The process for a bride to change her surname to her husband’s after the wedding can be overwhelming, but when the process is planned out, it can be executed with much less stress! a tip: when booking your honeymoon, make all your bookings in your Maiden name as you will not have any identification ready with your married name directly after the wedding.
At your marriage ceremony you will receive a “party marriage certificate”. This is not a document of identity but a document of evidence that a couple are married and their legal status has changed. It is therefore not able to be used as a document for a change of name.
To get your official Standard Marriage Certificate, your celebrant can now order this for you at the time they submit your documents to (BDM) and have it posted to your desired address, saving you the bother in obtaining it yourself later.
The celebrant has the responsibility of lodging the documents to BDM within 14 days of the marriage ceremony. It can take up to 3 weeks after lodgement for your Standard Marriage Certificate to arrive. It would be prudent to make photocopies of your Certificate and get them certified as true copies to protect using the original.
The next most important identification is your driver’s license. It is best to go to VicRoads to do this as they may want to take a new photograph of you. This is your “go-to” identification that can in turn allow you to change everything else. Next in line is your Medicare card, passport and bank accounts.
Once you have these documents sorted, the rest should flow smoothly. Changing your email address may be difficult if you have used your Maiden name, so it might be easier to simply introduce a new one from now on. You can make a list of all the organisations you need to notify or just do it as you get mail from them. Some companies will be happy to change your name over the phone or change it when you next have an appointment, but others will require documentation. Remember to notify your place of work to ensure your next group certificate is correct for your tax purposes.
If all this still sounds a bit overwhelming and time consuming, there are name changing kits available online for a fee, which provide templates for letters that need to be sent to the various organisations.
Once the major updates are complete, you will be so happy and proud of seeing your new identity in print, but remember your birth Certificate is still required for formal identification together with your new Marriage Certificate. Always store them both in a safe place along with your passport.