Last updated 16 August 2016
An application for a change of name must be prepared in a format acceptable to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, and the applicants’ signatures must be witnessed.
Form 4a is the application form used to register a change of name of an adult on the Change of Name Register. Form 4c is used for a child under 18 years of age. Three forms of appropriate identification of the applicant must be attached to the application form. If the forms of identification are photocopies, a qualified witness must certify them as being a correct copy of the document. Photo identification normally is required. In some situations, the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registry may request other documents to verify other information contained in the application. If a person was born outside of Australia, evidence of birth (a birth certificate) and evidence that the person ordinarily resides in Queensland (and normally has done so for one year) is required. If the person is a minor over 12 years of age, their consent for the change of name is normally required. If a child is unable to consent, then further advice should be sought from the registry about making the application.
The fee to apply to register a change of name for an adult or child is $165.60. Changing a child’s first name within one year of the child’s birth is $19.65.
Name changes of adult names and surname changes of children normally can only be made once in every one-year period, unless the Magistrates Court has ordered otherwise A child’s first names can only be changed once before the child turns 1 year of age (if their birth or adoption was registered in Queensland), and then only once more before the child turns 18 years of age (ss 13, 21 Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 2003 (Qld)), unless the court approves otherwise). The Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages may refuse to register a person’s change of name in limited circumstances. The court’s approval may also be required to allow a child’s change of name where only one parent or guardian makes the application.
A Form 5 is used to note a change of name on the Birth or Adoption Register where a person’s birth or adoption has already been registered in Queensland, but the person has changed their name either under the law of another state or through a different legal process, such as a deed poll.
Notification to authorities
After a person’s name has been changed, that person should take care to notify the following authorities:
- the Department of Transport and Main Roads, Licensing Branch, if the person has a driver licence
- the local council and the Office of State Revenue, if the person owns a house
- the Commonwealth Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, if the person has a passport. The person will need to complete an application to have a new passport issued in their new name
- the Australian Taxation Office
- the Land Titles Office within the Department of Natural Resources and Mines, if the person owns land and wishes the title to be recorded in their new name. A request to register the new name on the title and a declaration/certificate as to the identity of the person concerned must be prepared. A fee applies.
If people need to deal with other government departments and institutions (e.g. Centrelink, banks and schools), they should also be notified of a name change.
Obtaining copies of standard birth certificates from the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registry involves payment of a fee of $43.50. A commemorative certificate costs $57. Priority preparation of the document and any search fees involve additional costs. The registry will only release certificates or certificate extracts to people who are entitled to documents—normally the people named on the document or their immediate family members. Reasons for the request of the document and proof of the identity of the person requesting the document must be provided to the registry. Further information about the process is available directly from the registry.