Do I have to Change My Name When I Get Married?

Change of Name with Marriage Lisa Hunt-Wotton

It is a matter of choice for brides to change their name after marriage. It is not a legal requirement and many women today choose to retain their maiden names. There are no legal steps that must be taken in effecting the name change – producing an official Marriage Certificate as evidence of entitlement to change the name should be sufficient. Because of the administrative costs associated with changing a name (changing details on driver’s licences, Medicare cards, etc.) it may be advisable to wait until those registrations expire, and then advise the change of name at the time of renewal.

For change of name documentation ( ie drivers licence, banks, passports) after the wedding, an official certificate may be required. This is obtained from BDM in your state by paying the appropriate fee. In some States you can download one from the Births Deaths & Marriages website.  If you wish to change your name you must apply for an official marriage certificate from Births Deaths and Marriages in the state in which you were married.  Your Celebrant will lodge those documents with BDM after your wedding ceremony.  The decorative wedding certificate that you receive at your wedding does not count as a legal document.


A woman can revert to her maiden name at any time, as this name is on her birth certificate and is proof of her identity. Some women will retain their maiden name for professional purposes, but use their partner’s name socially. This practice is often followed when a career and professional identity have been established prior to marriage.

After a divorce, a woman may use her former husband’s name, her original name or a different name. If she remarries, she may use her new husband’s name, her first husband’s name, her original name, or any other name, as long as there is no intention to deceive.

If a man wishes to change his family name to that of his partner, it is not so simple. In most States, the Change of Name is required to be registered and the required fee is payable. Check with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the resident State to verify the local requirements.

Some couples choose to combine their names in some form. If so, it is simplest for the Groom to register a Change of Name before the ceremony, and for the Bride to then assume the combined name with marriage.


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