Either one of you can take your partner’s surname after marriage. It isn’t limited to wives, nor is it limited to heterosexual couples. You can even choose an entirely different name – however this requires a formal name change that affects your birth certificates.
A brief rundown on how to do this and also a list of all the places you might need to register your name change is below! It feels like it’s going to be hard, but it honestly isn’t (says the girl who hasn’t changed her name after marriage…)
TAKING ON YOUR SPOUSE’S LAST NAME, HYPHENATING OR DOUBLE BARRELLING
A Marriage Certificate issued by your state or territory’s Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages is sufficient evidence that you have 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 just present your Marriage Certificate to organisations as evidence of your new name.
You can start changing your name with friends, family and other organisations as soon as you are married and have your official Marriage Certificate.
While there isn’t a prescribed order of places to change your name, most newlyweds find it easier to follow these steps:
Get your new driver’s license.
Having a driver’s license with your new name and signature on it can make changing your name at some banks and other financial institutions a lot easier (especially where signature verification is required).
Change your bank account and credit card details.
Having your new bank account details will make it easier to update details with your employer (for your salary) and other organisations that may either pay you directly into your bank account (e.g Medicare), do direct debits from your bank account or regularly charge your credit card.
Update your details with Medicare.
Some health insurance companies and medical professionals will need you to update your name with Medicare before they update your records.
Change your name on your passport
Changing your name on your passport requires completing a full new passport application form and attending an interview at an Australia Post outlet. Unfortunately you can’t apply for a replacement passport.
If you have more than two years validity left on your passport, a new passport in your new name will be issued free of charge (with the same expiry date as your previous passport). Passport applications can be filled out online at www.passports.gov.au. Hard copy forms can be collected from an Australia Post outlet
PLEASE CONTACT THE RELEVANT AUTHORITY FOR MORE INFORMATION ON WHAT THEY REQUIRE FROM YOU TO FACILITATE YOUR NAME CHANGE
MAKING UP A NEW NAME
You can make up a new name for just yourself, or you and your spouse can make up new names together and both take on this name. The options for your new name are endless.
Here’s what some other couples have done:
- The bride changed her maiden name to her middle name, and took on her spouse’s name as her surname.
- The couple made a new last name that was a combination of both surnames.
- The couple changed their surnames to an old family surname.
- The couple chose a totally new surname.
HOW TO CHANGE YOUR NAME IF YOU CHOOSE THIS OPTION
You will need to go through an official name change process and apply to your state’s Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages for a name change. Going through this process is very easy to do and is not expensive. You should note that this change of name may be recorded on your birth record. Some points to be aware of:
o Both of the newly weds can change their name in this manner.
o If you are changing your name in this way you will obviously need to present your Change of Name Certificate as opposed to your Marriage Certificate when changing your registered name with an organisation
Where you might need to update your records:
Australian Taxation Office
Family Assistance Office
Australian Organ Donor Register
Cervical screening register
Real estate agent (if renting)
Council (for rates)
Land titles office
Utilities – electricity
Utilities – gas
Utilities – water
Internet service provider
Lawyer / solicitor
Your employer (HR / payroll)
Your employer (IT department, email etc)
Business cards / stationary
Magazine / newspaper subscriptions
Frequent flyer memberships
Everyday Rewards (Woolworths)
Other loyalty programs
Automobile clubs (RAC, NRMA)
Professional memberships / associations
Retail memberships (e.g pharmacy newsletters)
App Store / iTunes
Streaming accounts (e.g. Netflix, Stan)
Online shopping accounts
Friends and relatives
Road toll accounts
Mail order companies
Charities that you give to regularly
Post office box
Pet microchip register
Council pet registration
Forums / message boards