Department of the Attorney General
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How to register a child's change of name

Parents and legally appointed guardians may wish to change a child's name for a variety of reasons. There are several methods of changing a child’s name. Before proceeding visit Other methods to change a child's name to check what method should be used.

To register a child’s change of name for your child, you need to apply to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. The parent or legal guardian applying on behalf of a child must complete an Application to Register Change of Name form (BDM401 - see download on this page).

Family applications that are lodged together, i.e. legally married or de facto couples (whether of different or same sex) and sole parents and their children under 18 years of age only need to pay one fee. A separate Application to Register a Change of Name must be completed for each family member and individual change of name certificates will be issued.

Eligibility

  • The child must be under 18 years of age;
  • The child is born and/or the birth is registered in Western Australia (WA); or
  • If the child was not born in WA, they must be a permanent resident or an Australian citizen and ordinarily residing in Western Australia for twelve (12) months immediately preceding the application. See proof of residency information;
  • A child can only change their name once in any 12 month period unless there are exceptional circumstances. This does not apply if the child is reverting to their immediate past name.

For detailed requirements regarding who can apply, identification, supporting documentation and residency requirements refer to the downloadable Application to Register a Change of Name (BDM401) on this page.

Certification requirements

Photocopies of identification will only be accepted if they are certified by a qualified person as being "true copies" of the original documents.  Do not post original documents.

Information about who can certify documents can be downloaded from this page.

If applying from overseas - The Western Australian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages will consider current photocopied and certified overseas identification documents equivalent to those stated in the identification lists.  Do not post original documents.

How the change of name is registered

If your application is approved, you will receive a change of name certificate which authorises the use of your new name.

If you were born in Western Australia, your original name will remain on your birth certificate and your new name will also appear on the certificate as a notation. A birth certificate including the change of name notation is available on payment of an additional fee

If you were born interstate, the Registry will notify the birth state of the name change.

Name changes may be notified to other organisations, for example the Police Department, Passport Office, Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) and the Department of Transport.

Court orders approving a change of name

Where the parent of a child cannot obtain the consent of the other parent named in the child's birth certificate, a court order from the Family Court stating that it is in the child's best interests to have their name changed must be obtained before the Registry can register a change of name for the child.

A parent may apply for a court order by contacting the Family Court or obtaining legal advice. Where a court order has been obtained, it must be submitted with the application to the Registrar for the name of the child to be changed.

Legalising documents for use in overseas countries

Note: Some overseas countries require Australian documents to be authenticated. Refer to Smartraveller - Legalising Documents for further information on this requirement.

Last Updated: 25-Oct-2013

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