Congratulations on getting married! Changing your last name to your partners surname is completely optional. The following process applies to all genders regardless of who is taking who’s last name.
The process outlined here applies to Australian Citizens. If you are not an Australian citizen, please contact your country of birth or citizenship directly for information on updating your name on your passport and identification.
In order to change your last name to that of your partners last name, one of you needs to firstly apply to the QLD Office of BDM (Births, Deaths and Marriages) for your official ‘registry issued’ marriage certificate.
The presentation certificate that you receive on your wedding day generally isn’t considered sufficient evidence for most organisations to update your last name, which is why you need your ‘registry issued’ marriage certificate.
Once this certificate has been received, it can then be presented as proof of marriage to the various organisations (see our handy little check list below), who can then update the individuals last name on their records and issue new documents where relevant (Drivers Licence, Passports etc).
Brisbane City Celebrants Handy Tip: Once you have received your ‘registry issued marriage certificate’, create a file with several JP witnessed copies of this document, so you can have these at hand, ready to update your last name with the following places as you go.
Brisbane City Celebrants Handy Tip: You can expect to receive an email or SMS from BDM QLD verifying your payment details before they send your certificate to you, please respond to this confirming these details.
Applying for your ‘Registry Issued’ marriage certificate
This process applies to all couples whose marriage took place within QLD.
If you are changing your last name through marriage, and have already applied for and received your ‘registry issued’ marriage certificate, you can skip straight to Marriage Change Name Checklist for a handy check list of places you may like to update your name with.
You will need to prepare the following accompanying documents to add to your application:
One item from each of the following lists:
– From List 1 you may choose your passport or drivers license
– From List 2 you may choose your Medicare card or bank card with your full name
– From List 3 (Proof of address) you may choose one of the following, e.g. recent utility account, rent statement or rates notice.
Proof of ID Lists for QLD Marriage Certificate Application. Source: BDM QLD.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1.What do I do with my completed application and accompanying documents?
There are 3 different options available for submitting your application:
Option 1. Post your application form and JP witnessed copies of the above listed 3 forms of ID by post (registered post recommended) to:
QLD Marriage Registry
Births Deaths and Marriages
PO Box 15188
Option 2. Present in person at BDM QLD with your application form and original documents for a Client Services Officer to sight (no JP witnessing of documents is required) to submit your application.
Address of BDM QLD is 32/180 Ann Street, Brisbane City
Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 4.30pm.
Note: Please allow approximately 4 weeks for BDM QLD to process your marriage documents and register your marriage before arriving in person.
Option 3. Present in person at a QLD Courthouse (except the Brisbane City George Street court) and follow the process outlined in option 2.
A Client Services Officer at the courthouse can sight your original 3 forms of ID (no JP witnessing of documents is required) and you can submit your completed application form.
Brisbane courthouse locations include:
Holland Park, Richlands, Wynnum, Sandgate, Strathpine, Petrie, Cleveland and Redcliffe plus many more throughout QLD.
For a list of Brisbane courthouse locations click here.
Q2. Can anyone other than a JP witness the photo copies of my ID?
The following persons are considered to be qualified witnesses and are able to certify photocopies of documents as being “a correct copy of the document”:
- Justice of the Peace
- Commissioner for Declarations
- Notary Public
Q3. Where do I direct questions about my application to?
All questions should be directed to BDM QLD who oversee the whole process. They can be contacted:
Q4. I notice Cara’s name is spelled Ciara on my marriage certificate, is this correct?
Well spotted! Yes, Cara is my ‘known as’ name and Ciara is the legal spelling, so this is correct and no amendments need to be made.
For more information including links to forms and fees please head to BDM QLD Applying for a marriage certificate.
Once you have received your official ‘registry issued’ marriage certificate from BDM, you can proceed to update your name with all relevant departments.
We have created a Marriage Change of Name Checklist to assist you with ensuring you’ve covered all bases.
How to update your last name to your partners last name
We have created the following marriage change of name check list to assist you with the process of updating your last name.
Once you have received your registry issued marriage certificate, using this as your proof of marriage, you can contact the following departments and companies, to advise them of your change of name, so they can update their records accordingly.
Please note, organisations will also have different requirements on what proof they need, some may require:
- to sight your ‘registry issued’ marriage certificate
- a certified photocopy of your ‘registry issued’ marriage certificate for your account file with them
- evidence of updated photo ID
What is the process to combine or hyphenate both of your last names?
There are two processes currently available for combining or hyphenating your last names:
1. The Australian Passport Office advise you can contact them and apply for a replacement passport, providing your current passport and official registry issued marriage certificate as evidence (refer to the process below to apply for this if you don’t already have this). The replacement passport can display your partners family name, or you can add your partners family name to your own.
If you have 2 years or more validity on your current Australian passport, the Australian Passport Office advises you may be eligible for a free replacement passport in your new name.
Once you have received your replacement passport in your new marital name/s, this can be used as proof of ID (along with your registry issued marriage certificate where required) as proof of change of name, to update subsequent types of ID.
2. Alternatively, you can apply to formerly change your name through your State Office of Births, Deaths and Marriages (e.g. QLD BDM). This process is also required should you wish to change the spelling of names e.g. from Smyth to Smith.
Marriage Name Change Check List
- Medicare and any private health insurance funds
- Superannuation fund
- Your employer
- Any educational institution you may be enrolled with
- Electoral rolls
- The Transport Authority in your State, eg. Transport Dept
- Bank/ Home loan provider/ Credit card issuer
- Insurance and utility companies, eg. Telephone, electricity, internet provider, car insurance, etc.
- Passports office
- Australian Tax Office
- Australian Electoral Commission
- Vehicle Registration
- GoVia account
- Flybuys, Qantas or other reward programs, store cards, airline loyalty programs, gym and other memberships
- Doctors, Dentists, Health Care Professionals etc
- Your Will (if you don’t have one, now that you are married it may be a good time to consider getting one)
- You may also wish to change your email address for your work and home emails.
- Social Media Accounts (who are we kidding, we know that was the first thing you updated!)
We hope this information has been useful and we would like to take this opportunity to wish you all the very best for your future together!
Once again we thank you so much for choosing Brisbane City Celebrants, if you have already left a review for us, we REALLY do appreciate it so THANK YOU SO much :)
If you haven’t already please do share some photos from your special day with us! We love seeing these arrive in our inbox!
Wishing you all the very best!
Jamie + Cara – Brisbane City Celebrants