Assuming your spouse's surname is not a legal requirement in Australia; however, it is done frequently here as a matter of custom.
How it is done, though, still perplexes many couples. I see people posting frequently in Facebook groups and wedding forums asking for advice on how they can change their name after getting married. And it's a question I'm asked time and again when couples first come to see me.
So, let me explain how you change your name after marriage.
Your Celebrant is legally bound to lodge your marriage paperwork with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) within 14 days of your marriage. Only after this period may you then apply for the Certificate that allows you to change your name.
There are three ways you can submit your application after your wedding:
1. Do it in person
After 14 days from the date of your wedding, you can go directly to the BDM office. There, you will need to provide identification as specified on Page 2 of the Application Form BDM3. The office of Births Deaths and Marriages are located at 141 St. George’s Terrace in Perth.
2. Mail it
You can post your application with certified copies of your identifications to BDM. A list of people who can legally certify your documents can be found on Page 3 of the Marriage Certificate Application.
3. Let your Celebrant handle it for you
Your Celebrant can include your application form with the documents he, or she, submits to Births Deaths and Marriages after your wedding.
As your Celebrant I would be my pleasure to take care of the submission of your application. And, of course, I would make no extra charge! It is just part of the service I like to offer all my clients to help make the process as easy and stress free as possible for them.
At our initial meeting, as we are preparing the Notice of Intended Marriage, I will take extra copies of all the identification required. I will certify these copies and keep them on file, along with the completed marriage certificate application form and payment details for BDM, until after your wedding.
Following your wedding, I will collate all the required documentation and lodge your application with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages on your behalf.
You should receive your certificate within 2 – 3 weeks of submission. You can then take your certificate to all of the relevant institutions and have your name changed on your passport, driving licence, bank accounts etc..
So, that's it. That's how you go about changing your name after marriage. Are you getting married? Are you planning on changing your name? Perhaps you still have some questions or concerns? Why not let me know in a comment below or get in touch for a chat... I'd love to hear from you!