Change of Name Checklist

Do I have to change my name after marriage?

No you don’t have to; a lot of newlyweds choose not to change their name at all. This is fine and means that you won’t have to change any of your documents. You can use your new last name without formally changing it as long as it isn’t for fraudulent or legal purposes. Eg you can be known as Mrs Mcleod to the kids at your child’s school but you cannot apply for a mortgage in your new name.

*A note to all newlyweds do not book plane tickets in your married name for a honeymoon or holiday. It is safer to get all documents, especially your passport changed before booking tickets or accommodation.

What can I change my name to after I’m married?

You may choose to:

-Take on your husband’s last name.

-Hyphenate your last names (ie Smith-Jones).

-Turn your maiden name into a new middle name and take on your husband’s name as your last name.

-Make up a new last name that is a combination of your maiden name and married name.

-Make up a totally new name. Please note if your husband is also changing his last name he will have to do this through a process with Births, Deaths and Marriages.

What is an official marriage certificate?

The “certificate” presented to you at your wedding is a “commemorative certificate”.  This is different to the certificate that is issued by the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages to confirm marriage registration.  While some organisations will accept commemorative certificates as proof of marriage, most won’t.  Your Celebrant has two weeks from the date of your wedding to lodge official documentation and then it is best to wait about a week before applying for your “official marriage certificate”

You can start using your new name whenever you like, and you don’t actually have to change your name on any documentation if you don’t want to, this is called ‘name by association’ and is perfectly legal.  Quite a few new brides take on their husband’s name in this way – they use their married name with family and friends, but keep their maiden name on their official ID documentation.  This can get confusing though, which is why most newlyweds choose to change their name on their driver’s license, passport, bank accounts etc, and go about their name change in a more official way.

If you’re just taking on your husband’s name, this is a fairly simple process.  A Marriage Certificate issued by your state or territory’s Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages is sufficient evidence that you are married and you do not need to go through any application process to change your name.  While this will not change your name on your birth certificate / birth record, it will allow you to legally change your name on all of your identification documents.  You can start officially changing your name as soon as you are married and have your Marriage Certificate.

The following is a list of some of the places and or ID’s that may need updating:

Proof of name change Memberships
      Marriage Certificate (from BDM)       Library memberships
Government       Gym membership
      Driver’s licence       Subscriptions
      Car registration       Frequent Flyer membership
      Passport       Loyalty programs (eg FlyBuys)
      Electoral roll       Video libraries
      Australian Taxation Office       Automobile Clubs
      Medicare       Professional memberships
      Council (for property owners)       Sporting associations
      Centrelink Health
Utilities       Doctor
      Electricity provider       Dentist
      Gas provider       Optometrist
      Water provider       Ambulance subscription
Communications       Specialists
      Home phone account Employment & Education
      Mobile phone account       Your employer
      Internet       Australian Business Registrar (if you are a company director)
      Pay TV       Superannuation funds
Finance       Alumni organisations
      Bank accounts       High School
      Credit Cards       Your children’s school
      Store Cards Other
      Building Societies       Your will
      Investment accounts       Title Deeds office
      Mortgage       Real estate agent (if renting)
      Personal loans       Lawyer / Solicitor
      Share holdings       Accountant
Insurance       Tollway accounts
      Home / contents insurance       Ebay & PayPal
      Car insurance       Facebook / LinkedIN
      Health insurance       Australian Organ Donor Register
      Life insurance       Vet
      Income protection insurance       Pet microchip company