Changing your name is a simple process. A new name is to be recognised simply if it is established by usage. However, many government departments require written evidence of a change of name; this can be obtained through Births, Deaths and Marriages Victoria.


Talya Faigenbaum

Principal Lawyer, Nest Legal

More information about changing your name

  • Most of the law on naming children, registering changes to children’s names and changing birth regis­tration details can be found in the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996 (Vic).
  • The Births, Deaths and Marriages Victoria’s website is a useful source of information.
  • Most of the law on changing names is common law (for an explanation on the difference between common law and statute law, see ‘Sources of Australian law’ in Chapter 1.1: Where our laws come from).
  • For decisions made by the (formerly called) Family Court and Federal Circuit Court, see the Family Law Case Reports. 
  • For change of name upon adoption orders, see section 56 of the Adoption Act 1984 (Vic). 
  • For other Acts relevant to name changes, see the schedule to the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996 (Vic). 
  • The CCH Australian Family Law and Practice publication is also a useful reference.

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