There is one thing at Pink Caviar we hear all the time which is entirely untrue. We hear from soon-to-be brides “Changing your name after the wedding costs a lot of money and takes ages”. The simple fact is that it is untrue and based on who knows what. Today we explore some myths about changing your name.
Changing Your Name Myths Or Facts?!?!
MYTH: It Costs Money To Change Your Name For Government Documentation
This myth is only perpetuated by misunderstandings and assumptions. All you have to do is provide a copy of the Marriage Certificate issued by Births, Deaths and Marriages (along with 100 points of ID). The various government departments take care of the rest.
Now you will say “Yes BUT to reissue your drivers licence or passport costs money”. Under normal circumstances yes. However this is a name change due to a marriage. Government departments will issue you new documents in your new name for free as a result. The new passport or drivers licence will have your new name with the same remaining time left your currently issued licence / passport.
For example if your current driver’s licence was going to expire on 10/10/2020 then the reissued one (in your new name) will expire on the same day. With a passport, it must be valid within a minimum of 2 years until its expiry. If you are changing your name at the time of your drivers licence or passport is expiring that is a different story. You will still have to pay for renewal fee for the new document. There are no extra fees for the change of name component.
MYTH: The Costs Are Soo Expensive To Change Your Last Name
A common phrase we hear with regards to this is “I heard it was so expensive to change your last name so I didn’t bother”. While what is considered expensive is subjective, in Australia specifically NSW the cost associated with changing your name on official documents and records after your wedding is $53.00. All you need is an official document called a Marriage Certificate from the Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages. This is different to the one you would have received on your wedding day from the celebrant or church. Once you are married, it will take your officiant a couple of weeks to register your marriage. So if you are planning to go on a honeymoon, you can change your name once you return. To get the certificate, you can apply online here with 100 points of ID and pay the fee of $53.00.
The only variance to this is if you decide to hyphenate your last name. This is where you combine your and his last name into one. For this you would have to pay a one of fee of $179. Check out the details here. That being said, many brides see $53 as a drop in the ocean compared to what they spent on their wedding.
MYTH: It Takes A Long Time To Change Your Last Name
This part is entirely up to you. The fact is that if you sit down and list everything that is required to be changed it should take you no longer than a few weeks. Just as we covered above you will need to go to Births Deaths & Marriages, RMS, the Post Office (for your passport), Banks, Medicare and so on.
Of course there are other companies and institutions to change your details. Examples include social media, your work, utilities and so on. In fact to help you out here is a checklist of the majority (if not more than needed) of things you may want changed. The vast majority of these services can be done online in the comfort of your own home. Many brides have advised it takes one evening to sit down and do it.
MYTH: You MUST Change Your Name Straight Away (or within 30 days of wedding)
This one is absolute rubbish and I have no idea where this came from. Some brides are under the impression that the name change must be done straight away. Others believe they have a time limit such as 30 days. The fact is you have a one time change allowed by The Department of Birth Deaths & Marriages. This does not expire.
I went so far as to contact them directly to re-confirm. I asked them this hypothetical “If I get married tomorrow and don’t change my name and say in 50 years from now I decide to change it will I be able to do it and would there be a penalty fee for doing it so late”. The person I spoke to on the other end of the line replied “You can do the name change at any time in your life. You could get a certificate and not use it for 50 years. There is no fee or time limit”.
There you have it, and I hope you consider these myths well and truly busted! Changing your name is a personal choice, we are not suggesting that you must change your name. We merely wanted to dispel the myths around the process. We have help many brides understand the process and I know many personally who have changed their name after the wedding. So the next time someone says to you that changing your name is expensive and takes too much time, you can point them to this article. 🙂
Are you going to change your name after you get married? Join the discussion and comment down below 🙂
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