To update your family name on documents such as your driver licence, passport and bank accounts, apply to those organisations. (For example, this might include VicRoads, the Australian Passport Office or your bank.) As evidence of your changed name, you'll need to give them either:

  • A marriage certificate, or
  • A change of name certificate.

This will depend on whether you were born or married in Australia or overseas. .

Change your family name to your spouse's

Married in Australia

If you were born and married in Australia:

  • You can take your spouse's family name
  • Both partners can hyphenate their family names.

You don’t need to apply for a change of name to do this. Just provide the relevant organisations a copy of your Australian marriage certificate.

The commemorative certificate you got on your wedding day isn't the same as the official marriage certificate issued by the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages Victoria (BDM). Most organisations will only accept the BDM-issued certificate as evidence. If you don't have one, see Get a marriage certificate.

Married overseas

Some organisations won't accept non-Australian marriage certificates as evidence of your right to use your spouse's family name.

In those cases you may need to apply to Change your name with BDM.

Recognising overseas marriages

You can't register an overseas marriage in Australia. However, most organisations will recognise your overseas marriage. See Overseas marriages.

Born overseas and married in Australia

If you were born overseas and married in Australia:

  • Many organisations will accept a copy of your primary identity document plus Australian marriage certificate. (Your primary identity document is your foreign passport or citizenship certificate)
  • Some organisations may require you to change your name with BDM in order to use your spouse's family name.

Change back to your previous family name

Married in Australia

If you were born in Australia, you can go back to your previous family name after separation or divorce, you don't need to register the change with BDM.

To update your family name on your documents and accounts, you need:

  • Your Australian marriage certificate
  • Your Australian birth certificate
  • Your divorce certificate (if applicable).

Most organisations will require you to provide a standard birth certificate, not a birth extract. If you don't have one, see Get a birth certificate.

If you were born overseas, and have legally changed your name to your spouse's, to go back to your previous name you need to:

Married overseas

If you married overseas, to go back to your previous name you need to:

Divorce records

BDM doesn't hold any divorce records or issue divorce certificates. For divorce-related enquiries, see the Federal Circuit Court of Australia (External link) and the Family Court of Australia (External link).