Marriages & Relationships

Marriages

Registering a marriage

The Registry must register the full details of all lawful marriages that occur in NSW, in accordance with the Births, Death and Marriages Registration Act 1995 (S.33) and the Commonwealth Marriage Act 1961.

Marriage Celebrants are responsible for registering marriages within 14 days of the ceremony. If your marriage occurred in NSW and has not been registered, please contact us.

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. A Standard Marriage Certificate is usually sufficient evidence to have personal documentation, such as your driver's licence and passport, changed to your married surname.

Our certificates contain security features which can't be easily reproduced, and include the full details of the parties to the marriage such as parents' names and dates of birth.

If you decide to take your spouse's name when dealing with authorities such as Roads & Maritime Services or Australian Passports Office, you may be asked to show your Standard Marriage Certificate. Please check with the relevant authority in each case to determine their specific requirements.

Getting married

Notice of intended marriage (NOIM)

Once you decide to marry, you are required to give a marriage celebrant at least one month notice (not more than 18 months notice) of an intended date of marriage.

Once you choose a marriage celebrant, they will provide you with the Notice to complete, or download the Notice from our website.

Marriageable age

From 1 August 1991, the marriageable age is 18 years. If a person, not yet 18, wishes to marry prior to their 18th birthday, only a court empowered to give a 'Section 12' order can give authority for this marriage to be solemnised.

A NOIM may be lodged prior to the 18th birthday, as long as the marriage occurs after the birthday.

Evidence of date and place of birth

Both the bride and groom are required to provide their original Birth Certificate or passport. If these are in another language, they must be officially translated into English.

If you are unable to comply, please contact your marriage celebrant.

Previous marriages

If either party has been previously married, you must provide the marriage celebrant with evidence of the termination with either a Divorce Certificate (if divorced) or a full Death Certificate (if widowed). Certificates in a foreign language must be translated into English by an authorised interpreter/translator service.

Photocopies are not accepted.

Overseas marriages

Contact the Embassy, Consulate or local representative of the country concerned to find out their legal requirements. Your travel agent may also be able to supply details if you book a wedding/honeymoon package.

  • Single Status certificate - certifies whether you have been married in NSW within a specified period and some countries may require it.
  • Some countries may require a solicitor's declaration that you are both free to marry. To marry in USA, you may need a blood test.
  • Australian citizens marrying overseas cannot have their marriage registered in NSW.
  • For evidence of your overseas marriage, obtain a Marriage Certificate or any other supporting documentation before you leave the country.

Immigration

If your fiancé is not Australian, and you wish to live in Australia, you will need to lodge official copies of your overseas marriage certificate with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Divorce

The Registry does not handle matters relating to divorce.

The Family Court of Australia can assist with your enquiries. When filing for divorce, the Family Court will ask to see a copy of your standard marriage certificate. If you were married in NSW and require a copy, please complete a Marriage certificate application. For enquiries about proof of divorce: