Changing your name after divorce or separation is something many women want to do.

However, there is a process involved and sometimes people run into difficulties.

So, we have set out below the process for changing your name after divorce.

What documents will I need to change my name?

You will need either your official Marriage Certificate or your Divorce Order.

Do I have to formally register a name change?

There is no need to formally register your name change if you are reverting to the name on your birth certificate (your maiden name).  You are always legally entitled to use the name on your birth certificate, whether you are married, separated or divorced.

What is the best way to start changing my name after divorce or separation?

We suggest changing your name on your driver’s licence first.  Doing this makes changing your name on other documents and other organisations much easier.  Usually, if the transport department are happy, other organisations will be.  Also, you may need 100 points of ID to change things like bank accounts, so having that photo ID is really handy.

How do I go about changing my name on my Driver’s Licence?

You will need to produce your original Marriage Certificate.  It’s a good idea to have some copies certified by a solicitor of Justice of the Peace as well, so that you can show them the original and leave a certified copy.

If you can’t find your Marriage Certificate, you can order one from the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages. In Queensland you can commence the application online.

To change your name on your driver’s licence in Queensland, you will need to go through the following process:

  • Complete an application form
  • Visit a Transport and Motoring Customer Service Centre with your completed application, your current drivers licence and your marriage certificate.
  • Be prepared to hand in your current driver’s licence at this time. If you do not have your current driver’s licence, you will need to pay a replacement fee.

Your new licence with your changed name will be sent to you by post.

Once you have this, you will need to go into your bank with your Marriage Certificate and new drivers licence to change your name.

In New South Wales you can use your Marriage Certficate or Divorce Order and will also need to take your vehicle registration papers.  You can find a service centre via this link.

Victoria,  Tasmania, Western Australia,  the Northern Territory, ACT and South Australia require your old licence and either your Marriage Certificate or Divorce Order. Locate a service centre in South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory,  ACT or Victoria.

How do I go about changing my name on my Australian passport?

The process to change your name on your Australian passport is similar (and the same throughout Australia).

It will be easier to change your passport after you change your drivers licence but you can do it just with your Marriage Certificate.  More information is available on the Passports website.

Do I have to pay to change my name on my passport?

If your passport does not expire for at least 2 years, you can change your name free of charge.

Final caution

If you are a traveller, time your name change carefully.  If you have international flights booked in your married name, if you change your passport, you will not be able to use that booking (and many airlines do not allow a change of name!)

Domestic flights may require photo ID in the name of the passenger.

Also, any ESTA you have obtained for travel to the USA will no longer be valid once you change your passport, so don’t forget to apply for a new one before you travel.

If you need assistance with changing your name after divorce or separation or need family law advice, contact us now.