Names and name change

What name goes in my passport?

The name in your passport will be the name on your full Australian birth certificate, or Australian citizenship certificate, or most recent Australian passport issued after 20 August 1986 with a validity of two years or more, unless you can provide the documents we require to accept a different name.

Can I use the name everyone knows me by?

You may be known in the community by a different or shortened name (e.g. Bill rather than William), but if you haven’t registered that name, or if it isn’t the name in your most recent Australian passport issued after 20 August 1986 with a validity of two years or more, then your new passport will show your name as it appears in your Australian birth certificate, citizenship certificate, marriage certificate or name change document.

How do I apply if I only have one name?

If you have only one name (because you don’t have a family name or you don’t have a given name):

  • enter your name in the ‘Family name’ field of the application
  • in the ‘Given name’ field, enter XXX (this wont appear in your passport).

Do I need a new passport if I change my name?

If you change your name because of a change in your marital status (including marriage, divorce, entering or leaving a registered relationship or the death of a spouse), you can get a new passport or keep using your current passport. We recommend booking travel in the name that’s in your passport.

If you change your name for other reasons, you should stop using your current passport.

What if I have two or more Australian passports?

You can’t have different Australian passports in different names.

If you have two or more concurrent passports, and you want to change your name in one of them, then you have to change all of them at the same time.

How do I get a passport in my new name?

To get a passport in your new name, you’ll need to show us documents that prove your citizenship and your identity, including documents that link your new name to your old name.

What name change documents do I need?

If you’ve changed your name, you have to show us documents that link your current name to the name on your Australian birth certificate or Australian citizenship certificate.

The particular documents you need will depend on whether you changed your name because of:

If you’ve changed your name more than once, you’ll need to document all the name changes that directly link your current name to the name on your Australian birth certificate or Australian citizenship certificate.

Name change because of change in marital status

If you’ve changed your name because of a change in your marital status (including marriage, divorce, entering or leaving a registered relationship or the death of a spouse), two kinds of document are relevant:

  • mandatory documents that link your current name to the name on your Australian birth or Australian citizenship certificate – without one of these documents, we can’t issue a passport in your new name
  • optional documents that show you meet one of the conditions for a free replacement passport, if you’re eligible – without one of these documents, you can’t get a free passport in your new name.

Mandatory documents that link your names

If you’ve taken your spouse or partner’s family name, or added it to your own family name, you can generally link your names by showing us:

  • your Australian birth certificate or Australian citizenship certificate, and
  • a marriage, registered relationship or name change certificate issued by a Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Australia.

We don’t require a separate name change certificate if your name change is registered in an amended Australian birth certificate or Australian citizenship certificate.

In some circumstances, we always require an Australian name change certificate, amended Australian birth certificate or amended Australian citizenship certificate:

  • if you’ve changed your given name(s), or
  • if you’ve entered or left a de facto relationship, or
  • if you were born in Australia and married or entered into a registered relationship overseas, or
  • if you formally registered a name change in Australia after you married or entered a registered relationship and you’re now reverting to a name you previously used.

We’ll accept a foreign marriage, registered relationship or name change certificate only if you can’t get an Australian equivalent because you were born overseas and you live overseas and you married or entered into the relationship overseas. You must have entered the marriage or relationship after you became an Australian citizen, and the certificate has to be legalised. Any foreign-language documents have to be translated in full by an approved translation service.

If you’ve changed your name more than once, you need to show us documents that directly link your current name to the name on your Australian birth or Australian citizenship certificate.

If your current passport expires more than two years from now and hasn’t been lost or stolen or suffered major damage, you can choose to apply for a replacement passport. A replacement passport costs less than a standard passport, and in some circumstances it’s free, but it’s only valid until the expiry date of the passport it replaces.

Optional documents to get a free replacement passport

If you’ve changed your name because of a change in your marital status, you can choose to get a free replacement passport if:

  • your current passport expires more than two years from now, and
  • your current passport hasn’t been lost or stolen or suffered major damage, and
  • you’ve changed your family name, and
  • this was your most recent name change, and
  • you can show us that the name change related to a change in your marital or de facto relationship status.

You’re not eligible for a free replacement passport if you’ve only changed your given name(s) and not your family name.

To get a free replacement passport, you need to prove that your name change related to a change in your marital status by providing:

  • a marriage or registered relationship certificate
  • a divorce order
  • a revocation of registered relationship certificate
  • evidence of the death of your spouse or partner – this could be a death certificate, a coroner’s report, a medical certificate, a cremation certificate, or an Australian birth certificate that records the death
  • a B11 form (PDF 127KB) affirming the circumstances of a de facto relationship
  • evidence of a de facto relationship, such as property or lease documents in both names.

For the purpose of proving that you’re eligible for a free replacement passport, we accept foreign certificates. They don’t have to be legalised.

Any documents that aren’t in English have to be translated in full by an approved translation service.

Name change because of gender transition

If you’ve changed any part of your name because of a gender transition, you need to show us a name change certificate issued by a Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Australia, unless:

  • your new name is already reflected in a re-issued Australian birth certificate or Australian citizenship certificate, or
  • you were born and live overseas and the name change happened overseas.

We’ll only accept a foreign name change certificate if you were born overseas and live overseas and the name change happened overseas. The name change must have happened after you became an Australian citizen. The foreign name change certificate has to be legalised. If it’s not in English, it needs to be translated in full by an approved translation service.

If you have a current passport that expires more than two years from now and hasn’t been lost or stolen or suffered major damage, you can choose to get a free replacement passport.

If the change of name document doesn’t also show your preferred gender, then you also have to provide documents which establish that you’ve transitioned your gender.

Name change because of personal preference

If you’ve changed your name because of personal preference, you’ll need to show us a name change certificate issued by an Australian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, unless:

  • your new name is already reflected in a re-issued Australian birth certificate or Australian citizenship certificate, or
  • you were born and live overseas and the name change happened overseas.

We’ll only accept a foreign name change certificate if you were born overseas and live overseas and the name change happened overseas. The name change must have happened after you became an Australian citizen. The foreign name change certificate needs to be legalised. If it’s not in English, it needs to be translated in full by an approved translation service.

If you have a current passport that expires more than two years from now and hasn’t been lost or stolen or suffered major damage, you can choose to get a replacement passport, but you have to pay the fee. You also have to show us your current passport.

What if I’ve changed my name more than once?

If you’ve changed your name more than once, you’ll need to document all the name changes that directly link your current name to the name on your Australian birth certificate or Australian citizenship certificate.

What if the name on my citizenship certificate is different to the name on my birth certificate or foreign passport?

If you were born overseas and your Australian citizenship certificate doesn’t show your gender and place of birth, then you need to prove your gender and place of birth by showing us either:

  • your foreign birth certificate, or
  • a foreign passport.

If the applicant is a child, you always need to show us the foreign birth certificate with details of the child’s parents.

If these documents are in a different name to the name on your (or the child’s) Australian citizenship certificate, you need to show us documents that link the two names.

For this purpose, we accept foreign documents.

These documents don’t have to be legalised.

Any documents not in English need to be translated in full by an approved translation service.

See also: