Whether you’re a newlywed that wants to take your partner’s name or you’ve destroyed your reputation as a game reviewer by being caught plagiarising, there are plenty of reasons to want to change your name. Here’s how you can do it in every Australian state and territory.
If you’re taking your partner’s name after getting hitched then your marriage certificate will serve as proof of a name change. Combining your surnames, creating a new one or changing your name entirely for your own reason will take a bit more paperwork.
As a general rule you have to register your name change in the state or territory that you were born or have resided in for at least three years if you were born overseas.
Legal name changes can occur up to three times in your life and cannot be done within 12 months of a previous name change. Anyone currently under the custody of correctional services will need approval for a name change.
Obscene or silly names can be rejected, as can names that resemble official titles.
New South Wales
Name changes in New South Wales are handled by the Registry of Births, Death and Marriages. You can either complete the name change form online or book an interview by calling 13 77 88. It’ll set you back $185 and typically takes 38 to 49 working days.
You’ll have to provide documents proving where you were born, showing a link between your photo and signature, proving your residential address and evidence of you using your current name. A reason for the name change also has to be provided.
You will have to return all original birth certificates and previous change of name certificates once your application is successful.
Victorians that have just become wed can take their partners names or combine their surnames using their wedding certificate as proof. Otherwise they have to apply with Births, Deaths and Marriages Victoria.
An original birth certificate, credit history, personal details (with proof) and reason for changing your name will have to be provided. Standard processing takes 20 working days and will cost $107.90.
A 30 minute interview with a registry officer is needed to change your name in Queensland, in addition to the paperwork. Call 13 74 68 to book an appointment.
To download the application form you will have to provide some basic personal information. After that you will need a certified ID and other documents proving who you are and why you want to change your name. The process costs $183.60
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The form asks for proof of identity, your residential address, a reason for your name change and other personal information that you will have to provide evidence for.
Registering a name change in South Australia requires an appointment if you want to do it on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. On Mondays and Wednesdays you can rock up to a Consumer and Business Services (CBS) customer service centre without an appointment.
Either way you’ll still need to fill out the change of name form which asks for your birth certificate, proof of your address, documents linking your photo and signature, evidence of you using your name in the community and a detailed reason why you are changing your name. The process will cost you $236.75.
To change your name in Tasmania, you will need to fill out the form and pay a fee of $196.18.
A detailed reason for your name change, proof of identity and residency will need to be provided.
Australian Capital Territory
You don’t have to be born in the ACT to change your name there if you can prove you’re currently living in the territory. Visit Access Canberra or fill out the form online with proof of identity and pay the fee of $124 ($187 if you want a certificate) to change your name.
As with the ACT, residents of the Northern Territory can apply to change their name there no matter where in Australia they were born.
The process involves advertising your change of name in a Northern Territory newspaper, consenting to a police check and then lodging the change of name form which asks for several forms of ID and paying the $92 fee.
Once you’ve legally changed your name it’s up to you to update your passport and other documents with the new name. This will require you to complete a new passport application with proof of your name change and supporting documents linking your new and old names.