How To Change Your Name After Marriage

Where to begin with changing your married name?

First of all: Congratulations! If you’re reading this then you’ve probably just had an epic wedding/the party of your life (or just about to!). 

Coming out the other end from months of wedding planning can be the total let down with life’s chores popping up, like changing your name. This is a once-in-a-lifetime process so it’s no surprise that this information is hard to come by, but we’ll step out the process with where to begin and then provide you with a great business who offers a quicker and easier way.

First it’s important to understand that changing your name because you’re married is different to simply changing your name. When you change your married surname you are ‘assuming’ your new name, not simply choosing a new name; making this a unique process.

What do you need to change your married name?

Changing your name because you’re married first requires you to have your legal Marriage Certificate. This is different to the Marriage Certificate your Marriage Celebrant or Religious Minister gave you on the wedding day. Confused? Let’s make sure you’ve got the right one before you start.

If it looks sandy yellow with the Australian emblem and your marriage celebrants name at the top (like the picture below); unfortunately this won’t do the job. This is legally called a Form 15, and while it does hold a little legal weight, it’s not enough. Best to consider the Form 15 as commemorative; it’s pretty, you signed in on your big day and you can put it in a frame.

The marriage certificate you need can only be purchased from the registry of Birth, Death and Marriages in the State or Territory you were married. This is what you need to start your legal name change and you can do this from their websites.

Some states (like Victoria and NSW) offer your Celebrants the capability to pre-purchase your marriage certificate and it will be delivered to your mailbox roughly 1 month after the wedding. If you want to choose this option you’ll need to ask them before they submit all your documents if they haven’t already offered it. 

Who do you need to tell you’re changing your name?

To begin we’ll need to make a list, who doesn’t love a good list!

Beware: This list is not comprehensive as you need to consider personal circumstances

There are many more, so write down everything that personally applies to you.

The next step is contacting each company/department and find out what their change of name process is; this could involve a simple email or all the way to sending through new identity documents.

If this is beginning to sound like it’s going to possibly take a lot of time, that’s unfortunately because it will. If you have around 25 on your list to contact, even if it only takes you 20 minutes each company that’s still going to be roughly 8 hours.

Is there a fast and easy way to change your married name?

Yes, yes there is! It took me years to find them but I’m proud to present Easy Name Change who will guide you through the service on 3 different levels.

PLUS I’ve also got a special deal, if you use code PETESAVE5 on checkout, you can save $5 off any name change kit!

What is a name change kit?

These kits, like the ones from Easy Name Change, take care of all the research and administration for you. Instead of spending hours of your own time on hold, researching, drafting letters and completing forms, you can receive personalised and ready to send name change notifications together with detailed instructions for all your companies. Attach your marriage certificate, sign and send! Expect to save about 8 hours and for your name to be updated everywhere a few weeks faster.

What the kit does not have:

The kit does not have your official marriage certificate, this will need to be ordered from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the state or territory where you were married. 

It also doesn’t contain a clone and some updates must be done in person. All state driver licenses need to be updated in person, as do banks with large branch networks. There’s likely to be one or two more places, like Centrelink and attending a post office for your passport interview. 

Whenever you go in person always take your original marriage certificate and photo ID. Passports requires additional identification. For most people, it usually does not matter what order documents are updated in. There are only a very small number of companies that require updated photo ID before they can change your name.

Decision Time:

Now here’s where you can decide if you want to slog it out, allowing about 8 hours over a week or two. Or else consider using a name change kit which has great coverage of Australian companies.

Decide to use a name change service or do it yourself. Either:

  • Choose your companies from the name change database. It’s broken up across 12 different industries so it’s hard to miss any. Then you’ll get fully researched instructions and any corresponding notifications (emails, forms and letters). Some name change kits also have extra services where your identification is certificated, so finding a J.P. is one less thing to worry about. 
  • Use this interactive checklist and you can browse from the same database and choose your companies. You can print off your own custom company checklist! But you need to allow many hours to research or contact each organisation. Ask if they have a form or if you need to send a letter or email instead. Ask what proof to include? Does it need to be certified? Where should you send it?

How to do it yourself

  1. Allocate a chunk of time, which may be across 2 or 3 days. Get in contact with each company on your list. Ask all the important questions; what do you send in? Where do you send it? Does my proof document need to be certified? 

  2. Write all your letters and emails. Attach the necessary proof and send off. Some companies have forms, so you’ll need to fill out each form

  3. Arrange the necessary number of photocopies and certified copies of your marriage certificate. Some people may also need to send in certified copies of their photo ID. If a company does not stipulate if the ID should be in your old or new name then it does not matter which name it is in because your marriage certificate links the names. It’s best arrange identification after you have completed your research so you can get the correct number of photocopies and certified copies (maybe just one or two spare in case)

  4. Check your paperwork is complete, you have the correct proof and send everything off! There will also be some other places where you may need to log into your account and change the name on your profile (eg: Netflix, FlyBuys, Amazon, Ebay)

It’s worth noting that most companies won’t write back to you confirming the change has taken place, so you’ll need to keep an eye out when you receive correspondence from companies or log into your accounts. Sometimes you’ve sent off a notification but high staff turnover in offices can result in name change requests slipping between the cracks or less knowledgeable staff rejecting your proof, even though you’ve met the requirements.

Another handy tip – marriage immediately voids any prior will, so you’ll need to think about getting a new will written up as soon as you can, especially if you have kids, a mortgage or assets to consider!

How to save yourself Time:

Check out Easy Name Change who will literally do the majority of the work for you depending on what package you choose. It’s made sweeter by the special deal, using code PETESAVE5 on checkout, so you can save $5 off any name change kit!

Want to talk with a Melbourne Marriage Celebrant

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Planning your wedding and need a Melbourne Wedding Celebrant – Look no further, you’ve found me! I’ll guide you through the whole process; vows, paperwork, story writing and stand by you on the day to deliver the ceremony you desire. Let’s talk!

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