• LGBTQI+ person
  • Young person
  • ACT

What is this resource?

This resource is for trans and gender diverse young people and their families in the Australian Capital Territory

This resource answers some common questions trans and gender diverse young people, and their families, have about changing their name.

It includes:

  • changing your name on your birth certificate
  • changing your name on federal documents, like passports, or Centrelink and Medicare records

  Not in the Australian Capital Territory?

This resource is also available for:

VIC | NSW | QLD | SA | NT | TAS | WA

Can you change your gender status on formal documents?

Yes, but there are requirements you need to meet.

By reading this resource we hope you will get a better understanding of what’s involved with legally changing your name in the Australian Capital Territory.

What steps are involved with making a change?

The steps for applying to change your name on formal documents differs depending on whether the document you would like to change is issued by:

1. a state or territory government organisation


2. a federal government organisation

See how you can change key documents below.

How to change the name on your birth certificate

Birth certificates are issued and regulated at a state and territory level. This means that the approach to changing the recorded name on your birth certificate will depend on the process used by that state or territory’s Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (which is the government agency responsible for issuing and regulating birth certificates).

In the ACT, this is Access Canberra.

Does age matter?


Young people over the age of 18 can make an application directly whereas if you are under 18 years of age, your parents or guardians will need to make the application on your behalf.

If you are under 18, you will need to ask your parents or guardian/s to make the application. 

As a young person under 18 years old, you can change your name on your birth certificate through an application made by your parents or guardians (it’s not possible for you to make an application to change your name by yourself until you are over 18 years old).

The application must be submitted in the state/territory that you were born in, or the one where you have lived for the most part.

If your parents are separated, one parent cannot change a child’s name unless they have”

  • received consent from the other parent; or
  • obtained a relevant court order approving the name change;
  • been granted sole parental responsibility by a court order.

Most trans and gender diverse young people will not have to go to the Family Court to apply for access to Stage 2 (hormone) or Stage 3 (surgical) treatment, where their parents and doctors agree the treatment is appropriate.

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to go to court to apply for access to Stage 2 or Stage 3 treatment, then it is possible to change your name on these applications and seek an order at the same time requiring Access Canberra to give effect to that name change order.


To be eligible change your name in the ACT, you need to:

  • Have been born in the ACT


  • Be a permanent resident of the ACT and have lived there for at least 3 months before making the application.

How can you, or your parent or guardian, apply?

You can apply by filling out the change of name application form, attaching the necessary supporting documents (e.g. proof of identity). The supporting documents you must provide for your application will differ depending on whether you were born in the ACT or born outside the ACT. To see which documents you will need to provide, please view the Access Canberra website.   

You must also pay the required fee. You might be able to apply to have the fee waived or reduced. To find out which fee will be payable for your application, view the Access Canberra website.   

For a link to the form and details of costs, see Where to Get Help and Information’. 

If you are under 18 years old, both parents and/or guardians must fill out the application form unless: 

  • There is only a sole parent named on your birth certificate; 

  • The other parent has passed away; or 

  • The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia, or another Australian court or tribunal, has made an order approving the proposed name change on application by one parent.  

If you have a guardian who has parental responsibility, they will need to fill out the application form.  

If you are aged 14 or over, you also need to sign the form to consent to the name change.  

Further, Access Canberra will not register a change of name unless satisfied of the identity and age of the child and that the change of name is not being sought for a fraudulent or other improper purpose.  

How to change your name on federal government documents, such as your passport, and on records with Services Australia

You will need to provide an updated birth certificate that has your new name, or change-of-name certificate or citizenship certificate, to the agency that looks after the document or record that you want to change.  

This means you will need to have first successfully applied to Access Canberra (or a legalised foreign equivalent) to change your name. 

Where to get help and more information


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  This resource was last updated on 6 October 2023. This is legal information only and does not constitute legal advice. You should always contact a lawyer for advice specific to your situation. Please view our disclaimer for more information.