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Change of Name

Before applying, please check: Change of Name Application - Restricted Persons.

Complete an application for a Change of Name, either Adult or Child, born in NSW or overseas:

Apply by post, or in person.

The Registry records official changes of name for adults and children (under 18 years) which includes amending any part of a name. If a person alters their name or uses an additional or other name with the intention to act fraudulently or with an intention to deceive or in any other way that contravenes the law, they may be subject to criminal proceedings.

Change of Name Application - Restricted Persons

Approval requirements

Persons who are under the supervision of the Commissioner of Corrective Services, the Mental Health Review Tribunal, or the NSW Police Commissioner, must obtain approval from that authority before making an application. Making an application without approval is an offence under the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1995.

Persons restricted from changing their name in NSW

The Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1995 restricts certain classes of persons fromchanging their name without the permission of a supervising authority. It also restricts people from making a change of name on behalf of a restricted person. Restricted persons are:

  • an inmate
  • a person on remand
  • a parolee
  • a periodic detainee
  • a person who is subject to a supervision order
  • a forensic patient, or
  • a correctional patient.

Exemptions to these restrictions are:

  • Persons who have been convicted of an offence under a law of the Commonwealth.
  • Persons who are the subject of a warrant under the Commonwealth Defence Force Discipline Act 1982 and are in a correctional centre pursuant to a punishment imposed under that Act.
  • Persons who are detainees within the meaning of the Commonwealth Migration Act 1958 and who are held in a correctional centre.
  • Persons who are in the keeping of a correctional officer under section 250 of the Crimes (Administration of Sentences Act) 1999.
  • Persons who are a former serious offender because of the commission or alleged commission of an offence under a law of the Commonwealth.

If unsure of your status contact:

  • LawAccess NSW on 1300 888 529
    (Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm, excluding public holidays).
  • Prisoners can call Prisoners Legal Service or LawAccess NSW on the Common
    Auto Dial List (CADL) as a free call just press 11# (Legal Aid) and 2# (LawAccess).

Registration process

Effective 1 April 1996 the Registry assumed the administrative responsibility for registering all changes of name in NSW. All changes of name are registered in accordance with provisions contained in Part 5 of the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1995. The Land Titles Office no longer registers Deeds Poll or Instruments Evidencing Change of Name.

A person is legally able to change his or her name. If a person alters their name or uses an additional or other name with the intention to act fraudulently or with an intention to deceive or in any other way which contravenes the law, they may be subject to criminal proceedings.

A person may use a new name without any formal steps. At common law, a person will not actually change his or her name until the person has used and become known by the new name. Under the Registry's legislation the name is changed once it is registered.

Occasions arise where a person will be asked to provide proof of change of name (for example as proof of identity or to obtain a passport). For these reasons a person may record their new name or alteration of their name by registering a Change of Name at the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

Changing your name after marriage

If you were married in Australia a formal Change of Name is not required if you wish to take your spouse's name. Usually  personal documentation, such as your driver's licence and passport, can be changed to your married surname when you provide a Standard Marriage Certificate.

Who can apply

You are eligible to have your name changed in NSW if:

  • you are not a restricted person, and
  • your birth is registered in NSW, or
  • you were born overseas and have been resident in NSW for three (3) consecutive years immediately prior to your application, or
  • your birth is not registered in NSW and a protection order has been made to protect you and/or your children from domestic violence.

Applications to register a change of name for a child (under 18 years) should be made by both parents. If both parents cannot make a joint application, please phone 13 77 88 to discuss your circumstances.

Change of Name interviews

To organise a Change of Name interview, phone 13 77 88 for an appointment. Alternatively, the Registry accepts applications by mail. For more information, please contact us.

Fees

The fee of $174 includes the registration of the Change of Name and the issue of a Standard Certificate. You must return all of your original certificates with your application including any NSW Birth or NSW Change of Name Certificates and extracts.

If the person is born in NSW, they can choose either a Birth or a Change of Name certificate (add  $44 for both).

  • A Child's birth registration is amended to include the change of name. Parents' names are not changed.
  • An Adult's birth registration is amended to show details of previous names.

If the person is born overseas, only a Change of Name certificate can be issued.