Changing your name

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

Apply for certificates online

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 apply to change a name

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How to register a change of name – Adult

You can apply to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Western Australia (WA) to register a change of name if:

  • you are 18 years of age or older.
  • you were born in WA, or your birth is registered in WA. Note - if you were born, or your birth was registered in another State or Territory of Australia, then you will need to apply to the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages in that state.
  • you were born outside of Australia and are either an Australian Citizen or permanent resident.
  • you have lived continuously in WA for 12 months immediately prior to the date of making an application to change your name.
  • you have not registered a change of name in WA or another State or Territory within 12 months immediately prior to the date of making an application to change your name.
  • you have not changed your name by registration in WA or another State or Territory 3 times in your life for the period after you turned 18 years of age.
  • if you are a Required Declarant, you have obtained the relevant approval of a Supervisory Authority to apply to change your name. Refer to Required Declarant section below.

All applications to register a change of name require three forms of identity documents and if you were born outside of Australia, you will also need to provide evidence of your citizenship or permanent resident status.  Refer to the Proof of residency section below.

Apply using the BDM400 Register a Change of Name (Adult) application form.

How to change a child’s name

There are three ways of changing a child’s name.

  1. 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 the 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 and only within 12 months of the child's date of birth. No extension of this time can be given.
     
  2. Changing a child’s surname

    A child’s surname can also be changed at the time of amending the original birth registration information. For example, the addition of their parent’s marriage or certain changes in the child’s parentage details. Refer to the Corrections and Amendments section of this webpage for further details on these application types.
     
  3. Registering a change of name

    This applies when changing the child’s given name(s) or surname, after 12 months of their birth and up to 18 years of age where 1 and 2 above do not apply.

How to Register a Change of Name – Child

All parents named in the child’s birth registration or the child’s legally appointed guardians can apply to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in WA to register a change of name for the child if:

  • the child is under 18 years of age.
  • the child was born in WA or their birth is registered in WA. Note - if the child was born or the birth was registered in another State or Territory of Australia, then you will need to apply to the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages in that state.
  • the child was born outside of Australia and is either an Australian Citizen or permanent resident and the child’s birth is not registered in another State or Territory.
  • the child, or if under 12 months of age the parents (applicants), have lived continuously in WA for 12 months immediately prior to the date of making an application to change the child’s name.
  • the child has not had a registered change of name in WA or another State or Territory within 12 months immediately prior to the date of making an application to change the child’s name.
  • if the child is a Required Declarant, you have obtained the relevant approval from the child’s Supervisory Authority to apply to change their name. Refer to Required Declarant section below.

All applications to register a change of name for a child require three forms of identity documents for all applicants applying to change a child’s name.  If the child was born outside of Australia the applicants will also need to provide evidence of the child’s citizenship or permanent resident status.  Refer to the Proof of Residency section below.

Apply using the BDM401 Register a Change of Name (Child under 18 years) application form.

Note

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

Where one parent of a child is deceased the applicant parent must provide evidence of the death of the deceased parent at the time of making the change of name application.

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 the person to whom a change of name application relates (adult or child) was born overseas, the applicant must provide a minimum of two separate forms of documentary evidence to show they (or in the case of a child the parents) have been living continuously in WA for 12 months immediately prior to the date of making an 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

Further detailed information relating to proof of residency requirements can be found in the BDM400 Register a Change of Name (Adult) application form or the BDM401 Register a Change of Name (Child under 18 years) application form.

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.

Required Declarant (Restricted Person)

Persons restricted from changing their name in WA

The Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1998 restricts certain classes of persons from changing their name without the permission of a supervisory authority.  It also restricts people from making a change of name on behalf of a restricted person.  Restricted persons are:

  • a high risk serious offender
  • a detainee
  • a person subject to an early release order
  • a prisoner
  • a supervised offender
  • a supervised young offender.

Approval requirements

Persons who are a restricted person as set out above must obtain approval from their relevant supervisory authority before making an application to change their name.  Making an application without approval is an offence under the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1998

Further detailed information relating to Restricted Persons can be found in the:

Application information

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 applying online or by submitting a BDM450 Previous Change of Name Certificate Application Form.  If the change occurred in another State or Territory, 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

 

 
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:

  • $185 Lodgement fee for Application for Registration of a Change of Name. This fee will be retained regardless of the outcome of your application.
  • $53 Change a child’s name within 12 months of birth (includes replacement birth certificate)
  • $53 Previously registered Change of Name Certificate (1957 onwards)
  • $42 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.

Refund policy

  • The Refund Policy (PDF 541.32KB) outlines the circumstances that are considered for refund of fees paid for goods or services provided by the Western Australian Registry 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

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 can be submitted by post or in person only at the Registry Office in Perth.

In person

At the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages
Level 10, 141 St Georges Terrace
PERTH WA 6000

By post

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

Applications to apply for a previously registered change of name certificate can be submitted as per above or

Online
Apply online at the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages Online

Page reviewed 30 September 2022