Changing your name after marriage


Written by Melbourne celebrant, Zena Lythgo, who we are lucky enough to have as part of our team. She also runs  I Do Drive Thru, which is a wonderful, easy, stress-free elopement company that we LOVE, based in Melbourne and all over Victoria. 

And some of you may know with certainty that you want to change your name after you get married/ others may be wary of how much admin will be involved.

We hear you. Let me lay it out for you…


Well, you don’t have to change it at all; you be you baby!

You may like to go by your new name in your social circles, but not change over any of your identity documents and keep your original name for all professional purposes. This is called name by association and is completely legal. But be sure to keep your same signature in this instance!

Just cos you update your married name on Facebook doesn’t mean you have to follow that up with legal paperwork!

And the last thing to consider is, what will your new married name be?

* I am using a heterosexual example to keep it simple to follow but obviously the same options apply for same sex or non-binary couples changing their name.

Are you taking your spouse’s name? Is Jane Doe becoming Jane Smith.

Is John Smith becoming John Doe? (husbands taking their wife’s name is less common but is an option)

Are you adding a hyphen in there (are one, or both of you) becoming a ‘Doe-Smith’?

Another less common, but certainly fun option is creating a new surname that you both use, like Mr & Mrs Dith / Mr & Mrs Smoe?!

If you decide you want to create a whole new surname after the wedding this will require both of you to change your name through your states Births, Deaths & Marriages office.

Unless you were organised and one of you changed your name legally before the wedding day in preparation for this extra admin!


The most important step is getting a photo ID in your new married name – once you have that photo ID most places will change your name over without a hitch.

That pretty commemorative certificate we present to you on the wedding day won’t cut it, so don’t go into to Vic Roads (or your states equivalent) or a passport office with your commemorative certificate they will just send you home. You need your registry issued marriage certificate for this.


You have the option to pay an additional fee for us to apply and pay for your official marriage certificate to be delivered to your preferred address when we register your marriage with The Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. This is completely optional and you can apply for your own certificate yourselves whenever you like.

Once you receive your registry issued marriage certificate go to either:

The state you live in’s road offices (ex. Vic Roads) to get an updated license with your new married name on it


An Australia Post Office to apply for, or renew, your passport to get a copy with your married name on it

(they will want to see your current passport if you have one)

* You will need to take your registry issued marriage certificate and existing photo ID with you in both instances.


Your new photo ID is the golden ticket to changing your name everywhere else.

*We are not going to lie – going all in on changing your name after you get married will be time consuming, and a bit head exploding, cos who can remember all the places that you have accounts with!

But start with the key things and go from there. It probably doesn’t matter if your Netflix account isn’t in your new married name!

There are many resources online to help you with this. You can even pay for a change your name kit to simplify the process for you.

Here is a list of places you may need to change your name courtesy of easynamechange.com

*They also have free downloadable checklist which is handy.

·       Alumni – university, high school

·       Ambulance membership

·       Australian Business Register if you’re the director of a company

·       Australian Electoral Commission

·       Australian Organ Donor Register

·       Australian Tax Office

·       Bank/s – accounts, credit cards, ATM cards, loans, cheque books, term deposit accounts

·       Centrelink

·       CityLink account

·       Council – rates and animal registration

·       Driver’s licence and car registration

·       Frequent Flyer and other loyalty clubs

·       Home phone account

·       Insurance – car, house, contents, health, life, insurance protection

·       Internet account

·       Investments and shares

·       Magazine and newspaper subscriptions

·       Medicare

·       Memberships – library, sports clubs, gym

·       Mobile phone account

·       Online – Facebook, ebay, LinkedIn

·       Passport

·       Pay TV account

·       RACV breakdown cover

·       Real estate agency if you’re renting

·       Regular service providers – hairdresser, mechanic, vet, accountant, lawyer, doctor, dentist

·       Superannuation

·       Utilities – electricity, water, gas

·       Voicemail

·       White Pages listing

·       Your children’s school

·       Your employer

·       Your will

Please note that Victoria’s Births, Deaths and Marriages Office says it can take up to 21 working days to register a marriage and another 21 days for a marriage certificate to be processed.

So it’s not a quick process and most people travelling on their honeymoon do so on a passport with their original surname on it.

We hope this was helpful!