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Change of name

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    The Registry records official changes of name in New South Wales for adults and children (under 18 years). A name change 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.

    The majority of names can be registered, however, some names are prohibited e.g. words which may be offensive, official titles or rank, using numbers or symbols e.g. 1st, Snr or Jnr. For more information please refer to the Prohibited Names Policy – PDF.

    Who can apply

    You are eligible to have your name changed if:

    • you are not a restricted person, and
    • your birth is registered in NSW, or
    • you were born overseas and have been a resident in NSW for three 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.

    If you wish to register a change of name for your child (under 18 years) both parents must make a joint application. If both parents cannot make a joint application, please phone 13 77 88 to discuss your circumstances.

    Restricted persons     

    The Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1995 (NSW) restricts certain classes of persons from changing 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.

    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.

    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:

    • 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:

    • Your parole officer
    • 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 - press 11# (Legal Aid) and 2# (LawAccess)


    ​Registration of change of name (includes a standard certificate plus postage & handling)

    You must return all of your original certificates with your application including any NSW birth or NSW change of name certificates and extracts. Please be aware:

    • 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 previously registered names and former names used.

    How to apply

    Download Change of name for an Adult application - PDF