We’ve had countless customers over the years officially using an unregistered name, then they can’t undo the change or keep their name because they don’t have the right proof documents. Many customers only learn of their complicated situation when going to apply for a passport, and then realise they must use the name on their birth certificate which is different! Here are some common situations where we have helped our customers who found themselves stuck:
- Switched first and middle names on all documents, but never registered this with a legal name change.
- Have been using a name for your entire life, only to learn later in life that it does not match your birth certificate.
- Informally started using a step-parent’s surname as a child without proof, then unable to continue using this name on accounts and identification.
- Started using a nickname or alias and organisations allowed this on your accounts and records, but when reapplying the name is no longer valid because it was never registered as a legal name change. (eg: born Elizabeth, but has the name Beth on all identification and records).
- Used a foreign-issued document as proof of your name (eg: UK deed poll or foreign marriage certificate), and now the same document cannot be accepted when linking all your names together. Read our article for customers wanting to resume the use of a former name: A Complicated History of Names.
Many of our customers have been surprised to learn their legal name (eg: the name on their birth certificate) is different from the name they have been using. In the first 4 cases, you have the choice to either:
Resume use of your legal name with a statutory declaration
Your legal name is the one on your Australian birth certificate, Australian adoption order or Australian citizenship certificate and this is the name you want to use in the future. You can begin using this legal name without following any special steps. When asked for proof, provide one of the documents listed above plus a statutory declaration that explains how your name in the community came to be different from your legal name. Declare that you intend to only use your legal name from this point forward.
Use our system to get name change notifications, ready to send off to all the necessary organisations. Where prompted, choose ‘name correction’ as your reason for changing names. Simply attach your certificate and statutory declaration and send them!
Or legally change your name to match your records
If you decide you want the unofficial name you have been using in the community to become your legal name, then apply to Births, Deaths and Marriages for a legal name change. Our name change kits are not suitable in these situations as you will not need to notify any companies that your name has changed.
Do you need to notify companies of a different name?
Easy Name Change provides notifications to send to companies requesting your name be changed. You’ll need to have proof of your legal name (eg: marriage certificate, birth certificate or legal name change order). You’ll save hours looking for forms, researching procedures and working out what to send where!