I want to change my name, where do I start?
There is a difference between changing your name and registering a change of name. You can change your name and create a new name on social media but unless the change is registered, most organisations will not accept your new name.
To register a change of name, you need to apply through the Registry of Birth, Deaths & Marriages (BDM). BDM is state-based so choosing the appropriate BDM needs to be considered.
Let’s look at the 3 main reasons for changing a name: marriage; divorce or legal name change.
Marriage: any person who marries in Australia may choose to take their spouse’s surname. This is done as a matter of custom, not of law. Marrying overseas may have a different starting point.
Divorce: there is no legal requirement for a formal change of name if you wish to return to your maiden name but to avoid difficulties with obtaining recognition of your maiden name, registration of the change may be recommended. Taking a new name will involve notifying BDM.
To register a legal change of name for other reasons, you need to apply to BDM.
NamesPlus can provide further guidance so please contact us.
I am not an Australian citizen. Can you still help me change my name?
If you are a permanent resident, then NamesPlus can help.
Being born in another country doesn’t change our service. As long as you have a Passport, Drivers License or Proof of Identity Card, then this is used as your ID. Your marriage certificate from the Births Deaths and Marriages is the only document you can use to change your name with companies. This same certificate is the only document you can use to change your passport. So therefore, you don’t need to update your passport before changing your name, it can all be done at once.
How does NamesPlus help and who is it for?
NamesPlus is a service designed to help anyone who is looking to change their name.
To change personal information, means you need to update your world, that is inform all the organisations, government bodies and other people who need to know about your change of information.
How long does it take to change my name?
NamesPlus now offers a 7-day blitz. We work with you to submit all name change applications within 7 days.
The govt depts and organisations will process the applications but timing is out of our control.
You can do it yourself with either our NamesPlus Kit or our Personalised Plan. How long it takes will depend on you and we suggest allow 2 months.
What about my privacy and data security?
NamesPlus takes privacy and data security very seriously. You are providing us with highly personal information and we have a responsibility to protect that information.
As part of our policy, we take all your data offline after 3 months or when the change of name is complete, however, we hold that data for a further 9 months in case you need to add further details to the list.
How long will you keep my personal information?
We keep your personal information for up to 12 months in case you need to add further organisations to the list of companies to notify.
We will send reminders to you and, at any time as requested by you, we will delete your personal information. We will however keep basic information for accounting and tax purposes.
Our focus is that the change of name is complete so we will liaise with you.
Is the price fixed?
Can men use this service?
There is a small percent of men who are changing their name after marriage either taking their wife’s name, combining or meshing names.
Also, men may choose to change their first name.
Can same-sex couple use this service?
I am gender reassigning. Can NamesPlus help me change my name?
Yes, it will be a pleasure to work with you.
Who do I need to notify?
NamesPlus breaks down the companies and government bodies into various sections and we work through these sections with you. For example, we look at Financial and ask you which bank you use, which credit cards you have and whether you have other loans. Then we may look at Insurances and Superannuation.
Who to notify really depends on you.
How do I get copies of certificates?
Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages (BDM) are responsible for issuing Marriage and Name Change certificates. The Family Court is responsible for Divorce certificates.
BDM is State based and knowing which Registry to contact can sometimes be confusing. We can help you identify the appropriate Registry so you save time.
How do I get certified copies of certificates?
There are certain professions that allow that person to certify copies of original certificates. These include: accountant; chemist; dentist; doctor; insurance broker; lawyer; marriage celebrant; nurse; optometrist; physiotherapist; police officer; real estate agent; teacher; vet and more.
Our experience is that a JP (Justice of the Peace) is an excellent starting point for organising your certificates to be certified.
What is myGov and how do I use it to change my name and address?
myGov is designed to be a central contact point with government organisations. Everyone will have, or has the ability to set up, an account.
As part of setting up your account, you may choose to link to various government bodies such as ATO or Medicare. Once these links are set up, you can change your name with ATO through myGov. Currently, Medicare cannot update name changes through myGov but we expect this to change.
Are there restrictions on changing my name?
Yes, BDM outline a list of restrictions which includes:
- Your new name is considered to be a prohibitive name such as obscene, offensive too long or against the public interest;
- You have outstanding debts, or that the application has been made for fraudulent or improper purposes; and
- You can only change your name once in a 12 month period.
Why is NamesPlus much more expensive than kits?
NamesPlus offers kits which are very competitive.
We also offer a personal service to prepare Personalised Plans or our 7-day blitz and these services require additional time from our consultants.
Is it important to notify all organisations about my name change?
NamesPlus believes that changing a name is very personal and it is up to each person to decide who to tell. Some people may not mind that they are known by different names.
However, we do know that financial institutions, especially superannuation funds, have responsibilities to ensure that you are who you say you are. People have missed out on superannuation funds because their names do not match the various records so the onus is now on you to justify who you are. Obtaining a loan with different names will create problems and stress.
Whilst NamesPlus accepts that people have their own preferences, from our perspective it is important to complete the change of name so you are fully protected at a later stage.
One exception may be that your current name is important for career or other purposes. We can work out with you to determine what needs to change and what needs to remain the same.
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I am getting married and want to change my name, where do I start?
The first thing to do is to ensure you have a certificate issued by Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages (BDM).
At NamesPlus, we offer 3 services: a name change kit which will give you information on how to change your name, a Personalised Plan which gives you more specific instructions to meet your needs, or our 7-day blitz so you get it over and done with quickly.
Check out our blog: Name Change After Marriage
When do I have to change my name after getting married?
As long as you have the certificate from BDM, then you can change any time. There is no obligation for you to change. It is your personal choice.
Can you change my name for me?
We would love to say yes, but it is not possible.
We do not access any personal or confidential information and we will not access online applications on your behalf.
In order to keep prices to a minimum, you will have to do a lot of the work. NamesPlus saves you time by doing all the research and guiding you through the process.
I am getting a divorce, can you help me change my name?
Yes, of course.
If you are changing your name back to your maiden name you do not need to apply through BDM. To update your records, you will typically need your marriage certificate, birth certificate and, if available, your divorce certificate.
You can use either of our 3 services to help you through the process.
Check out our blog: Name change after divorce