Changing your name after getting married can be a long and arduous process. You have to have proof of your marriage as well as various forms of identification, which is difficult if you’ve only just moved into a new place and are newlyweds. What I found to be most frustrating about this process was that getting one form of ID changed often depended on having another already changed. Having your official marriage certificate alone doesn’t cut it for things like Medicare or a Blue Card.
After many weeks of research and months of waiting for one name-changed document to arrive before starting the next one, I have compiled a comprehensive guide on how to change your name after marriage in Queensland. Note: these steps have been sorted in order of required prerequisite documents.
Step One: Get your marriage certificate
This step is the first and most important step when changing your name after marriage because without a marriage certificate, you cannot change your name.
In Queensland (Australia), your celebrant will register your marriage with the Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages, and then you must purchase an official marriage certificate. The commemorative one you receive on your wedding day is not a legal document and the Department doesn’t automatically send one to you.
To purchase and marriage certificate, go to this website and fill in the application form. You’ll need to:
Answer the questions listed
Choose how you would like to pay the fee ($49.50 for a standard, official marriage certificate, postage included)
Review your details
Read the email you’ll be sent to finalise the application
Have proof of ID documents certified by a Justice of the Peace or similar.
Submit your proof of ID via post or in person.
A few things to note:
If you choose to submit your application in person, the customer services officers are able to sight your original ID, instead of needing to see a JP.
You’ll need at least three forms of ID - a personal ID (e.g. Australian photo driver license, Australian passport), a community ID (e.g. Medicare card, Blue card, student ID), home address evidence (e.g. rent or lease agreement, utility bill, rates notice).
You will receive your marriage certificate in the mail five or more business days after submission.
Step Two: Register your name change with the Australian Taxation Office
This is a super simple one that you can do online, and all you need is your marriage certificate.
Log onto your myGov account and head to the ATO online homepage
From the top menu, select My profile > personal details
Select update name and title from underneath your name
select the identity document that you will be using to verify your name change
tick the box to agree to your identity document being checked with the issuing agency then select next
complete the fields provided for the identity document selected then select verify.
If you prefer, it is also possible to change your name with the ATO via phone or post.
Step Three: Get your Driver’s License updated
Probably one of the most, if not the most, important pieces of documentation to get your name changed on. Trust me, explaining why you don’t know what your name is is awkward at the best of times.
Just head into a transport and motoring customer service centre with the below documentation, take a photo and have your new signature ready to write.
A certified copy of your marriage certificate or the original
Evidence of your identity (it can be with your old name)
Your current driver’s license (or pay a replacement driver license fee)
Your new license will be mailed to you within 14 business days.
Step Four: Visit your bank
While having your new name on your bank card isn’t too important for your bank and card itself, it does count as an official form of ID and you’re going to need it to change your name elsewhere.
Each bank will differ slightly as to how you can change your name on their records, but in my experience, you need a certified copy of your marriage certificate, yourself and your new driver’s license.
Head down to your local bank branch at a quiet time (between 9 and 11am on a weekday or first thing on a Saturday morning)
Tell the person at the front counter the reason for your visit
Sit down with a bank representative and answer some questions.
This process shouldn’t take more than half an hour from arrival to departure, and your new bank card will come in the mail 3-5 business days later.
Step Five: Get a new Passport
When changing your name on your passport for marital reasons, you are reissued a new passport, free of charge. However, your current passport must have at least two years of validity left before expiry, and its expiry date will not be extended.
You can apply for a new passport online here, and ensure you have the following documents ready and scanned onto your computer:
Your current passport
A friend’s passport details (to act as a witness and verify your identity)
Enter your details online, submit and done! Your new passport will arrive via post in the following weeks.
Step Six: Update your Blue Card
The easiest way to update your name on your Blue Card is to fill out a renewal form.
On the form, it will ask for your current name - fill in your new married name - and details if your name has changed in the last decade. In this section, write your old surname.
Ensure to include evidence of ID with your new bank card and driver’s license.
Step Seven: Go visit Medicare / Centrelink
We’ve saved the worst till last - Medicare - which you must visit in person in order to change your name with them (and link your Medicare account to your spouse’s if you desire).
It always takes an hour or more to visit a Medicare or Centrelink service centre, so we suggest saving it till last, taking a good book, and taking the day off to make this happen.
Your marriage certificate
Your new driver’s license
Your entire wallet - this should have your new bank card, Blue card etc. in it in case they ask.
When updating Medicare, they’ll give you a form to fill out then take you back for a chat while they update the system on the computer.
Once that’s done, you’re home free!
CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve officially changed your name in Queensland, Australia! It took a while and was a bit hectic, but hopefully this guide helped to streamline the process for you.
Until next time, keep making your moments unforgettable!