Since 14 April 1999, it has been possible to acquire a name by repute or usage in Western Australia.
However, due to increased awareness around identity fraud most government authorities and private organisations usually require documentary evidence of a person's identity and have the right to determine what evidence of a person's name, or change of name it requires.
Any person who marries in Australia may choose to assume their spouse's surname. This is done as a matter of custom and not of law.
A certificate of marriage issued by the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages is usually sufficient evidence to have personal documentation changed to a married surname.
If married overseas, you may have to register a formal change of name with the Registry before your married surname is accepted by some government or private agencies.
An adult person may change their name by completing a change of name (adult) application form.
Read the instructions carefully to determine whether a change of name can be registered in Western Australia.
The parents of a child may apply to change their child's name using a separate form.
There is no legal requirement for a formal change of name if you wish to keep your maiden name (surname at birth or after adoption).
However, to avoid difficulties with obtaining recognition of your maiden name, registration of the change is recommended.
Changes of name are registered under Part 5 of the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1998.
The collection of information is authorised by the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1998. This information is used for registering life events occurring in Western Australia and issuing certificates.
Access to certificates is only approved in accordance with the Registry's Certificate Access and Identification policies. General information regarding these policies is available from the Registry's website at Change of Name Certificate Access Policy and Identification Requirements.
Registry legislation also allows the Registrar to release information to approved agencies for statistical purposes, medical research, community planning, law enforcement and other uses provided for by law.
A copy of the Department's policy framework regarding information sharing is available at Information Sharing Between Government Agencies.
Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages
Department of the Attorney General
Level 10, 141 St Georges Terrace
PERTH WA 6000
Phone: 1300 305 021
Fax: (08) 9264 1599
PO Box 7720
PERTH WA 6850
Hours: 8:30am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).
To avoid the usual busy times consider visiting the Perth Registry between 8:30am to 10am or 2pm to 4pm.
Last updated: 1-Sep-2015
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