The name in your passport must match the name on your Australian birth certificate, Australian citizenship certificate or previous Australian passport (provided this was issued after 20 August 1986 with at least two years validity), unless you have changed that name through an Australian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (RBDM) or the Department of Home Affairs.

You may be known in the community by a different or shortened name (e.g. Will or Billy rather than William) but if you have not formally registered your preferred name, your passport will show your name in exactly the same format as your birth or citizenship certificate.

Name changes

To ensure the integrity and security of your identity, you must present original documentation supporting every name change since birth or the acquisition of Australian citizenship. This includes changes of family name resulting from new marital status; transliteration, Anglicisation or altered spelling of names (for example, Guiseppe to Joseph; Shaun to Sean); and gender transition.

The following are examples of name changes and the required documentation:

  • If on marriage or entering a registered relationship you change your family name to your spouse's family name or to include your spouse's family name in your own, an Australian RBDM certificate recording this event should be presented to support your name change.
  • If you were born in Australia but marry overseas, your foreign marriage certificate will not be accepted to support a family name change; in these circumstances, you must apply to an Australian RBDM for a change of name certificate.
  • If you revert to a former family name after divorcing or revoking a registered relationship or following the death of your spouse or partner, you must present document(s) that link your current name and that previous name, such as a marriage or registered relationship certificate.
  • If you change your name on entering or revoking a de facto relationship, you must present an Australian RBDM change of name certificate.
  • If you change any of your names after gender transition, you must present an Australian RBDM change of name certificate.
  • If you change any of your names for reasons of personal preference, including spelling, you must present an Australian RBDM change of name certificate.
  • If you were born and live overseas and cannot meet Australian RBDM residency requirements to register a name change, you may use the name in a foreign name change or marriage certificate, provided this was issued after you obtained Australian citizenship, and has been properly legalised or apostilled by the issuing government.

If you are presenting foreign documents that are not written in English, you must provide a full English translation prepared by an approved translation service.

To have a foreign document legalised or apostilled by the issuing government, you should contact the relevant foreign embassy or consulate in Australia.

If you change your name during the validity of your passport, you should consider applying for a new passport in your new name. To do so, you must complete a full passport application form and present original documents to support your identity and citizenship, as well as evidence that links all of your name changes.

In certain situations a passport holder who changes their name can apply for a replacement passport in their new name to be issued free of charge.