How to change your name after you get married

Now all the excitement of your wedding is over, you will probably have some time now to change your name to your married name.

Your celebrant would have given you a ceremonial certificate on your wedding day, however, this can’t be used for changing your name.

You can apply for your official certificate about two to three weeks after your wedding, from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (RBDM) in the state that you were married in.  The certificate will then take up to four to be mailed to you.  The cost of the certificate is different in each state and you will find all that information on their website.  Once you receive your Official Marriage Certificate from RBDM you will be able to start the process of changing your name.  Marriage Certificate in Qld.

There are a number of different variations that you can change your name to

  • retain your existing family name; or
  • adopt your spouse’s family name; or
  • adopt a combination of your family name and your spouse’s family name with or without hyphens.

For example if Lisa Smith marries Tom Lewis her First name and Family name could be:

  • Lisa Smith
  • Lisa Lewis
  • Lisa Smith Lewis
  • Lisa Lewis Smith
  • Lisa Smith-Lewis
  • Lisa Lewis-Smith


Steps to changing your name
  1. Decide on what your new name will be
  2. Go to RBDM website (Qld link here)and fill in the online form and pay the fee
  3. Post in your JP certified copies of your ID or go into the RBDM in person with your original copies of your ID.
  4. Receive your certificate
  5. It’s a good idea to get four or five copies of the certificate certified by a JP. Find a JP in Queensland
  6. Practice your new signature
  7. Make a list of all the places you will need to change your name.  Go through your filing cabinet and look in your wallet/purse and note down all the cards, licences etc that you have.  Some of the institutions may need to see your original marriage certificate, others will be happy with a certified copy and you may find some are happy with changing your name online. Here is a list to get you started (PDF).
  8. As a quick guide, start with changing your drivers’ licence or proof of age card first, then update your passport medicare care card and bank cards.  (For example, in Queensland, to update your driver’s licence you will need to print out and complete an application form and then visit a Queensland Transport service centre.  Here are further details on what you are required to do and a link to the application form.
  9. Start using your new name!

If you have any questions about this or need some advice about changing your name, feel free to get in touch.

Congrats and enjoy married life!

Natasha x