(Article courtesy of http://www.easynamechange.com/au/)

 As your wedding day approaches you may be bouncing around a new name in your head. Changing names can often make a bride a little sad at the loss of her former name, so it’s perfectly natural to want to hold onto your old name, or even ask your husband if he wants to change names! Over 80% of Australian brides go onto change names, with the vast majority taking their husband’s name and dropping their own surname.

The name change process is simple and straight-forward. After the wedding your celebrant lodges the marriage record with NSW Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM). Once this is processed your marriage certificate can be ordered. This usually takes 2-4 weeks to be available and a fee is payable directly to BDM. You can order in person at the BDM office, or download a marriage certificate order form online. This costs just over $50.

On your wedding day you receive a commemorative marriage certificate. While many companies will accept this as proof of your marriage name change, most government departments and banks insist on seeing your original BDM certificate or a certified copy. Your BDM certificate has additional security features that helps safeguard your identity.

Once you have your BDM marriage certificate it’s recommended you update government issued photo ID first, such as your driver’s license. This needs to be done in person at any license issuing office. You can then show your updated driver’s license at many places as proof of your new name.

You can update your passport at this stage if you don’t have any pending international travel. If you have flights booked under your maiden name you should not change the name on your passport until your return. The passports office will reissue your passport in your married name free of charge provided you lodge your application within 1 year of your wedding, and provided your passport has at least 2 years remaining. Otherwise full renewal fees apply.

Next, get your financial records updated. Banks with large branch networks always require you to visit in person. Be sure to take your original BDM marriage certificate, bank ATM or credit cards and photo ID. An appointment is usually not necessary.  ING direct have a name change form for you to complete, have certified at a post office and return by mail. For all other banks contact them directly to learn the process.

Medicare cards must be updated in person. Take your original marriage certificate and photo ID. You can also have your name appear on the same card as your spouse by completing the Medicare Transfer form. Both husband and wife should sign the form. While the form can be returned by mail, name changes must be done in person, so it’s best to take the form in with you when changing names.

From this point most name changes can be done in writing and brides will all have differing companies to update. Your list should include phone and internet, pay TV, utilities, insurance, super, loyalty and frequent flyer clubs. Download a comprehensive checklist here.

Contact each company directly to ask their name change procedure, what proof is required (some companies may accept a photocopy of your driver’s license instead of your marriage certificate, or not require any proof). Some companies may need you to send a letter or a fax, so make sure you get the address. You may also be required to return a form. Name change kits, like the one from www.easynamechange.com/au, provide all the necessary forms and paperwork and give you the name change procedures for over 400 Australian companies.

However you decide to change names, aim to get all your records updated within 2 months of starting as it can become difficult when proving your identity. It’s also worthwhile hanging onto some back records and expired photo ID under your old name should you ever need to prove your old name.

If you have any questions about changing names, speak to the professionals at www.easynamechange.com/au for obligation free name change advice.

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