Changing your name

Learn more on how to change your name and apply for a previously registered change of name certificate. 

If you are using, or wish to use, a name other than your registered name, there is no legal requirement that you formally change your name. It is, however, recommended that you change your name officially, both for identification and as evidence of your name change.

How to register a change of name

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To register a change of name, you need to apply to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the State or Territory of your birth.  If you were born overseas, you must be a permanent resident or an Australian citizen and ordinarily residing in Western Australia for 12 months immediately preceding your application. All applications to register a change of name require three forms of evidence-of-identity documentation.

Once your application is approved, you will need to apply for a change of name certificate (this is separate to the registration fee) which authorises the use of your new name.

If you were born in Western Australia, your original name will remain on your birth certificate and your new name will also appear on the certificate as a notation. Your birth certificate with the change of name notation is available upon application and payment of an additional fee.

Adults

You must be 18 years of age or older and born and/or had your birth registered in Western Australia to change your name using the BDM400 Register a Change of Name (Adult) application form

You can only change your name once in any 12 month period unless there are exceptional circumstances such as personal safety issues.

Children

Parents and legally appointed guardians may wish to change a child's name for a variety of reasons. There are several methods of changing a child’s name.

Changing a child’s given name/s within 12 months of their birth
Children under 12 months of age who were born in Western Australia can have their given name(s) changed by completing a BDM105 Application to Change a Child’s Given Name within 12 months of their Birth form.  A fee is payable for this service and only one change of this kind can be made within the 12 months of the child's date of birth.

Changing a child’s name – given and/or surname
This applies to:

  • changing your child’s given name(s) after 12 months of their birth; or
  • changing your child’s given name(s) and/or surname from their date of birth up to when they turn 18 years old.

If your child was born and/or had their birth registered in Western Australia you must apply to the Registry for a change of name using the BDM401 Register a Change of Name (Child under 18 years) application form.

Where one parent of a child cannot obtain the consent of the other parent named in the child's birth certificate, a court order from the Family Court, stating that it is in the child's best interests to have their name changed, must be obtained before the Registry can register a change of name for the child. 

A child’s surname can also be changed following the addition of their parent’s marriage or the child’s parentage details to their birth registration.  Please refer to the Corrections and Amendments webpage for further details.

Families
Where a family applies to change their name together (ie legally married or de facto couples, different or same sex) all applications for children of that family under 18 years of age are not charged a fee, ie each adult applicant pays a full fee and for each child no fee is payable.

Each family member must complete a separate application form and a separate fee is payable for all change of name certificates (this is separate to the registration fee).

Proof of residency

If you were born overseas, you must provide a minimum of two separate forms of documentary evidence to show you have been living in WA for the 12 months immediately preceding your application.

Evidence should:

  • not be older than twelve months (except your Western Australian photo driver's licence)
  • state your current address and, where applicable, all previous Western Australian addresses within the last 12 months
  • display the date of issue of the document
  • clearly show a 12 month history of your living in Western Australia
  • be certified as true copies by an authorised person.

In extraordinary circumstances, the Registry may accept evidence older than twelve months but only where they clearly link to other forms of evidence of residency in Western Australia. Please contact the Registry to discuss before lodging your application.

By signing the change of name application you are authorising the Registry to conduct discretionary checks (if required) with appropriate agencies to verify the information in your application including the authenticity of your documentation.

Change of name after marriage

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Any person who marries in Australia may choose to assume their spouse's surname. This is done as a matter of custom, not law.  A certified marriage certificate issued by an Australian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages is usually sufficient evidence to have personal documentation changed to a married surname.

If you were married overseas, you may have to register a formal change of name with the Registry before your married surname is accepted by some organisations.

If you wish to revert back to your maiden name (surname at birth or after adoption), there is no legal requirement for a formal change of name, however, to avoid difficulties with obtaining recognition of your maiden name, registration of the change is recommended.

Adding a previously registered change of name to your birth certificate

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If you were born in Western Australia and have previously changed your name via Deed Poll or a prior Registry Change of Name License, you can have this recorded on your birth registration using the BDM104 Application to Record a Previously Registered Change of Name in a Birth Registration form. If the change was registered in another State or Territory, a certified copy of the change of name certificate must be submitted with your application. 

No fee is payable for this service, however, if an amended birth certificate or change of name certificate is required a certificate application form must be submitted along with the required fee.

How to apply for a previously registered change of name certificate

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Certificates for a change of name previously registered in Western Australia from 31 January 1957 can be obtained from the Registry by submitting a BDM450 Previous Change of Name Certificate Application Form.  If the change occurred in another State or Territory please contact the relevant Registry Office.

Enquiries regarding change of name certificates prior to 31 January 1957 should be directed to Landgate.

Who can apply for a change of name certificate?

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Access Type
Applicant
Specific Requirements
Family
Person named on the certificate

Must be 16 years of age or over

 
Parent
Where the change of name of the child occurred prior to the child turning 18; or
If a child is currently 18 years or older and has changed their name (not including marriage) since turning 18, parents are not entitled unless they obtain consent from the person named in the certificate
 
Non-parental custodian or guardian
Document establishing legal custody or guardianship and consent of the person named in the certificate if they are currently 18 years or over.
 
Spouse, brother, sister of grandparent
Restricted, unless the applicant can provide:
  • Written authority from the person named in the certificate
  • Evidence that the person is deceased
  • Evidence that the certificate is required for some legal right or entitlement.
Deceased Estate
Executor or Administrator
Public Trustee
Application must be on business letterhead, or must show evidence of applicant's executor, administrator or trustee status.
Welfare
Government or non-Government Welfare Agency
Application must be on business letterhead and must be acting in the interests of or with the written authority of the  person named in the certificate.
Court - State or Federal
 
Application must be on Court letterhead or a Court order provided.
Law Enforcement
Any Government body dealing in law enforcement eg Police, Anti-Corruption Commission, Courts etc.
Application must be on business letterhead and must be made in:
  • pursuance of an investigation, or
  • preparation of a prosecution, or
  • pursuant to a valid warrant or Court order.
Medical
Medical organisations or government body requiring to contact persons with a potentially life threatening medical condition.
Applications must be made on business letterhead and referred to the Registrar for consideration.
For general medical research enquiries refer to Registrar for consideration.
Government Bodies - Statutory Access
Government body having right of access under Federal or State legislation, eg Child Support Agency, Centrelink, Department of Communities.
Application must be on business letterhead or approved form eg Child Support Agency verification form.
Solicitor
 
Application must be on business letterhead and Solicitor must be acting for a person entitled to access under 'Family' or 'Deceased Estate' and subject to the same requirements.
Other Agent (including Consulates)
Any person with written authority from the person named in the certificate or a person entitled to the certificate as identified in this policy document
Identification documents of the person named in the certificate or other person entitled to the certificate as identified in this policy document.
 
Power of Attorney
Documentary evidence of Power of Attorney required:
  • Must be referred to Manager to verify if Power of Attorney extends beyond the person’s property and/or financial affairs.
  • Before accepting payment Courthouses must forward certificate applications with a copy of the accompanying Power of Attorney evidence to the Manager for consideration.

Current as at 1 July 2019 and subject to change without notice.

Forms and Fees

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Forms

Fees

The fees to register a name change and apply for a change of name certificate:

  • $176 Register a Change of Name (certificate not included)
  • $50 Change a child’s name within 12 months of birth (includes replacement birth certificate)
  • $50 Previously registered Change of Name Certificate (1957 onwards)
  • $35 Priority Service (certificate applications only & not payable when applying in person)

The following payment methods are accepted:

  • Credit Card - MasterCard or Visa only
  • EFTPOS Debit Card or Cash - When paying in person
  • Cheque or money order - Payable to Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. When paying at a WA court payable to the Department of Justice
  • Overseas applicants - $AUD via credit card (MasterCard or Visa only) or international money order or bank draft payable to Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

Identification that you need

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Applicants are required to provide at least three forms of evidence-of-identity documents before being eligible to receive certificates.

One from List 1, 2 and 3. At least one containing a photograph

or

One from List 1 and two from List 2. At least one containing a photograph

or

Two from List 2 and one from List 3. At least one containing a signature.

List 1 – Link between photo and signature

  • Australian Driver’s Licence
  • Australian Passport
  • Australian Firearm Licence
  • Defence Force/Police Id Card
  • Australian Citizenship Certificate (with evidence of residential status)
  • Western Australian Photo Card, Over 18 or Proof of Identity Card
  • Australian learner driver’s permit card

List 2 – Evidence of Operating in the Community

  • A financial institution Debit or Credit card
  • Document of identity issued by the Passport Office
  • Centrelink/Veterans Affairs Entitlement Card
  • Birth Certificates (birth extracts are not accepted)
  • Medicare Card
  • Naturalisation, citizenship or immigration papers issued by the Department of Home Affairs
  • Australian Security or Crowd Control Licence
  • Student Identity Document or Statement of Enrolment

List 3 – Proof of Residency

  • Drivers licence renewal notice
  • Financial institution statement less than 6 months old
  • Motor vehicle registration
  • Property Lease or Tenancy Agreement
  • Shire/Water rates notice
  • Student Report or Certificate less than 12 months old
  • Utility Account less than 6 months old

If posting your application, photocopies of evidence-of-identity documents must be certified by a qualified person as being 'true copies' of the original documents. For overseas applicants, the Registry will consider overseas equivalent evidence-of-identity documents.

Where to apply

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Applications to Register a Change of Name (any category) can be submitted by post or in person only at the Registry Office in Perth.

Applications for previously registered change of name certificates can be submitted by post or in person at the Registry Office in Perth or at any court location as listed below.

In person

At any court location in Albany, Armadale, Broome, Bunbury, Busselton, Carnarvon, Esperance, Fremantle, Geraldton, Joondalup, Kalgoorlie, Karratha, Katanning, Kununurra, Mandurah, Manjimup, Merredin, Midland, Northam, Rockingham and South Hedland.

By post

Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages
PO Box 7720
Cloisters Square
PERTH WA 6850

By email

Email your completed and signed application and all other required documentation to bdm@justice.wa.gov.au

Page reviewed 6 April 2020
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