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Perth Matrimony Made Easy: Navigating Your Name Change After Marriage

Congratulations on your recent Perth wedding! As you embark on your happily ever after, one practical step awaits: getting your name changed. While the legal aspects might seem daunting, fret not Perth lovebirds! This guide will simplify navigating your name change in Western Australia (WA) after marriage, highlighting the most common approach and alternative options.

wedding couple signing documents
Glenn & Aideen signing documents

Understanding Your Options:

Australian tradition dictates that upon marriage, either partner can choose to adopt their spouse's surname. This is a social custom, not a legal requirement. The good news? In most cases, a certified marriage certificate issued by the WA Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (RBDM) is usually sufficient evidence to update your personal documents (driver's license, bank accounts, etc.) to reflect your married surname.

The Most Common Path: The Power of Your Marriage Certificate

For many couples, the marriage certificate itself serves as the primary name change document. When registering your marriage with the RBDM, you can simply choose to adopt your spouse's surname. This streamlined approach eliminates the need for a separate formal name change application.

But What If...? Exploring Alternative Scenarios

While the marriage certificate approach works for most, there are situations where a formal name change through the RBDM might be necessary:

  • Married Overseas: If you tied the knot outside Australia, the overseas marriage certificate might not be universally accepted as proof of your new name. In such cases, registering a formal change of name with the RBDM can provide a more robust legal document.

  • Reverting to Your Maiden Name:  There's no legal obligation to formally change your name back to your maiden name (surname at birth or after adoption) after marriage. However, to avoid any hassles with institutions recognizing your maiden name, registering the change with the RBDM is highly recommended.

The Formal Change of Name Process (Optional, But Available):

If you require a standalone legal document for your new name, the RBDM offers a formal Change of Name application process. This option is particularly useful for situations where the marriage certificate isn't sufficient.

Here's a quick overview of the formal name change process:

  1. Gather Documents:

  • Completed Application to Register a Change of Name form (available on the RBDM website) [WA government changing your name ON Department of Justice (WA)]

  • Proof of identity (e.g., driver's license, passport)

  • Proof of your current name (e.g., birth certificate)

  • Marriage certificate (original)

  1. Lodging Your Application:  Submit your application by mail, in person, or online (if eligible). Refer to the RBDM website for detailed instructions and fees (currently $190).

  2. Processing: Processing times typically take six to eight weeks, but this can vary.

  3. Receiving Your Change of Name Certificate: Upon approval, you'll receive an official document serving as legal proof of your new name.

wedding couple with their dog
Gen & Bailey living happily ever after

Additional Considerations:

  • Changing Children's Names: If you have minor children and wish to change their surnames to match yours, include them in your Change of Name application (additional fees may apply). Parental consent from both parties is mandatory.

  • Name Change Announcement: Once you have your official documentation in place, consider sending out name change announcements to relevant contacts (employers, banks, etc.) to avoid any communication delays.


Getting married in Perth WA brings immense joy, and you definitely don't need to waste your time stressing on how to change your name after marriage in WA, it is a simple and smooth process. Remember, in most cases, your certified marriage certificate is sufficient. However, the RBDM offers a formal name change option for those who require a more formal document. With the right information and a touch of planning, you can navigate your name change in Perth with confidence, allowing you to focus on celebrating your new chapter as a married couple!


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