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Marriage in NSW

What you need to know about getting married in NSW and changing your name after marriage. 

Who can get married

To get married in NSW you must:

  • not be married to someone else
  • not be marrying a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild or sibling (brother or sister)
  • be at least 18 years of age, unless a person aged between 16 and 18 years of age has court approval to marry
  • understand what marriage means and freely consent to marrying
  • at least 1 month before the date you plan to marry (but not more than 18 months), lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) (PDF, 139.16 KB) with an authorised celebrant or minister 
  • include words required by law in the ceremony and be married by a registered celebrant or authorised minister of religion
  • provide an original birth certificate or passport in English, or an official translation of the document from another language. 

If either person has been previously married you must provide:

Foreign language certificates must be officially translated into English.

Changing your name after marriage

Taking the surname of your spouse

If you marry in Australia you can take the surname of your husband or wife without formally changing your name.

You can usually change identity documents such as your driver's licence and passport to your married surname by providing a copy of your standard marriage certificate.

Ask about the documents you need when applying to businesses and government agencies to change your name.

Marriages in other countries

If you marry in another country, you cannot register your marriage in Australia.

Recognition of overseas marriages

Overseas marriages are generally recognised in Australia if the marriage is recognised by the country where it took place and they don't break the Australian Marriage Act

If you're planning to marry in another country:

  • confirm any legal requirements by contacting the local representative for that country through the embassy or consulate
  • get a marriage certificate and any other supporting documents after you marry and before you leave that country.

Divorce

We do not provide any services in relation to divorce

For questions about separation and divorce contact the Family Court of Australia.

When you are applying for a divorce, the Family Court will ask to see a copy of your standard marriage certificate. If you were married in NSW and require a copy: 

For enquiries about proof of divorce:

Related information

Getting married in Australia

Advice from the Attorney-General's Department on what you need to do before and after you get married in Australia.

Getting married overseas

If you're going overseas to get married, you must work within the legal systems of Australia and the country you're getting married in.
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