A guide to the name changing process (for adults and children)

It is not uncommon for people to change their names often when they marry, remarry or divorce. If you are an adult living in New South Wales, changing your name can be an easy process. The process is easy if you are not deemed to be a restricted person under Section 29B of the Birth, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1995.

For children, it can sometimes be a different story. If you are a parent and you want to change the name of your child, you will generally need consent of the other parent who is listed on the birth certificate. There are however of course some exceptions.

If you are unsure of what you are required to do in relation to changing the name of your child then you should speak to your Family Law Solicitor.

Regardless of whether you are an adult or child, you cannot officially change your name unless it has been recorded with Births, Deaths and Marriages Registry first.

Below are some tips to get you started:

I have married or remarried

You don’t need a Change of Name document generally to obtain a passport or driver’s license. Just use your Marriage Certificate as proof.

I have divorced my spouse

You can generally change your name details on documents by using your Marriage Certificate and evidence of Divorce as proof of change of name.

I am an adult and I want to change my name?

If you are not getting married or divorcing your spouse, but want to change your name, you can fill out a form and submit it to the registry for approval. You must have been born in the State you wish to register your name change, or at least be a resident in the state for three consecutive years if you were born immediately preceding the date of the application if you were born overseas. Fees do apply and generally a certificate will be issued to you once your application has been approved.

I wish to change the name of my child

You generally need the consent of both parents and consent of the child if the child is over 12 years old. There are some exceptions, for example, if there is no other surviving parent of the child, if the parent is the sole parent named in the registration of the child’s birth or you have a court order. If a parent has been given sole parental responsibility of a child then in some of those circumstances you may not be required to have consent of the other parent.

Burbank & Brown can provide you with legal advice if you are unsure about your circumstances and the requirement of consent.

Need advice?

For more information regarding name changing, get in touch with Burbank & Brown.