You certainly don’t have to change your name. You don’t have to make the decision straight away. There’s no time limit on it.
But, maybe you just can’t wait to be Mr and Mrs – but you have no idea how to change your name? I wish I could tell you that there was just one form to fill in, or that it miraculously changes as I register the marriage, but that’s not true.
It’s a bit fiddly. Not difficult – but fiddly.
To change your name legally, you will first need an official Marriage Certificate from Births Deaths and Marriages.
This is not the certificate you signed on the day. This one comes later – directly from Births Deaths and Marriages.
When you have the official certificate, you will need to change your name for all your legal identification. That means Medicare, passport, the ATO, services like RTA etc.
I can give you the forms for these basic offices. You will have to fill them in, and go in, with your official certificate, tell them that you want to change your name, because you got married.
The Australian Passport Office will reissue you a new passport – for name change once in a ten year period – for free - if you apply within 6 months of your marriage!
When you have changed these basic legal identifies over, you can sign your new name on your legal documents. Don’t do that until you have.
You can call yourself Mr & Mrs Brand New Name, as soon as you are married. Just don’t sign Brand New Name on anything legal, until you have made the legal changeover.
PS Absolutely, positively, definitely don’t book your honeymoon tickets in your married surname. They won’t let you on the plane if the name on your passport is different to the name on your tickets!