change names in one country?

If you decide to only change names in one country, just be mindful of which account or record is under which name. If you need to prove your identity you should have sufficient proof available to prove both your names. It can get messy where you have half your records under one name and half under another name, but won’t be breaking the law if your name remains the same because you never applied for a change in that country.

Be mindful of the name in your passport. Only make travel plans under that same name.

How can Easy Name Change help?

We're a name change notification service. Once you have the necessary documents to prove your name change, let us supply all the forms, letters, faxes and information you need to get your name changed with hundreds of Australian companies. In many cases you can just sign our letters, add your marriage, divorce or legal name certificate, and send. We can only supply name change kits if you have an Australian address. Our kits save on hold, waiting for forms and writing letters.

If you need to change names in Canada, the UK or USA, visit where we can provide forms, paperwork and procedures for companies abroad.

If you live between 2 countries or have 2 passports you may be wondering where to change names.

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