Marriage and Domestic Partnerships

So, you’ve decided to make your relationship with your partner a permanent (hopefully) thing. Congratulations!


What paperwork/legal documents do you need to attend to?

If you are entering into a formal, legal arrangement (like getting officially married) or a domestic partnership you will need to update several documents and records.

You will need to revise the following documents:

  • Wills
  • Power of attorney (medical)
  • Power of attorney (financial)
  • Superannuation beneficiaries
  • Next of Kin details with your employer
  • Next of Kin details with your medical practitioners

You may wish to also update

  • Mortgage and banking information
  • Rental agreements
  • Council information
  • Utilities billing information
  • Insurances (Life, Home & Contents, Vehicle)

If you are changing your name you will need to amend the items above along with the following records

  • Passport
  • Driver’s Licence
  • Other licences
  • Medicare records
  • Private Health insurance records
  • Records with medical practitioners
  • Social Security records
  • Working with Children check
  • Employment records
  • Vehicle registration
  • Memberships (For example gym, library, wine club)
  • Education/student records (current)

To apply for a formal change of name in Australia, visit your state or territory’s births, deaths and marriages registry.

Paperwork required to get married in Australia

Important paperwork – Notice of Intended Marriage

  • A new Notice of Intended Marriage form, which couples must use from 9 December 2017, is available on the Marriage stationery and forms page.
  • A completed Notice of Intended Marriage form must be given to your celebrant at least one month before the wedding. You can give it to your celebrant up to 18 months beforehand.
  • Your celebrant can help you complete the form. The notice may be completed and witnessed outside Australia if required.
  • Talk to your celebrant if there is less than one month before your wedding. A prescribed authority may approve a shorter notice time in some limited circumstances.
  • You will need to give your celebrant evidence of date and place of birth, identity and the end of any previous marriages for each party. Your celebrant may also ask you to complete a statutory declaration to support your evidence.

After you are married:

  • On the day of your wedding, you will sign three marriage certificates. Each certificate should be signed by you, your celebrant and two witnesses. Your celebrant will give you one of the certificates as a record of your marriage.
  • Your celebrant must provide your marriage paperwork to the registry of births, deaths and marriages in the state or territory in which the marriage took place within 14 days.
  • The certificate issued by the registry of births, deaths and marriages is required for many official purposes. You should apply for a copy of this certificate from the registry after your wedding through the relevant registry of births, deaths and marriages.
  • Some state and territory governments provide for people to register their relationship. You can find out more information from state and territory registries of births, deaths and marriages.

Getting married overseas?

  • The Smartraveller website has detailed information about getting married overseas.
  • If you intend to marry overseas, please note that marriage celebrants authorised in Australia can only perform legal marriages within Australia.
  • An overseas marriage cannot be registered in Australia, and the foreign marriage certificate will be evidence the marriage has occurred. Ensure you keep this certificate as it may not be easy to replace if lost and it provides the only evidence of the overseas marriage.
  • Please note that it may not be possible to rely on a marriage certificate issued overseas for some purposes in Australia. A party to a marriage which takes place overseas may not be able to rely on an overseas marriage certificate to have an Australian driver’s licence or an Australian passport issued in their married name.

An overseas marriage will generally be recognised in Australia if it:

  • was a valid marriage in the overseas country
  • would have been recognised as valid under Australian law if the marriage had taken place in Australia.