A change of name after marriage is not compulsory. It is only a custom and not the law, so the choice is yours.
You can assume a new name without going through an official name change process, despite what is on your Birth Certificate. This is called ‘Name by Association’. If however you want to open a bank account or get a new drivers licence in your assumed name, it will almost be impossible if it is not legally recognised.
Whilst the Marriage Certificate that Your Celebrant gives you on the day confirms that your marriage has been solemnised according to law, it is really only a ceremonial/presentation copy. In most cases, it cannot be used as an official identification document.
Luckily, a change of name after marriage is a fairly simple process.
The Registry’s preference is for couples to apply for their own official Marriage Certificate, but your Celebrant can provide you with advice on the process and help you to complete the correct application form. As at 3 July 2017, the application fee payable to the QLD Registry is $46.60 plus postage. *Fees may vary from State to State.
What you need to do is complete the application form to enable an official copy of your Marriage Certificate to be sent to you after your ceremony. Your marriage does need to be registered first, so check with your Celebrant that this has been done, or call the Registry on 137 468 to confirm. You can then apply for a Marriage Certificate either by post or in person at the QLD Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages (‘the Registry’).
It should be noted that your Celebrant can send off the application form at the same time as your Marriage documents, so long as “you” sign the form yourself and complete the payment information. If you would like your celebrant to send it away for you, you will be asked to provide three (3) forms of original identification for them to sight, so they can endorse the application for you. Only one applicant is required to complete and sign the application form and therefore only their original documents are required to be produced.
Once you receive your Marriage Certificate, you can then use this as your official identification document and can start the change of name process for all of the following:
- Bank Accounts/Credit Cards/Superannuation
- The Electoral Roll
- Insurance Policies
- Private Health Funds
- Drivers Licence & Registration
- Miscellaneous Memberships/Accounts
For more information on how to apply for a Marriage Certificate, visit https://www.qld.gov.au/law/births-deaths-marriages-and-divorces/birth-death-and-marriage-certificates/marriage-certificates/applying-for-a-marriage-certificate/
If you have any questions at all, please feel free to Contact me.