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Marriage & Official Name Change?

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#1 Kalota

Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:39 AM

Many of my friends have gotten married recently and have found changing their name to be difficult, mainly because Vicroads, Medicare etc will not accept the marriage certificate from their marriage. Instead, after their marriage ceremony, they have to apply through Births, Deaths, and Marriages to get a certificate from them that WILL be accepted to change their name. Often, and especially if they ordered the certificate online and cannot get to the main office in the city, they have to wait several weeks for this to happen.

Is this the standard thing now? I'm getting married next year and I want to change my surname to that of my husband's. It sounds like the marriage certificate I get on the day will be completely useless, and after my wedding I'll have to apply for a certificate from Births, Deaths and Marriages, wait for THAT to come, and then use that to name my name? Is this correct?

I was talking to my mum about it and it sounds like this is a relatively new process? Has anyone gotten married recently and gone about changing their name, if so, how did you do it? Was it a difficult process? Did it take long?

I'm in Victoria, if that makes any difference!

#2 Isolabella

Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:44 AM

It was the same 10 yrs ago. The certificate you get on your wedding day is just a memorial item.

The marriage has to be registered at BDM for it to be legally recognised, hence Medicare etc wanting the bDM copy.

Eta the change of name is actually not a legal change of name as such, it is a custom based on the fact that you are married. You can go to you DPs surname, they can go to yours, you can double barrel all on the basis of the wedding certificate, but say you wanted to have your maiden name as a 2nd middle name that would require a full legal change of name.

I am Mrs Browne Smith as my full name. I go everyday as Mrs Smith. I did not want to give up my maiden name completely, but did not want to bother with a legal name change to make it a middle name.

Edited by lsolaBella, 31 December 2012 - 08:49 AM.

#3 ~Bells~

Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:45 AM

The marriage certificate you receive on the day is not official. You need to register the marriage with BDM of your state to receive the official certificate and you need to present this to different organisations to change your name (even at your work place).

This is an annoying process, but unfortunately you need to follow it. Good luck.

#4 SeaPrincess

Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:45 AM

It was the same when we got married in 2002.

#5 TinyTeddys

Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:46 AM

I'm from NSW and got married five years ago. We had to apply for our marriage certificate from births, deaths & marriages before I could change my name. Took about two weeks to come initially...a friend told me to check it as they often make mistakes and sure enough DH's DOB and something else (maybe the spelling of MIL's  name) were incorrect.

All the best for your wedding!!

#6 StilettoMum

Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:51 AM

This has been the case in Victoria since around 1999/2000. As others have said the certificate you get on the day is just decorative.

#7 ani1

Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:51 AM

It's not a new process , I got Married 10yrs ago and it was the done thing back then. No big deal just have to register officially. Then wait for certificate then change your name. To easy original.gif

#8 Isolabella

Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:52 AM

As PP suggested do check the certificate. Mine was issued incorrectly. DH had a joke that I had married someone else as it was his name that was wrong.

#9 Swimbaby

Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:52 AM

You are on the right track. Most official agencies (like the roads authorities) will require the certificate from Births, Deaths & Marriages. But getting this certificate doesn't take too long - I ordered it as soon as I got back from my honeymoon (about 4 weeks after the wedding) and I received it within 2 weeks.
Some organisations don't require anything at all - e.g. my health fund - and will processs the change over the phone. But they did warn me if that if I made a hospital claim, my surname on my membership would have to match my medicare details (which required the BDM certificate to change... so that's their check & balance).
But what's your rush anyway? You can adopt your married name immediately for personal purposes (e.g. introducing yourself, personal stationery etc) immediately, and the official changes, well, you just have to accept it takes a couple of months to get in order. If you waant to be really prepared, write out a list of all of the things you will need to change (e.g. all banks, health, tax, memberships, utilities), find out about each agency/company's procedures, get your paperwork ready, and send it off as soon as you get the BDM certificaate.
Also make a note of what you are NOT going to change. For me, that's the title deed to our home. Cost to change it is $100 - and there's no point, as when we sell, it can be explained with a statutory declaration to the buyer. Why give $100 to the state governmennt for nothing?
p.s.  One VERY important thing to remember - if you are booking an overseas holiday, your booking MUST be in your maiden name so it matches your passport.

#10 FeralAlpacaWarrior

Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:56 AM

Yup, we got married nine years ago, I was taking DH's surname and taking my maiden name as my middle name, so I had to get an official marriage certificate from BDM, then apply for an official change of name certificate.

#11 Madnesscraves

Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:56 AM

As PPs said. You need the certificate from BDM. I took a day off and got everything I could think of changed. It's a PITAbut if you set aside a day for it, less hassle.

#12 Isolabella

Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:59 AM

Swim baby is right. Passport must match travel documents. So most people go on honeymoon with their maiden name.

You can call yourself Mrs X.

I waited 2yrs and changed my name as I changed jobs. I was known career wise by my other name. When I went and did a project back in my old dept, I went back to my maiden name... That was how everyone knew me.

#13 katpaws

Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:06 AM

Have been married for 20 years and did not have to go through the aforementioned processes at all. I just changed my name and gave copies of the Marriage Certificate to relevant organisations etc (ie bank). I actually need the Certificate to prove who i am as i did not legally exist prior to getting married (long story!) and it is easier to prove who i am with the Marriage Certificate than with my other documents.  I haven't had any problems with using the Certificate so far, but have to admit that my driver's licence etc is used more often (although to get those forms of id etc i used the Marriage Certificate).

Edited by katpaws, 31 December 2012 - 09:07 AM.

#14 pruehp

Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:14 AM

I was married in late 1999 and the certificate we received on the day was fine. To this day I have never applied for the 'official' version. Based on previous comments the process must have changed in about 2000.

#15 ~Jodama_Feral~

Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:18 AM

I found it all very easy. We got married 7 years ago. Took about a week to receive the BDM certificate and then I just changed it with all the places using that. Our celebrant told us that this was the process and that we would need to go and apply for it. I don't get at all what's complicated about that.

#16 Mitis angelam

Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:20 AM

I was married 6 years ago, and the certificate I got on the day was fine for everyone except VicRoads - for them I needed the official one from BDM.

shrug.gif  My driver's licence stayed in my maiden name for a bit until I got organised.  You can legally use either your maiden or married name, so it's not a big deal.

#17 Threelittleducks

Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:27 AM

Perhaps our marriage celebrant did it a bit differently, but we completed the forms to register our marriage at our wedding rehearsal. On the day of the wedding we got the formal certificate and we signed the form requesting a certificate from the department and she posted it all off for us. The official form was waiting in the letter box when we got home from our honeymoon. No drama.

There are also services available where you can buy a kit with every possible form that you need to change your name on. These are autofilled with your details online and all you have to do is sign them. Google it, there are a few options.

We married in Qld.

#18 ~Mintie~

Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:27 AM

Since Sept 11, departments like the RTA(RMA), Medicare, many banks and super more often that not won't accept the cert you get on the wedding day as it's not an official document. They want to see the one with the rego and issue number which is issued through BDM. It's not difficult, once you apply and receive the cert you just take it to the different places and change your name.
And yes, like PPer said book your honeymoon under your maiden name to avoid issues if the registry have greater delays doing regos.
Perhaps our marriage celebrant did it a bit differently, but we completed the forms to register our marriage at our wedding rehearsal. On the day of the wedding we got the formal certificate and we signed the form requesting a certificate from the department and she posted it all off for us. The official form was waiting in the letter box when we got home from our honeymoon. No drama.

There is a lot of confusion with newlyweds around this. So many think that the celebrant/church applies for the cert for you, and yes, a small selection do but the vast majority don't because they don't want the added responsibility. So ask you celebrant/church if they are applying for the official cert on your behalf.

#19 elizabethany

Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:27 AM

I got married in 2006 and that was the common process then as well.  I agree with PP and check the official cert, ours had 2 mistakes, and we only picked up one at the time (date of marriage was wrong), and it still has an incorret postcode in the address that I'm not bothering to fix.

It really isn't that big of a deal.

#20 Aruneh

Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:29 AM

I got married overseas and overseas marriage certificates are not accepted in Australia by most organisations.

I had to get my name officially changed via bdm. It took a lot of paperwork and about 2-3 months for the change of name certificate to come.

Edited by Aruneh, 31 December 2012 - 09:29 AM.

#21 Isolabella

Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:31 AM

QUOTE (LouLou1979 @ 31/12/2012, 10:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Perhaps our marriage celebrant did it a bit differently, but we completed the forms to register our marriage at our wedding rehearsal. On the day of the wedding we got the formal certificate and we signed the form requesting a certificate from the department and she posted it all off for us. The official form was waiting in the letter box when we got home from our honeymoon. No drama.

There are also services available where you can buy a kit with every possible form that you need to change your name on. These are autofilled with your details online and all you have to do is sign them. Google it, there are a few options.

We married in Qld.

That happened for us too. We filled out forms with the priest a few months prior and he lodged the paperwork and we got our certificate a few weeks after we were married. Ideas or a process as such to get it. We were married inNSW.

Edited by lsolaBella, 31 December 2012 - 09:33 AM.

#22 Isolabella

Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:35 AM

The wedding has always had to be registered, usually the forms are prepared by the celebrant as they resister the marriage.

It is just whether the ceremonial certificate is used for changing names.

Edited by lsolaBella, 31 December 2012 - 09:36 AM.

#23 MrsShine

Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:37 AM

I'm in NSW and got married last year - exactly as PP's have said the one you get on the day isn't a certificate at all its just a commemorative thing.
We were married by a celebrant and they register the marriage for you - it's part of what you pay them for. Not sure if that's different in other states or if its different if you get married in a church, but we filled in the paperwork with our celebrant at one of our meetings before the wedding and she lodges it with BDM on your behalf.
We went on a mini honeymoon for 4 days and got back and it was at the post office for us to collect. (Registered mail).

It's pretty obvious which one is official, the real one looks a lot like a birth certificate.

I was able to scan and email to a lot of companies (for credit cards etc.) a handy website is:

For $19.95 you can pre order a lot of forms for things you won't have even thought about like - pap register, donor lists, tax office etc. etc.

Good luck!

#24 mumto3princesses

Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:49 AM

Wow, I don't remember getting anything else except for the certificate on the day. I changed everything over with it without any problems at all. Was 19 years ago though.

#25 jayskette

Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:52 AM

It's always been like this OP, the decorative certificate do sh*t. A celebrant should have organised for you to apply for the official BDM certificate as well, which I did.

BTW a word of warning - always change the name in the passport first, the easiest and free if done within 2 years of marriage. THEN change everything else. I've learned the very hard way. My driver's licence authority still will not accept the change of name with the BDM certificate but will once I give them the passport Tounge1.gif

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