If your name has changed or been altered in any way, you'll need to register a change of name with the Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages.
You can do this online.
Fees are attached to the application with the total amount varying depending on your choice of certificate.
Applications can be saved and resumed for a period of 90 days. If they have not been submitted within that time, they expire.
Note: If you marry in Australia you can take the surname of your husband or wife without having to formally change your name.
You're eligible to change your name online if:
- you're not a restricted person
- your birth is registered in NSW
- your birth is not registered in NSW and a protection order has been made to protect you and/or your children from domestic violence
- you were born overseas and have been a resident in NSW for 3 consecutive years immediately prior to your application.
To register a change of name for a child under 18 years, visit Register a change of name (child).
What you need
- a current email address
- your personal and contact details
- the reason why you're changing your name
- digital copies of:
- all identification and supporting documents must be certified by an authorised witness
- a current credit card for payment.
For an adult born overseas:
- evidence of your Australian citizenship or visa
- evidence of your place of birth
- certified documentation that you have lived in NSW for the 3 consecutive years prior to your application.
How to apply
- Check the eligibility requirements.
- Select the 'Apply online' button.
- Enter the required details.
- You will receive an email from Births, Deaths & Marriages (BDM) with your Online Reference Number (ORN).
- Check the email and continue your application by entering your ORN.
- Complete the online form and upload the required documentation.
- Select 'Submit Application'.
- Decide if you'd like a commemorative certificate.
- Confirm your order.
- Make your payment.
- You'll receive an email from BDM confirming receipt of your application and payment.
If you're not able to apply online:
- Download and complete Application to register a change of name for an adult – PDF.
- Make sure you have all the required documentation.
- Visit a service centre and lodge your application in person, or post it to:
Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages
GPO Box 30
Sydney NSW 2001
Proof of identity (POI) documents
There are 3 POI categories and a fourth category to confirm your NSW residential addess (if necessary).
You need to provide one document from each category.
Category 1: Your right to reside in Australia
If you were born or registered in NSW:
- the original copy of your NSW birth certificate
- your original NSW birth certificate and/or NSW change of name certificate will need to be returned.
If you were born overseas:
- Australian citizenship certificate
- New Zealand citizenship certificate
- New Zealand birth certificate
- Certificate of Registration by Descent.
Category 2: Link between photo and signature
- Australian passport
- overseas passport containing current visa
- Australian driver licence
- Australian firearms licence
- proof of age card, or photocard issued by an Australian state or territory
- NSW Corrective Services Certificate.
Category 3: Usage in the community
- Medicare card
- private health care card
- Centrelink pensioner concession card, or other entitlement card
- Australian Department of Veterans' Affairs card
- security licence
- student or tertiary education ID card.
You'll need to provide a document confirming your residential address if none of the POI documents you've selected shows your address.
Examples of documents could include, but are not limited to:
- an electricity, water or gas bill issued within the last 3 months
- a lease agreement
- a council rates notice issued within the last 12 months.
If you were born overseas you'll need to provide 4 documents, as indicated on the online form, showing that you have been a resident in NSW for 3 consecutive years.
- All identification and other supporting documents must be certified by one of the following qualified witnesses:
- Justice of the Peace
- notary public
- legal practitioner (holding a current practising certificate)
- a person authorised to administer an oath under section 26 of the Oaths Act 1900.
- Certificates are sent by the Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages via registered post.
- Documents provided as proof of identity may have their authenticity verified through the online national Document Verification Service (DVS).
- In NSW, you can only change your name once in a 12-month period and 3 times in your lifetime.
- If you cannot provide originals of a previously issued NSW birth certificate and/or a NSW change of name certificate, you'll need to provide the reasons why.
- Restricted persons: Anyone 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. To not obtain approval is illegal.