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​Relationship register

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    Couples who are not married can apply to register a relationship in New South Wales. The relationships register provides legal recognition for a couple by registration of their relationship.

    Who can apply

    Adults who are in a relationship as a couple can apply for registration of their relationship provided at least one of them lives in NSW. A couple does not have to live together to be eligible to register their relationship.

    A relationship cannot be registered if either person is:

    • under 18 years of age
    • married
    • related
    • in another registered relationship
    • in a relationship as a couple with another person.

    Things to keep in mind

    Registered relationships are recognised as 'de facto' in NSW. Couples in registered relationships are subject to certain obligations and/or restrictions under NSW law.

    Registered relationship certificates are used to access entitlements, services and records under State legislation.

    In situations outside of legislation, service providers may choose to accept registration of a relationship as proof of legitimacy of that relationship.

    Registration of a relationship may also be revoked by law on the death or marriage of a person in the relationship.

    A registration is considered void if:

    • the agreement of one or both persons in the relationship to registration was obtained by fraud, duress or other improper means, or
    • the relationship was registered when either party was mentally incapable of understanding the nature and effect of registration, or
    • the relationship was prohibited (i.e. one of the persons was married).

    If a relationship breaks down

    A fee applies to revoke a registered relationship. Either or both parties can apply.

    If only one partner revokes registration, they must provide proof they've served notice on the other. The Registrar has discretion to dispense the notice requirement if the partner cannot service notice.

    A cooling-off period of 90 days applies before the registration is revoked by the Registrar. 

    If either couple requires a copy of the Relationship certificate showing the revocation details, a standard certificate fee of $58 applies.

    Download a Relationship certificate application [Fillable PDF 380kb]

    Download a Revoke a registered relationship application [PDF 380kb]

    Withdrawing an application

    There is no fee for withdrawing:

    • a relationship registration (within 28 day cooling-off period)
    • a relationship revocation (within 90 day cooling-off period).

    The application to register a relationship fee is non-refundable. 

    Download a Withdraw an application to revoke a registered relationship form [PDF 340KB]

    Commemorative certificate

    Note: From 10 December 2018, orders received for commemorative certificates will not be posted until after 8 January 2019.

    Celebrate the registration of your relationship with a Commemorative certificate. They:

    • can be purchased as a package with a standard relationship certificate
    • are also available to purchase on their own
    • are presented in a framing size of 279mm x 355mm
    • are printed on archival paper, wrapped in acid-free tissue paper and packaged in a protective cylinder
    • are for decorative purposes only and may not be accepted by organisations as proof of identity.
     Opera House Sydney Harbour


    ​Relationship registration (includes 1 standard certificate)*
    ​Revocation of relationship (if required)
    ​Standard (relationship or revocation) certificate
    ​Commemorative package (1 standard and 1 commemorative certificate)
    ​Commemorative certificate on its own

    *Add $40 if you require a letter of confirmation for lodgement of application.


    You must provide three forms of identification, on of each from categories 1, 2 and 3. If you're unable to provide identification from Category 1, you must still provide at least three forms of identification. At least one of these must be from Category 2, and two from Category 3. 


    Identification documents


    If born in Australia:

    • An Australian birth certificate

    Record of immigration status:

    • New Zealand citizenship certificate
    • New Zealand birth certificate
    • Australian citizenship certificate
    • Proof of permanent residency from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection
    • Australian driver's licence
    • Australian passport
    • Firearms licence
    • Foreign passport
    • Photo card issued by a government agency
    • Medicare card
    • Credit card
    • Centrelink card
    • Australian security guard licence or crowd control licence
    • Student or tertiary card
    • Overseas birth certificate
    • Australian driver's licence
    • Utility account (electricity, gas, water)
    • Rates notice
    • Centrelink concession card
    • Current tenancy or lease agreement
    • Superannuation fund statement

    How to apply

    You can apply to register a relationship by post, or in person.

    Download a Register a relationship application [Fillable PDF 690kb]

    Apply in person