How do I change my name after getting married?
Name Change Checklist
Changing your surname after marriage is a personal choice many individuals make to represent the start of a new chapter in their lives.
Remember that your name is not automatically changed, as many choose to keep their name the same. And either partner in the marriage can take the other’s name whilst others go for a hyphenation.
Please note that you cannot create a new name for both of you (this needs an OFFICIAL name change through Births, Deaths and Marriages). You are simply taking on the surname of your marriage partner or adding theirs to yours.
Thus, it’s an individual choice for each couple, so there is a process to go through after you are officially. While the process might seem daunting, with careful planning and organisation, it can be a smooth transition (but, let’s face it, it’s still a logistical nightmare!).
Unfortunately, there is no button we can push to have your new name changed and recognised by all.
So, where do we start? You can use these headings and name change checklist to make sure you have everything covered!
Obtain Your Marriage Certificate from Births, Deaths, and Marriages.
On the day of your wedding, before I head off and let you party and celebrate with your friends and family, I will leave you with a beautiful, commemorative certificate to signify your marriage.
Whilst this looks official and ‘pretty’, it’s not worth anything legally, and you will not be able to change your name using this. I will organise the application for your official marriage certificate from Births, Deaths, and Marriages (which is an extra fee to cover the cost and is offered to all couples).
About 6-8 weeks after your wedding, your marriage certificate will appear in your snail mailbox. This document proves your new marital status and can be used at each organisation and institution to change your name by marriage.
Gather your ID Documents
Once you have your official marriage certificate as evidence of your marriage, gather your other identification, such as your Driver’s License, Birth Certificate and Passport, to have with you.
You might want to have digital copies of each, as well as hard copy. Most places will accept these without getting certified copies. However, I recently had to amend a name with an online bank, and I still needed to send through certified copies (which is interesting as I am allowed to marry couples having seen only a digital copy of their identification).
So, just check before you take time out to go anywhere. But many can be done online now, too.
Where might I have to change my name?
Change Your Driver’s License, Car Registration and Tolls
The next step is to update your driver’s license by going to VicRoads. Download the form, fill it in, go into a VicRoads customer service centre with your ID and marriage certificate, and start the ball rolling.
They will provide you with a new driver’s license with your updated name. This will help at other places too.
Don’t forget your car, boat, caravan, motorbike, trailer or any other toys you have registered.
Contact My Gov so you can change a few things simultaneously for Centrelink, Medicare and the ATO.
Visit a Centrelink office in person with all your IDs, or you can call them to double-check what is required in your state.
Businesses and ABN
If you change your name, you must change your ABN and business details as required.
ALWAYS book travel after you are recently married in your original name; the name change is not a quick process. If you have a passport, you can apply for a new one with your new surname. Fill out the appropriate application form and submit it, along with your current passport, certified marriage certificate, passport photos, and any necessary fees, to the nearest passport office. If you change it within 12 months of marriage and have enough validity on your passport, this change is free of charge.
Once you are married, this affects any will you have in place. I will have already sent through the Happily Ever Before and After brochure, which details this effect. But, ensure you review your will and check with a solicitor where necessary.
Utilities, Service Providers and Rates and Rentals
If you have any bills for your home, jump on their websites and contact them to change your name. This may include water, gas, electricity, internet, and phones. Unfortunately, a change of name won’t assist in lowering any bills! You may also notify the council if you own your own home, for your rates, and the realestate for rentals.
Financial Institutions and Accountants
Notify your bank, credit card companies, and other financial institutions about your name change. Contact them individually or visit their branches with your updated identification, marriage certificate, and any other documents they may request to update your records.
This step is crucial to ensure that your accounts and financial documents reflect your new name accurately. Your accountant will also need to be informed.
Employer, Insurance, Superannuation, Investments and Professional Associations
Inform your employer about your name change and provide the necessary documentation, such as your marriage certificate. Update your employment records, payroll information, and any other relevant documentation. Additionally, notify your insurance providers, including health, auto, and home insurance, superannuation, investments and update your policies accordingly.
Remember to update your name with any professional associations or clubs that you belong to, if applicable.
Social Media and Online Presence
You can change your name in this category any time you choose! No need for legal paperwork here! If you have an online presence, update your name across your social media accounts, email addresses (though work ones may need your official name change details), and any other platforms where your surname identifies you.
This will ensure consistency and clarity for friends, family, and professional connections. I love the excitement of spotting someone who’s changed their name on Facebook or Instagram by the next day!
Have Foxtel, Binge, Disney +, Netflix, Prime, Spotify, Audible or any other subscription? Get onto it.
Are you registered to vote in Australia? Jump on their website to change your name when you next queue on election day for a sausage or vegan burger and to vote.
If you are enrolled at University or TAFE, you will need to contact them regarding your name change (including contacting USI as well). If you have children in school, kinder or childcare, you will need to let them know as well.
Love going to the Library or the Gym? Make sure you let them know.
If you’re signed up with Woollies, Fly Buys and the 100s of other rewards programs, contact them to receive a new card/online account in your new name.
If you’re like me, perhaps you sponsor a child or regularly donate to charities. I sponsor two children through World Vision and donate monthly to Care Australia to support women so I would need to change my name with them.
Doctors, Dentists, Ambulance, Organ Donor
Of course, there are many different medical, dental, optical and allied health professionals we visit in these modern times. So, when you next visit, don’t forget to update your details. And, if you have an ambulance subscription, contact them and the Australian Organ Registry.
Changing your surname after marriage involves several steps, but with proper organisation, documentation, and a name change checklist, it can be a smooth and successful process.
Remember to wait for your marriage certificate, update your name by notifying important institutions, and update your online presence. If the process is overwhelming, consider using online name change services to simplify the procedure, but they are unnecessary.
Embrace this wonderful change in your life to celebrate your new chapter! If you want to know more, or are looking for a celebrant, contact me!