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Marriage

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    To be married in New South Wales partners must:

    • not be married to someone else
    • not be marrying a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild or sibling
    • be at least 18 years old, unless a court has approved a marriage where one party is aged between sixteen and eighteen years old
    • understand what marriage means and freely consent to marrying
    • lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) [PDF 100kb] with an authorised celebrant or minister at least one month before an intended date of marriage
    • be married by a registered celebrant or authorised minister of religion and use specific words during the ceremony
    • provide their original birth certificate or passport. If these are not in English they must be officially translated. 

    If either party has been previously married, evidence of the termination must be provided in the form of a divorce certificate (if divorced) or a full death certificate (if widowed). Certificates in a foreign language must be officially translated.

    If you wish to get married at the NSW Registry see Registry weddings

    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 surname. 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. Check with the relevant authority to determine their specific requirements.

    Overseas marriages

    While overseas marriages cannot be registered in Australia, they are generally recognised as long as the marriage is recognised by the country where it took place.

    For evidence of your overseas marriage, obtain a marriage certificate and any other supporting documentation before you leave the country.

    You should contact the embassy, consulate or local representative of the country you wish to marry in to find out any legal requirements that may apply to getting married there.

    Some countries may require:

    • a single status certificate certifying whether you have been married in NSW within a specified period. See Single status certificate.
    • a solicitor's declaration that you are both free to marry
    • a blood test – to marry in USA you may need a blood test. 

    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 Home Affairs

    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 [Fillable PDF 430kb] or apply online

    For enquiries about proof of divorce: