Changing my name after the wedding
A common question I am asked is how do I change my name after I am married?
Firstly, you don’t have to change your name! It is not a legal requirement.
Tradition has been that married couples live under the same name but these days with people marrying much later, your single name is going to be on everything! Work, passport, driver’s licence, bank accounts, insurance, bills etc. will all be in your maiden name…. the list is endless (see the list at the end of this blog).
If you do decide to change your name to that of your partner, remember that it goes both ways. I have had 2 couples where the groom changed his name to the bride’s name! Or you can hyphenate both your names (how does Harrington – Bottom sound?). Remember you can also take your time. Many couples wait until their passport and driver’s licence expires and will only change it at that time… it saves a lot of money too. If, for example, you are concerned that you are travelling under different names you can simply carry your marriage certificate as proof of marriage.
If you do decide to change your name you will require your registered marriage certificate. This is the certificate that you apply for through the Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) office in which state you were married. Your celebrant should advise you of when they submit your marriage details for registration and explain the process for you to purchase your certificate from BDM as soon as it is available (the cost is usually around $50). To help couples manage this complex process I gift my couples a name change kit after their wedding as a gift.
Following is a list of the common areas you need to consider when changing your name:
- Health Insurance
- Driver’s licence
- Points programs eg, Frequent Flyer
- Property title deeds
- Vehicle registration
- Insurances (business, property, car, pet, home and contents)
- Animal microchipping
- Animal registration
- Your will
- Electoral enrolment
- Centrelink (if applicable)