Changing Your Name after Marriage

Once you’ve tied the knot there are still a few formalities left that need to be taken care of. One formality in particular is to decide if you are going to change your name to reflect your new marital status. Here we detail the process you need to follow for how to change your name in Australia.

bridal holding just married sign signalling need forchanging name after marriage

The process of changing ones name can be daunting for some and it is a big step in one’s life. For some brides it’s the anxiety towards a change of their identity as they have always known it. While for other they may just be hesitant as they think the whole process is time consuming and just an all-round hassle. For the most part however changing your name is actually fairly straightforward.

Is Changing Your Name Right For You?

In modern times more brides are choosing not to change their names. It can be as simple as being happy with the name you already have or be rooted in feminist beliefs. For many brides changing your name is simply ‘just what you do’ and for others it’s a choice that must be made. It is recommended that brides consider what the motivating factor is as to why they are changing their name.

This can best help you decide if it is right for you. For some brides it’s simply a matter of wanting the same surname as their children. Whatever the case may be considering your reasoning behind either option is the best way to help you decide if a name change is right for you.

changing your name bride sign registry after marriage

Change of Name Options

There quite a few options for changing your name after marriage. You can choose to ditch your maiden name and adopt your husband’s surname – being the most obvious choice. Alternatively you could go for a double barrel where you keep your surname and add his, for example Jane Smith Thompson. Similarly you can turn your maiden name into a new middle name and using your husband’s surname as your own.

Or another option to consider is to have both your maiden name and your husband’s name by using a hyphen a la Jane Smith-Thompson. Couples looking for something a little different can choose to create a brand new and unique surname for their union and any future offspring by combining their surnames. This way both spouses reflect the new beginning associated with their marital status.

woman signing change of name

How to Change Your Name

Some new brides choose to update their name only within in their social circles and keep their maiden name on all official documentation. This is referred to as name by association, however can get quite confusing.

woman holding invoice for change of name

Upon receiving your marriage certificate which will be provided to you by your state or territory’s Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages you can officially change your name on all your identification documents. Aside from your birth certificate, your bank details, driver’s license, passport etc. can be all changed. Your marriage certificate is considered as satisfactory evidence that you have tied the knot and there is no need to go through a lengthy change of name application process.

If however you were married overseas, you will need to register a change of name as not all organisations accept non-Australian marriage certificates as evidence for your request to change your name to that of your spouses.

bride and groom married overseas at destination wedding

Our Top 10 Checklist for Changing Your Name

1. Driver’s License

2. Passport

3. Medicare

4. Australian Taxation Office

5. Electoral enrolment

6. Centrelink (if applicable)

7. Bank Accounts and Loans

8. Insurance

9. Superannuation Funds

10. Utilities and Phone Accounts

If do decide to go with changing your name after marriage fortunately it can be a fairly simple task as long as you remember to cover all your bases and contact all important accounts of your new name.


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