Marriage or registered relationship certificate

Names in passport Section 53(3) Australian Passports Act 2005

Regardless of the names appearing on an applicant’s Australian citizenship or Australian birth certificate (the cardinal documents), under the Australian Passports Act 2005, Section 53 (3), the given name/s and family name appearing on a valid Australian RBDM marriage or registered relationship certificate may appear in an Australian travel document.

Given name/s to appear in an Australian travel document

The applicant may choose to have appearing in their Australian travel document the given names/s from their cardinal document or Australian RBDM marriage or registered relationship certificate.

An applicant may nominate the whole group of given name/s exactly as they appear (order/spelling) on a single valid RBDM or DIAC certificate.

Note: To appear in an Australian travel document the given name/s chosen by the applicant must be compatible with the family name combinations outlined in the section ‘ Family name/s to appear in an Australian travel document ’.

Family name/s to appear in an Australian travel document

The applicant may nominate to appear in their Australian travel document the family name/s shown on their RBDM marriage or registered relationship certificate.

The applicant (either bride or groom; or either partner of a Registered Relationship) may choose one of the following family name options from the names appearing on their RBDM registered marriage or registered relationship certificate:

For example, if Mary Smith marries Barry Brown, their names could be:

For example, if Lisa Smith registers her relationship with Tammy Jones, their names could be:

Inconsistent family name/s across certificates

Occasionally, an Australian RBDM marriage or registered relationship certificate will record a family name that does not match (is inconsistent with) the family name on the applicant’s Australian birth or Australian citizenship certificate.

In such cases an applicant may nominate to appear in their Australian travel document one of the two following options:

It is important to note that:

Family name/s on subsequent travel documents

Once a combination of family names is nominated and appears in an Australian travel document, the person cannot nominate a different combination of names to appear in a subsequent Australian travel document without a RBDM name change certificate.

Consistent with current policies the person may revert, on a subsequent Australian travel document, to their birth/citizenship name or previous married/registered relationship name.

Unacceptable marriage certificates

Marriage certificates issued in Australia by a marriage celebrant or religious leader are not acceptable for change of name in a passport. Such marriages need to be registered with a State or Territory Registrar Births, Deaths and Marriages (RBDM) and an RBDM marriage certificate produced in support of the married family name in an Australian travel document.

An Extract of a marriage certificate or Certificate of Particulars of Marriage issued by some RBDMs are not acceptable documents for change of name as they do not contain a registration number which can be validated against the RBDM record.

Married overseas

An applicant normally resident in Australia, who was married overseas, is required to submit a change of name certificate issued by RBDM before the name on the foreign marriage certificate can be accepted for use in an Australian passport. The original of the foreign marriage certificate (suitably translated) is required only when a gratis family name change is requested.

An applicant born overseas and residing overseas who is unable to register a name change or marriage certificate from any RBDM in Australia may use the name specified on a marriage certificate (suitably translated) issued by a foreign authority. See ‘ Overseas marriage/divorce/death of spouse ’.

De-facto relationship

Where an applicant has assumed the name of his or her common law partner (de-facto relationship) a RBDM change of name certificate is required before the new name can be accepted for inclusion in an Australian passport. Normal fees apply.

If the de-facto relationship has been registered with RBDM in the relevant states and territories, the relationship certificate is required before the new name can be accepted for inclusion in an Australian passport. A gratis passport may be issued provided normal requirements are met.

Same sex marriage

Same sex marriages are not recognised in Australia (Marriage Act 1961- Section 88EA) and therefore a same sex marriage certificate may not be used as evidence of a name change.

In cases of same sex marriages, a name change certificate issued by RBDM or the relevant foreign name change authority must be presented. Normal fees apply.

Alternatively, the applicant may consider obtaining an Australian RBDM issued registered relationship certificate from the relevant states or territories. This would be accepted as evidence of a name change.

Reverting to Australian birth or citizenship name/s

Either person recorded on an Australian marriage or registered relationship certificate between adults may revert to their Australian birth or citizenship name at any time provided neither person has formally renounced their Australian birth or citizenship name.

There is no requirement for divorce papers or a revocation of a registered relationship certificate if reverting to an Australian birth or citizenship name/s unless the applicant:

Gratis passport: family name change due to marriage/registered relationship

People about to marry or enter a registered relationship are issued with a full validity passport in their current name. Within one year of the marriage/registered relationship the passport may be replaced gratis in the family name of either person recorded on the marriage or registered relationship certificate, valid to the expiry date of the original document provided appropriate documentation is submitted.

See also ‘ Gratis Passports ’.