How to change your name after your Perth Wedding
It is the Monday after your wedding here in Perth, Western Australia and now you are wondering how you go about changing your name!
At your wedding, your Perth Marriage Celebrant would have presented to you a beautiful certificate which is termed the “Presentation Certificate”. It will look fantastic as a memento on the wall but you cannot use it for anything else such as proof of marriage.
The Celebrant has 2 weeks (most will do within 2 days) to post the paperwork to the Perth office of Birth’s deaths and marriages (BDM) and they will register your marriage within about 5-10 working days (depends on Australia post delivery times and the workload of BDM).
In Australia, when you marry, a bride may choose to take her husbands name: This is done as a matter of custom and not of law (ie you do not have to legally apply to change your name to your husbands name).
To change your name you will need to get the Official Marriage Certificate that is issued through the office of Births Deaths and Marriages in the state of your wedding. This Official Marriage Certificate is usually enough evidence to get your personal documents (such as passports, drivers license and bank accounts) changed to your married surname (your husbands last name).
There are 3 ways you can apply for the certificate from BDM:
- Directly from the Perth BDM office located on St Georges Terrace.
- Go to a local Western Australian courthouse and apply(check with the courthouse first)
- Fill in the application form from BDM and send in with the various ID requirements (as per the application form) If you need more information on changing your name here is a link to the Perth office of BDM.
The fee at the moment (1st July 2016) is $48 and the current turnaround is around 5-10 working days for the certificate. However you can pay an priority service urgent fee of $34 and get it a bit quicker.
What to do now?
Once you have your official marriage certificate you can now go about taking your husband’s name on all your personal documents. An easy and time efficient way is to purchase an Easy Name Change kit.
They provide a checklist of companies where you can select who to notify, then receive a personalised parcel of notifications which are pre-formatted for each company. In many cases you can just sign, add your marriage certificate and send!
Thinking of taking a different name?
BDM marriage certificates can only be used by brides who take their husband’s surname in addition to their own or instead of their own. If you would like a different surname, or want to change any part of your first or middle names at the same time then you will need a legal name change from BDM in the state where you were born. A legal name change is also required if you are married overseas. At the time of writing a legal name change certificate issued by WA BDM costs $170.
Congratulations on getting married: having a wonderful life together and I hope these simple steps will help in helping you start the process to change your name. All the best.
Brad Whitelock, Perth Wedding Celebrant. Ph: 0431 974 608
Having performed almost 2000 weddings since becoming a wedding Celebrant in 2006, Brad Whitelock is one of the Fun and Friendly Marriage Celebrants in Perth writing relaxed and memorable Wedding Ceremonies.