Certifying an Australian change of name certificate
If you formally change your name (or change your child’s name) you’ll receive an official change of name certificate as proof. Your change of name certificate is the primary evidence that you’ve changed your name.
If you changed your name in Australia, then your change of name certificate should be issued by the relevant registry in the state where you registered your new name. For example, if you changed your name in New South Wales, then your change of name certificate would have been issued by the New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. If you changed your name prior to 1 April 1996, you might have changed your name by Deed Poll registered with the Land Titles Office.
What information is contained in an Australian change of name certificate?
A change of name certificate is an official copy of the information provided to the Registry. This should include:
- Your previous name or names;
- Your current name; and
- The date that you changed your name.
Sending an Australian change of name certificate to another country
If you’re sending an Australian change of name certificate to another country, you may also need to have that original change of name certificate stamped with an apostille from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade if the intended destination country is a member of the Apostille Convention. If the intended destination country isn’t a member of the Apostille Convention, then you must arrange for DFAT to authenticate the original change of name certificate before legalising it with the foreign representative office of the intended destination country.
If you want to keep the original change of name certificate and send a certified copy, then the certified copy of the change of name certificate must be notarised by a notary public before it can be stamped with an apostille or authenticated by DFAT.
Does my change of name certificate need to be translated?
Depending on the intended destination country, you may also need to have the Australian change of name certificate translated from English into the official language of the intended destination country. We usually recommend arranging for the translation to be done after all the legal processes have been completed (ie, legalisation). You should even consider translating the documents only after they have arrived in the intended destination country and according to that country’s translation requirements.
Regardless of whether you’re sending the original change of name certificate or a notarised copy of an original change of name certificate to another country, you must be able to produce the original change of name certificate.
Why would I need to send an Australian change of name certificate to another country?
We help many people send Australian change of name certificates to other countries. Some of the most common reasons to do this are to:
- Prove that they are the ‘one and the same person’;
- Prove their identity for legal purposes;
- Prove their identity for employment purposes;
- Prove their identity for education purposes;
- Prove their identity for visa purposes;
- Prove their identity for relationship purposes; or
- Prove their identity for inheritance and estate purposes
How do I obtain an Australian change of name certificate?
You should receive a change of name certificate from the relevant registry after you register your change of name. You can still apply for additional/replacement certificates, especially if you want to send that change of name certificate (or a certified copy) to another country.
Additional or replacement change of name certificates are available from the registry in the state where you registered the change of name. We can also assist with obtaining copies of registered documents if you changed your name by Deed Poll with the Land Titles Office
- For change of name certificates issued in New South Wales
- For change of name certificates issued in the Australian Capital Territory
- For change of name certificates issued in Queensland
- For change of name certificates issued in Victoria
- For change of name certificates issued in Western Australia
- For change of name certificates issued in Tasmania
- For change of name certificates issued in the Northern Territory
Send your replacement change of name certificate to our office
If you’re ordering a replacement change of name certificate for the sole purpose of sending it to another country, or if you’re not available to collect it (especially if you’re not living in Australia), you can ask for that change of name certificate to be delivered to our office or mailing address. We can help you with processing whatever it is you need to do on your behalf.
Change of name due to marriage
In Australia, you can change your name by taking your spouses’ surname by adding their surname to yours or replacing your surname with theirs. You don’t need to register for a formal name change. You can use your official marriage certificate to prove your new name.
Attesting, certifying and notarising copies of Australian change of name certificates for use in another country is one of our core notary public services
What documents do we attest and notarise?
Some of the documents that we regularly attest and notarise for clients include:
- Power of attorney or Letter of Authority signed in Australia appointing someone to handle your property, business or personal financial matters on your behalf – as well as the Revocation of Power of Attorney. The power of attorney is probably the most frequently requested document to be signed, attested and notarised by our office.
- Property transfers and dealing documents signed in Australia for transacting property in other countries.
- Legal and court forms and documents signed in Australia for legal matters and court proceedings in other countries.
- Personal and commercial agreements or contracts signed in Australia for use in other countries. If you’re signing on behalf of a company, you may also need ‘company documents’ such as a certificate of good standing.
- Photo and personal identification documents such as passports, Australian driver licences, Medicare card, council and water rates, or utility bills. Other forms of identification can also be attested and notarised, but generally, other countries require photo identification in the absence of a national identity card system in Australia.
- Personal certificates from Australia such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, change of name certificates, and Australian citizenship certificates. These certificates are generally issued by the relevant registry in each Australian state or by the Australian Government.
- Visa and Immigration documents from the Department of Home Affairs, such as the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO), visa grant notices, and international movement records from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
- Financial documents like bank statements issued by Australian banks, financial statements or tax-related documents from the Australian Tax Office (ATO). We can also attest and notarise the Bankruptcy Register Search from the Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA).
- Court documents issued by Australian courts, such as divorce orders, the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.
- Education documents from Australian institutions, such as school reports, college degrees, university testamurs and transcripts. These documents must be verified with the issuing institution before they can be attested and notarised. We cannot attest or notarise education documents issued from countries other than Australia.
- Medical documents from Australian doctors, medical centre or hospitals. Documents such as doctor’s letters, medical reports, pathology results and prescriptions for medicines must be verified with the issuing doctor, medical centre or hospital before they can be attested and notarised.
- Professional qualification documents from Australian accredited bodies, such as the Law Society, CPA Australia, and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
- Employment documents from Australian employers, like referral letters, references and recommendations, and payslips. These documents must be verified with the issuing employer before they can be attested and notarised.
- Company documents relating to Australian companies, like a certificate of good standing, attested copies of certificates of incorporation, resolution and minutes, constitutions and memorandum of association etc. These documents must be obtained directly from ASIC for public information or produced by a director of the company if they relate to documents from their corporate register.
- Criminal history documents issued by Australian police agencies like the Australian Federal Police (AFP) or state police, or by private organisations accredited by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC). The National Police Check certificate is available as a physical hard copy document or as a digital certificate in some cases.
Usually, if documents must be certified, you must be able to provide the original hard copy document to us. Some documents, especially if those documents are only available as electronic documents, can be emailed to us directly by whoever issued the documents. Whenever possible, we will also verify documents with whoever issued the documents to complete the notarisation.
Do you have any questions?
Sending documents from Australia to other countries can be complicated. We make it simple.
If your documents must be stamped with an apostille or authenticated and then legalised, we can help with that too. We’ve also created a flowchart to explain the process.
So, what’s next?
Why choose Phang Legal for your notary public services?
We’re a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney. We’re known for:
- Our experience and expertise in notarising documents for other countries;
- Our low-cost fixed fees and service offerings; and
- Our availability to help on short notice.
Our office is conveniently located in Parramatta, the geographic centre of the Sydney metropolitan area. We help clients from across Sydney and beyond with personal, professional and timely notary public services.
This website is maintained by Phang Legal, a boutique law firm in Parramatta and a leading provider of quality notary public services to satisfied clients across Sydney and beyond.
Ern Phang is a director of Phang Legal and a notary public (since 2005). Ern regularly writes about his experiences as a notary public and the issues faced by his clients in sending documents to countries all over the world.